A Tale of Two Characters

Dana Perino writing about George Bush 43

“One mom and dad of a dying soldier from the Caribbean were devastated, the mom beside herself with grief. She yelled at the president, wanting to know why it was her child and not his who lay in that hospital bed.

Her husband tried to calm her and I noticed the president wasn’t in a hurry to leave—he tried offering comfort but then just stood and took it, like he expected and needed to hear the anguish, to try to soak up some of her suffering if he could.

Later as we rode back on Marine One to the White House, no one spoke.

But as the helicopter took off, the president looked at me and said, “That mama sure was mad at me.” Then he turned to look out the window of the helicopter. “And I don’t blame her a bit.”

One tear slipped out the side of his eye and down his face. He didn’t wipe it away, and we flew back to the White House.”


From the BBC

“Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has attracted outrage by mocking a dead US Muslim soldier’s mother.

Ghazala Khan stood silently next to her husband as he attacked Mr. Trump in an emotional speech to the Democratic National Convention on Thursday.

Mr. Trump suggested she may not have been allowed to speak.

Republicans and Democrats said the Republican candidate’s comments were no way to talk of a hero’s mother. Mrs. Khan said she was upset by his remarks.

Last week her husband Khizr Khan told Democrats Mr. Trump had sacrificed “nothing and no-one” for his country.

At the convention in Philadelphia, he said his son would not even have been in America if it had been up to Mr. Trump, who has called for a ban on Muslims entering the US.

Humayun Khan was killed by a car bomb in 2004 in Iraq at the age of 27.

Mr. Trump responded to the criticism in an interview with ABC’s This Week.

“If you look at his wife, she was standing there,” he said, “She had nothing to say… Maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.”

In an interview for ABC on Saturday, Ghazala Khan said: “When I was standing there, all of America felt my pain, without a single word. I don’t know how he missed that.”

“Please Mr. Trump, feel that pain and you will be better.

“I was upset when I heard that. I didn’t say anything because I was in pain.”

Khizr Khan said that Mr. Trump was “devoid of feeling the pain of a mother who has sacrificed her son”.

“Running for president is not an entitlement to disrespect… a Gold Star mother, shame on him,” he said.

“He has no decency, he has a dark heart.”

Mrs. Khan said on Friday that she did not speak during her husband’s speech because she was still overcome with grief and could not look at her son’s photos without crying.”



VP Perspectives

With Trump’s selection of Mike Pence for VP, the heavy odds on favorite for the Democratic side is now Tim Kaine — and for good reason.  It always helps if your presumptive nominee for president gets to pick second.  They get to make their pick based on their opponent’s pick.

Trump’s pick of Pence shows that he felt the need to secure the conservative base.  If a Republican has to worry about securing the conservative base with their VP pick then they’re one step closer to defeat.  They should already have it secured and their next concern should be the independent voter.  The pick of Pence fails on that notion.  Pence adds nothing to the ticket except maybe to secure the Ted Cruz type of supporter.

Hillary Clinton now gets to choose based on Trump’s pick and the smart move would be to go for someone who has a reputation of being a moderate.  Tim Kaine pretty much fits that mold.  It very much helps that Bernie Sanders did endorse Hillary Clinton.  A Sander’s snub would have had Clinton fighting a lot harder for the Democratic base to the point where she possibly would have had to pick someone like Elizabeth Warren for VP.   How much of an affect Sander’s endorsement of Clinton will have on Sander’s supporters is still up in the air.  She will still have to fight for the far left vote but the Pence pick of Trump’s helps her a bit if not a lot.

I am still positive that Trump’s wish list for VP included John Kasich at the very top of that list.  Kasich could have appealed to the independents in a big way.  But Kasich would have nothing to do with Trump.  Mike Pence is a “Kasich lite” choice.  Both he and Kasich have congressional and state government experience.  Kasich’s experience however is much deeper with known successes.  Pence’s congressional record is mediocre at best and he’s now seen as the troubled governor of Indiana with a social conservative record that will put off a lot of independents.   The Democrats and Hillary Clinton can now leverage the conversation over to social issues which they would have had a bit of a harder time doing with a Kasich pick.

If Trump had chosen Kasich then Hillary Clinton would still very much have to choose someone like Tim Kaine to compete for “the middle”.  With Trump’s choice of Pence, Trump has conceded a lot of the “middle vote”.  He’s given a lot of them up without a fight.