Will Mike Pence Lead the GOP Field in 2020?

Mike Pence seems to have won a lot more than Tuesday night’s debate. Judging the media’s reaction, he seems to have won the 2020 primary already. His cool and collected demeanor against an obnoxious Tim Kaine came off surprisingly well, even if he did nothing to really defend or distance himself from the candidate he is running with. Pence’s temperament is something of a breath of fresh air in this election.

However, is it premature to call him for 2020? I have no doubt he’ll try to run, and Tuesday’s debate was an audition for him, and he treated it as such. But, what strikes me is that the media is so quick to run him as The Candidate for 2020. There are a lot of folks who can run against him and likely beat him.

Recall that, had he run this year, he would have fallen to Trump just like all the rest. There isn’t anything about him that stands out as stellar. In fact, his caving on religious freedom and the fact that he said yes to being someone who has to stand with Trump are two huge strikes against him as far as conservatives are concerned. Further, if you use the “stood with Trump” thing as a disqualifier, almost all of the candidates from this year, including two of the biggest stars the conservative movement had in Cruz and Rubio, are also out.

Do I think Cruz and Rubio won’t run in 2020? I have no idea, to be honest. Cruz apparently felt weak enough in his Senate reelection bid to endorse Trump and make phone calls for the Republican Party. Rubio looks as though he’s going to win reelection, but what are his places for the future? No clue.

So… who is left to try to lead the Republican Party in four years?

I don’t give a whole lot of faith to the idea that either Trump or Clinton could be a two-term president. They are the oldest candidates we’ve ever had, and Trump has too many post-campaign business ventures to con people with while Hillary does have some health issues. The office of the presidency is incredibly taxing on a young person. How do you think it would affect these two?

So, in 2020, both parties are going to have to find fresh, young faces. For the GOP, you’re looking at folks like Ben Sasse and Nikki Haley. There is the possibility that Mike Lee could make a run, but I hope he stays in the Senate (I hope the same for Sasse, to be honest) simply because we have too few good men left there. The beautiful thing about media bias, however, is that it pushes people they don’t like to the forefront to tear them down. As a result, our fresh, young faces get more airtime than the Democratic Party’s. So, for this, we can be grateful.

2020 is very much a muddled mess. There is absolutely no reason for the media, or anyone else, to speculate on who the frontrunner is for either party simply because there’s no clear picture of where we stand now, much less in four years.

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Are Texas public schools covering-up sex incidents between teachers and students?

Mark Lisheron, writing for the Franklin Center’s watchdog.org, reported: “For all of the talk of crisis, administrators in many Texas school districts resist firing a teacher accused of having an improper sexual relationship with a student. Instead, they opt not to renew the teacher’s contract, allowing the teacher to apply for jobs in other school […]
Source: Pratt on Texas

Gov. Nikki Haley: Woman in the Arena

There are always armchair quarterbacks. In sports, as in life, there are always those who sit safely in the stands and criticize those in the arena. Hurricane response has proven to be no different, as detractors even argue over the timing of evacuations. We saw this first hand this week in my state of South Carolina.

1989hugo0422Anyone who has lived in the Palmetto State for any significant period of time will tell you, the specter of Hurricane Hugo looms large here. Though I was a kindergarten student when Hugo hammered our coast in 1989, I still vividly remember the disaster. Then-Governor Campbell’s response, before and after the storm, set the gold-standard for gubernatorial leadership in crisis for years thereafter.

A decade after Hugo, in 1999, Governor Jim Hodges’ bungled response to the threat of Hurricane Floyd left citizens stranded on the side of the interstate, out of gas, and out of patience. His response, in contrast to Governor Campbell’s, became the textbook example of what not-to-do in public administration classes across the country. Thankfully, Floyd’s impact on SC was muted or there may have been significant loss of life and property in South Carolina.

Gov. Nikki Haley
Gov. Nikki Haley

In the face of Hurricane Matthew, a raging category 4 storm reminiscent of Hugo, Governor Nikki Haley has heeded the lessons of history and acted proactively. Instead of waiting until the storm is an imminent threat to our state’s coastline, the Governor quickly called together SC emergency management and called-up the National Guard. By starting days ahead of the storm’s projected landfall, Haley helped stave-off disaster if the storm significantly affects South Carolina.

The arm-chair quarterbacks have questioned her decisions since Tuesday, but forecasters are proving her right. Regardless if the storm skirts our state or hits it head-on, Haley’s response has been effective and prudent. Until a person holds the well-being of millions in their hands, they would do well to remember the words of Teddy Roosevelt who said “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood.”

Thank you, Governor Haley, for being in the arena in this time of crisis.

Cross-posted from JoshKimbrell.com.

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Yes, Sean Hannity Is A Tool For Trump But Megyn Kelly Went Easy On Him … As Did Others


There were some small shockwaves sent around the Fox News studios yesterday as Sean Hannity publicly called out his Fox News colleague Megyn Kelly over comments she made about Donald Trump. He basically insinuated Trump would seek out friendly territory with Sean or with Fox and Friends. Trump knows Hannity as well as the hosts of Fox and Friends are going to toss him cotton balls for questions so he never hesitates to appear on either show.

While Kelly’s criticism is certainly valid, it comes with a hint of hypocrisy.

Everybody is aware of Trump’s major feud with Kelly after the GOP debate where Kelly cornered Trump with comments he made previously about women. It was drawn out for some time when the two appeared to mend fences. A special was set up on Fox News with Kelly promising a hard hitting interview.

Nothing of the sort happened. 

It was all fluff. “You’re so powerful,” Kelly gushed at one point. The New Yorker said, “It was a useless exercise, except, perhaps, for those watching from one group: Republicans looking for a script for how to surrender to Donald Trump.”

Kelly was not alone in her semi-fawning for Donald Trump. Trump was a darling of almost every media outlet (save for ABC with George Stephanopolous who feels a moral obligation to shill for Hillary Clinton).

Joe Scarborough and the rest of the Morning Joe crew behave as though it is anti-Trump central on the set. Now. However, from the start of summer last year until May of this year when Trump made his final appearance, Scarborough had Trump on a number of times, lobbing easy questions his way or not pressing Trump when the questions did have some substance. Joe, along with co-host Mika Brzezinski held a town hall with Trump that might as well have been a Trump rally. It was the same event where Joe and Mika were caught on a hot mic talking friendly to Trump, solidifying the accusations the two had too much of a buddy relationship with the candidate.

Trump’s variety of appearances on Meet The Press with Chuck Todd were pretty much a waste of time. Nothing of substance was ever really asked, and Todd, despite showing favoritism towards Democrats in most cases, never really pressed Trump for answers to questions, allowing him to pontificate at length.

That Trump was regularly allowed to call into these shows by phone instead of appearing on camera was a testament to the kid glove treatment Trump was getting during the primaries. Until March of this year, when NBC ended the practice of Trump calling in by phone, only Chris Wallace of Fox News refused to allow it.

It was only when Trump secured the nomination that it all changed across the board. Interviews became tougher and the “First Woman President!” narrative seeped it’s way back into the discussion. Trump, knowing his days of easy questions and friendly banter was over, stopped going on the Sunday talk shows and other media outlets and reserved the bulk of his appearances on Fox News.

Essentially, all he has been doing is emulating Hillary Clinton. Prior to her securing the nomination and being left off the hook by FBI Director James Comey, Hillary Clinton avoided the press like the plague. There were no press conferences and gaggles were limited to a handful of questions before she’d just walk off leaving reporters shouting after her.

Don’t get me wrong. Sean Hannity is a full blown embarrassment. It’s one thing to be a biased commentator. People expect that. Hannity has created his own personal Pravda for Donald Trump.

That said, the mainstream media had better be careful with the stones they’re throwing. They reside in houses of glass.


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Hurricane Matthew Update: Still a Monster, Still Headed Straight for Jacksonville, FL (VIDEOS)

If you’re up late with the storm, you might need a few updates.

The National Weather Service has downgraded Matthew from a Category 4 to 3. The storm also pushed slightly east, farther out to sea, than projected. Some parts of Florida will have lessened impact, but this is by no means a reprieve. It still has sustained winds of 120 mph, with higher gusts, and the storm surge will likely prove devastating. Record waves are already being recorded, and there are still a few hours before the worst of the storm actually hits.

The difference in storm categories:

The storm is bearing down hard on Jacksonville, Florida, where according to The Weather Channel, the “eyewall may deliver the strongest, most destructive winds anyone in parts of the northeast and east-central Florida coast has seen in their lifetime.”

In Melbourne, Florida, all emergency services have been suspended. Brevard County has suspended all emergency services as well. To quote CNN, those who have not evacuated were told “you’re on your own.” They have been under sustained tropical storm force winds for hours.

The footage here shows what it’s like right now, with the storm still at sea. The Brevard County Emergency Management office rep explains the situation.

All sorts of services are breaking down or being shut down. Sewer and water have been suspended. Trees and power lines are down. Transformers are blowing across the state, leaving tens, up to hundreds of thousands without power. You can see some of them going in this periscope report from Cape Canaveral, which is still ahead of the storm.



A 17-foot wave was recorded off the coast of Cape Canaveral, with the storm still 80 miles to the south.


At 2:45 in the morning, forecasters are still predicting that damage in northern Florida, southern Georgia, and even South Carolina, could be the most devastating storm damage in a century, with power outages possibly lasting several weeks.

CNN reports that as many as 300,000 customers are without power at this time. Hopefully those are mostly empty houses that people evacuated during the day Thursday.

Here is the latest Weather Channel map of warnings:

The devastation in Haiti is shocking and warrants a separate article. Read more about it here.

We will add another update below some time between 4 and 5 a.m. One thing to think about: there is a dearth of video and photos from Florida’s hardest hit areas tonight. Evacuations yes, but also power outages and service interruptions. The eerie quiet of a disaster you can’t watch live on social media is a new part of our lives, but disquieting nonetheless.

To all members of our RedState community, all our readers, and everyone else in the path of this beast, we’re praying for you, and we hope to see you tomorrow. Check in with us in the comments.

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HE’S READY: Donald Trump Is Not Practicing for Sunday’s Debate

If Republicans were hoping for Donald Trump to be well-rehearsed and ready to go for Sunday night’s debate, they must be pouring a couple extra drinks right now. Trump scheduled a town hall event in New Hampshire, and then proceeded to not treat it like a town hall event at all.

Trump had other plans. “They were saying this is practice for Sunday,” he told the crowd in speech before the so-called town-hall. “This isn’t practice. This has nothing to do with Sunday.”

He wasn’t wrong.

The format was nothing like what Trump will face in St Louis, when half the questions will be posed by uncommitted voters, and the candidates will have two minutes to respond to each question as Martha Raddatz of ABC and Anderson Cooper of CNN serve as moderators.

On Thursday night, Howie Carr, a conservative radio host and Trump booster, played the role of moderator, and the crowd was hand-picked by his campaign. The audience didn’t even ask Trump their questions. Carr did so on their behalf. Before the event, Carr had said Trump would take 20 questions. He stayed for about a dozen.

And while Sunday’s debate will stretch for 90 minutes without a bathroom break, Trump bolted from his town hall in Sandown after barely more than one-third of that time.

It gets even better from there. The unfocused candidate wasn’t able to stay on message even under these tightly controlled circumstances. He was off script (or off his meds) the entire keystone 30 minutes.

Trump’s campaign did place a two-minute countdown clock in front of their candidate on Thursday. He repeatedly blew past that time limit anyway.

“I said forget debate prep. I mean, give me a break,” Trump said at one point. “Do you really think that Hillary Clinton is debate-prepping for three or four days. Hillary Clinton is resting, okay?”

Yet even without the duress of an opponent, independent moderators and anything but softball questions from supporters, Trump struggled to drive any type of cohesive message, either about himself as a change agent or Clinton’s shortcomings.

Instead, he whacked at CNN’s John King, CNBC’s John Harwood, polling analyst Nate Silver and Republican Sen. Mark Kirk. He digressed about how Hispanics in Nevada would rather be called Latinos. He kept complaining about his microphone at the last debate.

Seriously. That sounds like a child rehearsing for a mandatory school play.

My only regret is that Amazon doesn’t deliver freshly-popped popcorn by drone (Dear Amazon, I will sell you this idea). Trump’s performance was an absolute trainwreck in the first debate, and you’re telling me he learned nothing from that experience? Was he tired of winning news cycles?

I have no idea what he’s got in store for the people watching, or the people selected to ask the questions. What I do know is that it won’t be easy for him. There will be minority questioners asking about his past statements. There will be women who are offended by him. And he is not going to respond well. The real October Surprise here is if he somehow manages to win, which might only be possible at this point if Hillary coughs herself into cardiac arrest.

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