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Mike Pence, The Next Man in Line?

Pence
And the Internet continues to laugh – with gifs of Republican talking head Anna Navarro saying the word “pussy” on loop.

Trump has made many distasteful comments from the beginning of the election year. We get it.  We all get it.  The news cycle has made this clear for months on end. What is more disconcerting is what his former supporters in the Republican party are currently doing: staging a weak attempt at a coup by seizing the sensationalism of the moment to force Trump to resign as Mike Pence waits in the wings. I say “No” to that, what about you?

Now, this is not an article about Donald Trump. I don’t see the point in writing a doctoral dissertation on his tweets and tapes from the last decade. This whole election cycle has been ridiculous and reduced to reality TV. Long gone are the times when there was a clear distinction between CNN and E! networks. It’s all entertainment, folks. Noise, ratings and thick-skin in the race for the most powerful seat in the free world. Survival of the fittest. At any and all costs. This American election year has ceased to be a political campaign to elect the brightest. Perhaps this is a battle of the pocketbooks and the richer candidate will win. But between Clinton and Trump, even that leaves little on the balance sheets.

It would be a total waste of anyone’s intellectual capacities to draft an article or comparative analysis of their tweets. However, what I do see worth discussing here is Mike Pence and how D.C. politics is mirroring the barbarous plots of the House of Cards.

Two things that make me uncomfortable

CNN has been bombarding news clip after news clip 24/7 on the topic of the “Trump tapes”. Haiti, Hurricane Matthew, and Wikileaks have all gone underreported since all eyes were on Trump. He publicly apologized. Melania condemned his private talks. Still, CNN won’t let go. If only they were so loud and determined to subject Hillary to same scrutiny.  Where was the 24/7 polemicist talking heads when she apologized on the matters of national security and unprecedented track record in militarism?

Let’s be clear, as clarity is something lost on all of us this election season, there are two main issues that make me uncomfortable

  1.   The media’s behavior and coverage of this election.
  2.   The sad attempt by members of the GOP to force Trump to pull out one month away from election day. He, whether they like it or not, earned their party’s nomination.

Will Pence trump Trump?

Like most Americans, I tuned into the VP debate and came to conclusion that Pence was better than Tim Kaine: as a communicator, narrator, and spokesman. However, the fact that Pence won the debate does not mean that I would vote for him as a presidential candidate. His political platform is backward, far to the right of Trump. His stand on abortion is radical and it does not serve personal liberties. Being the student of John Gray who conducted a close reading of Mill’s opus On Liberty, I am strong opponent of any political view that annuls one’s right to choose. Abortion is a subject of a personal and not collective choice. For these reasons, Mike Pence is simply not my cup-of-tea.

To be candid, I did not know much about Mike Pence before this election cycle. To be honest, how many of you did? Did anyone support Pence?  Did he take any risk to run his presidential campaign? Was he seen standing alongside Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Co.? No.  He was nowhere to be found. He deserves no other title but “political climber, hungry tiger” – not President of the United States. He cozied up to a candidate with a known track record – and the television reels to prove it – for buffoonery and now he is twisting this to his advantage to usurp the nomination?

Let me be clear. This is not an endorsement of Trump’s comments on the leaked tapes with Billy Bush.  No woman can approve that message.  Melania was very clear in condemning his comments. Trump apologized and did not, like former President Clinton did, deny the affair with Lewinski in the face of the evidence and under penalty of perjury. Trump owned his words and asked for forgiveness. This is usually how it works with an American electorate. We have seen Democrats do similar “apology tours” – Anthony Weiner, Elliot Spitzer…Trump’s campaign handlers know it, Republicans know it, the Clintons better than anyone else, know it.

The media has full responsibility to hold Trump accountable. However, media’s role is not to campaign for Clinton and ignore other relevant news items. As the CNN 24/7 news cycle continues, Trump continues to be slammed in a way that does not serve journalism.  And the Internet continues to laugh – with gifs of Republican talking head Anna Navarro saying the word “pussy” on loop.

It is not the role of the media to campaign for Clinton.

If media were to be objective, Clinton should share national news and tabloid front pages with her adversary. Her militant track record also requires accountability. Her jeopardy of national security merited the same scrutiny when it came to her apology.  But any scrutiny was laughed off as overzealous conservative zeal. It is simply too late for either candidate to pull out of this race.

There’s no business like show business and as they say – “It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings.”  In the next episode, we should expect that Trump will hit Clinton with everything he has on her. We are finally at the stage of the election where we are about to watch “means justify the ends” in real time and on all of our media devices.

We are moments away from Election Day. We have two candidates, both in the autumns of their lives – taking their only and last chance at the American presidency. How you will vote America? Who is the better of two spectacles?  Personally, my decision would not be on the candidates per se – but also factor in the people who will govern this country serving that next President.  The starring role cannot have a stage without a cast and crew.  Do your homework, America.

Research well what the VPs stand for too and who will be the people in the president’s cabinet? Considering the age of Hillary and Trump, both with their health issues, America may be stuck with the next man in line.  Keep your eyes on him, and maybe the candidates should too.

 

 

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About the author

Ksenija Pavlovic

Ksenija Pavlovic

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent.

Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department at Yale University, Lead Instructor in International Affairs and Security and Politics Law and Economics programs at Yale Global Scholars, Head Writing Fellow at the Yale Graduate Writing Center, Fellow of the “Research and Travel Award in Grand Strategy” from International Security Studies (ISS) at Yale University, Fellow of the Roger Hertog Global Strategy Initiative in Religious Violence at Columbia University, a Doctoral candidate in Political Conflict and Peace Building Processes at Complutense University in Madrid, Fellow of the OSI Global Supplementary Grant Program, and a Visiting Doctoral Fellow at the Juan March Institute. She holds an M.Sc. in European Politics from the London School of Economics, an M.A. in American Politics, and a B.A. in Journalism and Communication from the University of Belgrade. She speaks English, Serbian, Croatian, and Spanish.

Pavlovic has interviewed exclusively pivotal figures including Arianna Huffington, Sir Richard Branson, President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim, Karlie Kloss, filmmaker and founder of the Webby awards Tiffany Shlain, film director Lars von Trier, actors Adam Brody, Monica Bellucci, fashion designers Adolfo Dominguez, Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan, publisher and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes; the world No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic; novelist Martin Amis, as well as big names in the governmental arena such as the former President of Serbia Boris Tadic, the leading members of the first democratic Serbian government and Milorad Dodik, President of the Serbian entity of BIH. Moreover, Ms. Pavlovic has exclusively covered the Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, London Film Festival, Madrid Fashion Week, The Madrid Open, and a range of other international benefit and political events.

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