It's official: Trump picks the best man for the job
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In picking Indiana Governor Mike Pence to be his vice presidential running mate, Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE selected the most well-rounded candidate on his short-list.

Whereas House Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would have brought one or two of the characteristics traditionally sought after in a vice presidential nominee, and the qualifications Trump himself was said to be seeking, Pence checks every single box.

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First, he checks the practical box. Pence served twelve years in the United States House of Representatives, including a stint in leadership as the fourth highest-ranking member of the House, and time on the Foreign Relations Committee. The relationships he built during that time are especially key for the presumptive nominee.

Sure, Trump has the force of personality on his side, but Pence has the advantage of years of sitting alongside these members in the House Cafeteria, getting to know them and their families, and understanding what makes them tick.

In addition to his years on Capitol Hill, Pence also has governing experience having served as the Governor of Indiana for the past three years. In that short time, he signed into law the largest state tax cut in Hoosier history, expanded school choice and continued Indiana’s streak of balanced budgets and surpluses. Plus, and perhaps most importantly, more Hoosiers are employed today than ever before.

As a result of these experiences, Pence has done something Trump has never done: govern. In large part, that’s why Trump will be the Republican nominee. Voters in the Republican Party craved a political outsider and they got one.

But with Pence, Trump gets not just a political partner for the campaign trail, but also a governing partner if they make it to The White House. After all, while the purpose of politics is to win elections, winning candidates then become elected officials whose sole responsibility is to govern on behalf of the people who willingly deputized him or her.

Of course, the act of governing has been lost on too many. Many prefer instead to remain focused on the politics in order to win more elections so they can win more elections so they can win more elections and so on. It’s a dizzying cyclical display that puts the game ahead of the work. With this pick, though, Trump is making clear that he’s looking ahead to a potential presidency and who can best help him succeed.

Second, Pence checks the political box. He has long cultivated relationships with social conservatives and with the so-called establishment. In both groups there are hold-outs concerned about Trump as the Republican Party nominee, and frightened about the prospects of a Trump presidency.

Pence has the power to assuage those concerns simply by being on the ticket. But beyond that, he can walk into a room of social conservatives or a room of establishment types and not be the subject of double-takes. He’s at home in both spaces and would be welcome in both.

Pence, being a middle-class Midwesterner, can also help make a strong play in the Rust Belt states the Trump/Pence ticket needs to win by speaking directly to blue-collar workers who would find his record of job creation appealing.

What has been lost in the chatter, though, is that in choosing Pence, we may be witnessing the growth of Trump as a candidate. Had he been making a decision solely for himself, he likely would have picked Gingrich or Christie. Their styles are much more in line with Trump’s style. Plus, they have been very loyal surrogates for months now – a quality Trump cherishes in those around him.

Pence, however, is a choice for everyone else. It’s an olive branch in a year of burning down forests. For the first time – at least publicly – Trump has heeded the advice of advisors, which is an important quality in a potential president.

Up to this point, he has kept counsel only with himself. Now, as a result of intense lobbying from within his inner circle of family and advisors, Trump made the perfect pick in choosing the well-rounded Pence as his running mate and potential governing partner.

That’s a big step forward.

Seat is a former White House spokesman for President George W. Bush. He was communications director at the Indiana Republican Party during Pence's gubernatorial campaign and during his first year in office. Seat resides in Indiana where he is a consultant at Hathaway Strategies.


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