Trump running mate announcement should happen before the convention

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Friday July 15th, 2016

We think.

Maybe I'm alone in thinking this, but I'm not sure why the Nice terrorist attack necessitated a delay in Trump's running mate announcement. Yes, it was a horrific event. Yes, the people affected by it deserve a certain degree of decorum and respect in its aftermath.

And yes, it's dominating the news cycle at the moment.

But all life does not stop when a horrific event happens, and at the rate we're getting them these days, we'd never be able to talk about anything but terrorist attacks if we hued to a rule that every terrorist attack must stop all other news. If Mr. Trump was asking my opinion, I would have told him to go ahead with the announcement this morning and emphasize - without overemphasizing - why his choice is all the more important in light of the dangers we're facing in the world today.

Alas, Mr. Trump is not asking my opinion:

Trump himself told Fox News on Thursday night he had not made a "final, final decision" on a running mate. He heaped praise on Pence and his other two finalists, former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

The New York businessman said he postponed his announcement out of respect for the victims in Nice, France, where an attacker in a heavy truck drove into crowds celebrating Bastille Day, killing at least 84 people and injuring scores more in what President Francois Hollande called a terrorist act.

This does lead me to wonder: Were the reports yesterday about Mike Pence being the choice accurate?

We ran with it just like everyone else, but no one ever really cited an authoritative source who could demonstrate real knowledge that Pence was the choice, or that the choice had been made at all. The usual media process of "confirming" this stuff is a hodgepodge. They talk to people "off the record" and not for attribution. They check around and see what others have heard. Then they decide if there's enough smoke that they've got the opportunity to be the first and drive massive clicks to their web sites.

It wasn't a political story, but I remember very clearly and with great joy the egg on the faces of Detroit sportswriters last fall when several of them "reported" that the Detroit Tigers had decided to fire manager Brad Ausmus - all based, of course, on unnamed sources. A few claimed to have "confirmed" this and all the rest of the mindless sheep ran with it as fact, while Ausmus just kept managing games night after night.

If you check the Tigers-Royals game tonight, you might notice that guy calling the shots in the Tiger dugout is none other than Brad Ausmus. The story was Bolshevik, always and entirely from the word go. Whoever the "source" was that talked to gullible sports anchor Bernie Smilovitz had no idea what he was talking about. The decision maker was general manager Al Avila, who never had any intention of firing Ausmus. But no one ever talked to him.

The Detroit sports media are complete morons. I'm stunned that they remember to breathe, they're so stupid.

So it's possible that the media's "confirmation" of the Pence story is something like that. Maybe Trump really hadn't made a final decision when he went on Fox last night. Maybe he still hasn't, and he'd rather take the time to get the decision right than be enslaved to an arbitrary deadline that can be pushed back if that's the right thing to do.

Frankly, it makes a lot more sense than delaying an announcement you're completely prepared to make because of a news event in France. I hate to think terrorists have that much power over the decisions we make on the domestic front.

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