Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is officially Donald Trump's Vice Presidential candidate. Mr. Trump had mentioned earlier that one of his criteria for a VP candidate was that the person should have Washington experience, and understanding of how the legislative process works to influence getting policy agendas through. While former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may also have been on the shortlist because he has those credentials, Mr. Gingrich's experience and skills might be better utilized if he was to become Mr. Trump's chief of staff should he win the White House. Mr. Gingrich could also help Mr. Trump in bolstering his policy advisory team during the campaign. However, Mike Pence as the VP candidate would add more to the ticket than only having Washington experience.
Not only does Mike Pence have pro-growth, conservative and executive credentials as the governor of Indiana, he also had experience in the legislature as a congressman where he also served on the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House, which adds foreign policy experience to his impressive resume.
Crucially, Mike Pence also has the very rare ability among many in the GOP as an articulate and passionate speaker who can communicate a positive conservative message to a wide audience. I once heard him speak at an annual Heritage Foundation President’s Club meeting and was blown away by his ability to communicate the conservative message in a way that would have resonated with almost any audience. He exemplified the uncanny ability to justify conservatism without the sacrifice of its principles and could help the GOP avoid another staggering loss due to the mistaken belief that only a moderate nominee can win the general election.
Townhall Magazine once featured Mike Pence in a ‘Future of the GOP’ interview by S.E Cupp. His solution oriented leadership style rather than just dwelling on the negatives of the opposition, is an advantageous distinction to many in the GOP who focus more on what they are against, rather than what they are for, and how it will work. Mr. Gingrich may have been out of office for years but Mr. Pence has present experience successfully governing a state despite today's slow growth Obama economy. He might not be well known nationally but he is well known in the state he leads and in the other swing states of the mid west. Some states have been trying to emulate some of the successful economic policies and reforms of Indiana, while many residents and businesses of other neighboring states such as Illinois have been voting with their feet and moving there.
Its in this regard that Mike Pence could help a Trump campaign get on message about how conservative reforms are working in states, and could work in the rest of the country to counter the high tax, high regulation and redistribution message from Hillary Clinton's campaign. Not only has Indiana been a leading state for pro growth tax and economic reforms, it has also been leading on various measures on education reforms such as school choice and for affordable college. Some of these were initiated and started under the previous Republican Governor Mitch Daniels and continued by Mr. Pence. Indiana has also been an example for fiscal discipline in getting its budget in order. Something the rest of the country needs to reduce its over $19 trillion debt and ballooning out of control spending on entitlements.
Mr. Trump's campaign has major deficits, and one of them is a cohesive solution based conservative message with ideas devoid of comedic references and inflammatory rhetoric. He could add seriousness and credibility to his ticket by choosing an accomplished GOP governor like Mike Pence. One who is already leading to deliver the economic growth in Indiana that the rest of the country hope the next White House administration will.