Politics November 21, 2016: Trump takes on Hamilton on Twitter on disrespecting the vice president and why it matters

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Trump takes on Hamilton on Twitter on disrespecting the vice president and why it matters

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

President-elect Donald Trump has done a first in history directly engage in a Twitter exchange and rant that was so common during his presidential campaign. Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning, Nov. 19, 2016, after Vice President-elect Mike Pence went to see the Broadway musical Hamilton at Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City the prior night, and he was met with boos. Hamilton Actor Brandon Victor Dixon, “who plays Vice President Aaron Burr,” acknowledged Pence’s presence at the end of the show. Dixon made a comment, a politically charged statement that Trump considered disrespectful; the president-elect demanded that the cast apologizes to Pence.

Pence attended the show “with his daughter, Charlotte, as well as his nieces and nephew” and he was “seated in the center orchestra section.” The video shows Pence entrance was met with loud boos and some cheers. Dixon said to Pence at the end of the show, “We hope you will hear us out.” Pence was leaving as Dixon continued his statement, but stayed in the hallway to hear it.

Later Hamilton’s official Twitter account HamiltonMusical published the entire statement, saying, “Tonight, VP-Elect Mike Pence attended #HamiltonBway. After the show, @BrandonVDixon delivered the following statement on behalf of the show. pic.twitter.com/Jsg9Q1pMZs

The following is Dixon’s complete statement:
“I see you walking out but I hope you will hear us. Nothing to boo here, ladies and gentlemen, there’s nothing to boo here … We’re all sharing a story of love. We welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at ‘Hamilton: An American Musical’ — we really do.We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values, and work on behalf of all of us. We truly thank you for sharing this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds, and orientations.”

Trump saw the disrespect took to Twitter, his favorite platform to converse with his supporters and the public. On Saturday morning, Trump wrote, “The Theater must always be a safe and special place. The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!” Dixon responded, writing on Twitter, “@realDonaldTrump conversation is not harassment sir. And I appreciate @mike_pence for stopping to listen.” ‘Hamilton’ creator Lin-Manuel Miranda backed up Dixon and tweeted the President-elect, “Proud of @HamiltonMusical. Proud of @BrandonVDixon, for leading with love. And proud to remind you that ALL are welcome at the theater.”

Still, Trump found their reaction and words unbecoming to a vice-president, and continued commenting on Twitter, writing early morning, Sunday, Nov. 20, “The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior. Pence appeared later on Sunday morning on Fox News Sunday where he dismissed the events at the musical. Pence told his interviewers, “I really enjoyed watching Hamilton. It was a real joy to be there. I heard a few boos. I wasn’t offended by what was said.”

Although critics have a problem with Trump’s Twitter comments taking on a subject until he is proven right, in this instance he is correct. Even is Pence wants to dismiss this issue, the problem is greater than Trump or Pence, it is about respect for the office of the presidency and vice-presidency. Even if half of Americans are disappointed about the election outcome, afterward they have to respect the offices and the traditions that are 227 years old. Instead, they protest, harass, insult and even threaten on social media engaging in behavior far worse than anything Trump might have espoused on the campaign trail.

Entertainers have a platform, and they are overly political to the point that is insulting to those who do not agree with them, and they dismiss Trump because like them him has a background in the same industry, but used the celebrity to climb and become President. As the first citizen president, Trump’s exchanges on Twitter give the American public the unprecedented access to a president. Instead of constructively using the platform and the president-elect’s ears in a positive way, there is still too much disrespect. The country needs to deal with it whether they like it or not, Trump was elected president according to the Constitution with the support of a majority of the country’s states, they would expect the same if their candidate would have won.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

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Politics November 13, 2016: Pence takes over from Christie as head of Trump transition team amid in- fighting

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Pence takes over from Christie as head of Trump transition team amid in- fighting

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: Wikimedia Commons

From the moment, Donald Trump was elected president on early Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, all attention turned to presidential transition. On Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, President-Elect Trump tapped his running-mate Vice-President-Elect Mike Pence to run his transition team. Although the focus is now on transition since May, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie led the transition plans, but with reports of conflict between Trump’s team, the president-elect looked to someone who unifies the most important first task of the new administration. The transition team selects a cabinet and fills key positions in the White House while setting policy priorities to get the ball rolling after inauguration day.

Trump first met with his transition team on Wednesday, Nov. 9, but after just two days and a trip to Washington meeting with President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Trump decided to change course. The president-elect replaced Christie with Pence while reducing Christie to one of the Vice Chairmen on the transition team.

Other vice chairmen on the transition team include close Trump campaign aides and surrogates, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Dr. Ben Carson and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. After the announcement, Christie issued a statement, “I am proud to have run the pre-election phase of the transition team along with a thoroughly professional and dedicated team of people.”

The decision to place Pence in that position shows that the president-elect plans to give his Vice President more influence and importance, harkening back to the influence of former President George W. Bush’s VP Dick Cheney had in the White House. Pence has experience on Capitol Hill, and is respected by both parties and has connections with leadership on either side of the aisle. Trump is already tapping into that influence with Pence joining him in meetings with GOP Congressional leadership on Thursday, and calling the Democratic leadership.

Trump issued a statement on Friday announcing his entire transition team. Trump said, “Together this outstanding group of advisors, led by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, will build on the initial work done under the leadership of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to help prepare a transformative government ready to lead from day one.” Continuing the President-elect explained, “The mission of our team will be clear: put together the most highly qualified group of successful leaders who will be able to implement our change agenda in Washington. Together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding this nation — specifically jobs, security and opportunity.”

The transition team will include a 16-member executive committee that includes Trump’s children, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. The following is the complete list of Trump’s revised transition team:

Pennsylvania Congressman Lou Barletta
Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
New York Congressman Chris Collins
Jared Kushner
Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino
Rebekah Mercer
Steven Mnuchin
Congressman Devin Nunes
Anthony Scaramucci
Peter Thiel
Donald Trump Jr.
Eric Trump
Ivanka Trump
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
Trump Campaign CEO Stephen K. Bannon

Trump also announced the Presidential Transition Team’s Staff Leadership lineup:

Former Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway, Senior Advisor
Former deputy campaign manager David Bossie, Deputy Executive Director
Stephen Miller, National Policy Director
Jason Miller, Communications Director
Hope Hicks, National Press Secretary
Dan Scavino, Director of Social Media
Don McGahn, General Counsel
Republican National Committee chief-of-staff Katie Walsh, Senior Advisor

Trump has been busy meeting with his transition staff and prospective cabinet members at his Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in Manhattan. On Friday alone according to Politico, Trump met with “former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, Kushner, Anthony Scaramucci, Rudy Giuliani, digital director Brad Parscale, senior communications adviser Jason Miller, senior adviser Stephen Miller and campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks.”

Politico is also reporting that internal conflicts in the Trump camp led to Christie’s ouster, conflicts between Christie’s aides, Trump loyalists, and GOP establishment. Particularly Corey Lewandowski and RNC chairman Reince Priebus, which has been going on since the campaign, although Lewandowski denies there are any conflicts. Even after Lewandowski was fired as campaign manager, he continued advising Trump throughout the campaign. Now, Lewandowski is in the running for RNC Chair in Priebus gets tapped in the White House, a sure sign pointing to an elevated post, he resigned as a contributor to CNN on Friday.

There is also conflicts between Trump New York advisors and his Washington transition team players because very little attention was being paid towards the transition until after the election. There is a third faction on the team with allegiances to Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions. Sessions is responsible for “congressional outreach and immigration policy.”

Conservatives on the team viewed Christie and his aides “as big-business-backing centrists who were insufficiently conservative on cultural issues.” Christie was also looking to reward Republicans who refused to support Trump during the campaign rather than punish them. Kushner had problems with Christie and his top deputy, Rich Bagger.

Kushner was key in replacing Christie had prejudices against the New Jersey governor, who was the district attorney that convicted his father ten- years ago. Kushner has been a close advisor to his father-in-law and came with him to the White House Thursday, where he spoke with Obama Chief-of-Staff Denis McDonough.

The compromise solution was elevating conservative Pence and his aides, as Bush did with Cheney in 2000. Still, one operative told Politico, “This is like the Oklahoma landgrab. It’s gonna get vicious the next 70 days as people try to place their people where they want them. And Christie’s people ain’t the same as [Trump campaign CEO Steve] Bannon’s people ain’t the same as Sessions’ people.”

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 9, 2016: Donald Trump shocks the world elected 45th president in surprise victory

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Donald Trump shocks the world elected 45th president in surprise victory

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: ABC News

As the Republican nominee Donald Trump always said that the election was about his supporters the voters and making America great again, not celebrity surrogates or even party establishment support and he was right. On Tuesday evening election night, Nov. 8, 2016, Trump shocked the nation and world by winning the election against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and becoming the nation’s 45th president. Trump started off the night with a bang; he led and never looked back by the 2:30 a.m. the Associated Press called the election for Trump shocking pundits and pollsters and shaking the financial markets in what is being called the biggest upset in American history.

Trump began his improbable campaign on June 16, 2015, with many jeers but he soon took off in the polls as the Republican candidate to beat, but none in a field of 16 could surpass him. The Clinton campaign wanted Trump as their opponent, the Clinton machine saw the freewheeling businessman as the perfect contrast to the controlled former Secretary of State, while the polls kept repeating Clinton would win if Trump were the nominee. Clinton underestimated, she was dealing not just a man or another opponent but a force of nature larger than life to be reckoned with as the campaign descended into one of the nastiness and uncivilized in American history or at least modern history.

The polls who were Trump’s friend in the primary became his enemy in the general election as every move, word or missteps gained points for as he called it the media’s “angel” Clinton. Throughout the intense fall campaign period, Clinton was pundits, pollsters and predictors favorite to win the presidency. When Trump fell, with the discovery of a 2005, lewd “lockerroom” talk tape, Clinton soared, her numbers skyrocketed to the double digits the question became how big her margin of victory would be. Even an October Surprise in the form a resurrected FBI investigation into Clinton’s private email server could not stop Clinton, as she could do no wrong and Trump no right.

Trump defied the odds and changed the whole presidential campaign game, he propelled himself to the Republican nomination, with his own funding and used the news media as his personal ad campaign ad, while the public flocked to his populist message and simple philosophy of making America great again. In the general election, the media turned on him, as did the polls, but he blended 19th-century campaign methods with 21st-century technology to create a winning formula, mixing raucous mass rallies and stump speeches with social media and Twitter outreach.

Trump was the consummate political outsider, whose campaign resembled 1896 Democrat William Jennings Bryan’s Cross of Gold, mixed with the public fear of his temperament like 1900 vice presidential candidate turned President Republican Theodore Roosevelt that madman with only one life between White House and again as renegade Bull Moose of 1912. In the end, however, Trump was Harry Truman in 1948, the enemy of the establishment and press set to lose so much so that newspapers printed, “Dewey Defeats Truman” when Truman in the end was the victor, not his Republican opponent Thomas E. Dewey.

Trump was a one-man band that did alone and never relented when the Republican Party insiders abandoned ship refusing or going back on their endorsement just because he was not one of them. The GOP nominee fought back and remained unfazed as he words were twisted, overanalyzed, and he was portrayed as a sexist, racist and the end of the country as we know it. Republicans, Democrats, his opponent and the news media demonized him as he shocked them with resoluteness proclaiming that in the end he and his campaign’s movement of supporters Clinton called “deplorable” would be triumphant on Election Day.

On Tuesday evening, Trump proved them all wrong he not only reinvented the campaigning game, but the electoral map is flipping key battleground state after state red from blue. Before the Republicans had the Sunbelt and then the bible belt, now they have the rust belt. Trump won Democratic bastions of Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, even turning Michigan red. The blue-collar working class revolted from the Democrats who abandoned them in droves for their savior the populist Republican promising to make right the wounded economy that never actually recovered.

Trump broke through Clinton’s firewall, proving there was a hidden Trump vote and he became almost the one correctly predicting, he would become the next president. Trump shocked almost every pollsters, pundit, reporter, analyst and academic that predicted and analyzed the campaign and election. They all wanted a Clinton victory so much their judgment clouded, and almost everyone was left with embarrassing egg on their faces from the excessive praise and confidence in Clinton, proving the adage one should never presume.

Trump showed the world presumption is a folly and in a democracy, the will of the people matters the most and the vote is the most powerful force. The candidate they most feared spent his first moments in the spotlight as president-elect with gracious words for his opponent, and overtures that he wants to be the nation’s uniter-in-chief rather the divider his opponents feared he would be.

President-elect Trump declared in his victory speech, “Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division, have to get together, to all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.” The president-elect is doing his part now the country has to come forward to meet him halfway. Instead of being, poor losers American citizens have to heal their partisan wounds and come together as the divided nation has done before in history to truly restore, reach its potential and make the country great again.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert inpresidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics August 23, 2016: Obama finally tours flood-ravaged Louisiana over a week too late

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Court orders State Dept to release 15,000 FBI newly discovered Clinton emails

By Bonnie K. Goodman

US President Barack Obama speaks after touring a flood-affected area in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on August 23, 2016. / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama speaks after touring a flood-affected area in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on August 23, 2016. / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Over a week after heavy rainstorms flooded Louisiana, President Barack Obama finally toured the most damaged areas. On Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, Obama visited Baton Rouge, Louisiana, saying his tour “is not a photo-op.” Obama waited until he finished his two-week vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts to tour the damage after much criticism locally in Louisiana and by Republicans particularly GOP nominee Donald Trump, who toured Louisiana last Friday, Aug. 20 with his vice presidential running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

President Obama arrived in Louisiana at “11:45 a.m. Central time,” where he was met by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, his wife, Donna, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, and Sen. David Vitter, at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. He first visited Castle Place neighborhood, which had been affected badly by the floods. There Obama met and spoke with residents, rescuers and officials. The flooding caused 13 deaths, 106,000 households “registered for assistance from Federal Emergency Management Agency,” and 60,000 homes were damaged. Afterward, the president met with the families of shooting victims Alton Sterling and the Baton Rouge Police Department.

After his tour, President Obama delivered some remarks. The president expressed, “I come here first and foremost to say that the prayers of the entire nation are with everybody who lost loved ones. We are heartbroken by the loss of life. There are also still people who are desperately trying to track down friends and family we are going to keep on helping them every way that we can.”

Continuing Obama said, “Sometimes when these kinds of things happen it can seem too much to bear but what I want the people of Louisiana to know is that you’re not alone on this. Even after the TV cameras leave. The whole country is going to continue to support you and help you until we get folks back in their homes and lives are rebuilt.”
President Obama also praised FEMA’s response, which they already spent $127 million on the tragedy. Obama said FEMA’s help is not enough, “Now, federal assistance alone won’t be enough to make people’s lives whole again so I’m asking every American to do what you can to help get families and local businesses back on their feet.”

The president also jabbed Trump for criticizing him because he did not cut his vacation short to tour the damage earlier. Obama expressed, “So let me just remind folks: sometimes once the floodwaters pass, people’s attention spans pass. This is not a one-off. This is not a photo-op issue. This is how do you make sure that a month from now, three months from now, six months from now people still are getting the help that they need.”

Trump toured the damage with his running mate Mike Pence on Friday, where the GOP nominee donated an 18-wheeler of supplies. Trump was still criticizing the president this past weekend after the White House announced the president’s Tuesday visit. Trump told Fox News, “Tuesday’s too late. Hop into the plane and go down and go to Louisiana and see what’s going on, because it’s a mess.”

The president has been widely criticized for not cutting his vacation short to visit the worst flooding in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Instead, Obama was golfing and fundraising for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who also did not visit Louisiana’s flooding victims. Both had been critical of then President George W. Bush when he flew over and did stop during Hurricane Katrina, and took three days to visit the devastation.

Obama took over a week, but the White House deflected the criticism by pointing out the president declared an emergency on Aug. 14, when aid kicked in and Obama received briefings in the interim. The White House was also defensive attacking Trump for saying the same thing Obama did back in 2007 when he was a Democratic candidate running for president. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One the “President is used to people trying to score political points even in situations where they shouldn’t.”

Clinton, who fiercely attacked Bush when she was a New York Senator running for the Democratic nomination in 2007, this time went after Trump for actually visiting the victims in a timely manner. Clinton issued a statement saying, “This month’s floods in Louisiana are a crisis that demand a national response. I am committed to visiting communities affected by these floods, at a time when the presence of a political campaign will not disrupt the response, to discuss how we can and will rebuild toge

Politics August 20, 2016: Trump and Pence tour flooded Louisiana; Obama finally will visit on Tuesday

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Trump and Pence tour flooded Louisiana; Obama finally will visit on Tuesday

By Bonnie K. Goodman

DIMONDALE, MI - AUGUST 19: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally August 19, 2016 in Dimondale, Michigan.  Earlier in the day, Trump toured flood-ravaged Louisiana. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

DIMONDALE, MI – AUGUST 19: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally August 19, 2016 in Dimondale, Michigan. Earlier in the day, Trump toured flood-ravaged Louisiana. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Republican nominee Donald Trump became the first major leader to visit flood-ravaged Louisiana, beating out President Barack Obama and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump visited Baton Rouge along with his vice presidential running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence toured the damage on Friday, Aug. 19, 2016. Trump specifically visited Greenwell Springs in East Baton Rouge, St. Amant in Ascension Parish, and some areas of Lafayette.

A Louisiana Republican leadership delegation met Trump at the airport. The delegation included “Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, Attorney General Jeff Landry, Congressman Garret Graves, Congressman Steve Scalise, and Eric Skrmetta, a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission and co-chair of Trump’s campaign in Louisiana.” Pence arrived before Trump with his wife Karen and daughter Charlotte and received an early briefing.

Trump and Pence’s visit took them to the areas where the floodwaters are now receding, and the real damage is visible. Trump visited Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, where he met with
“Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, and Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.”

There Trump and Perkins criticized vacationing President Obama for not coming to the state. Trump said, “The president says he doesn’t want to go; he is trying to get out of a golf game.” Meanwhile, Perkins commented, “I heard he wants to stay under par while we are under water.” Then Trump joked, “He will never be under par.”

The GOP ticket commenced their tour by meeting with “local officials, volunteers and the National Guard and touring the flood damage.” The Republican ticket met also with “Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization.” They visited one of the organizations’ mobile kitchens, and where they were “cheered by the crowds.”

Trump also donated an 18-wheeler full of supplies, and he and Pence helped unload them. Trump said at that time to reporters, “I’ve had a great history with Louisiana. They need a lot of help. What’s happened here is incredible. Nobody understands how bad it is. It’s really incredible. So, I’m just here to help.” Liberals later criticized because the supplies included many toys.

Pence also commented to the media, saying, “These volunteers are incredibly inspiring but the American people need to know that Louisiana needs help. Volunteers, support for the Red Cross, support to the charities like Samaritan’s Purse that are coming along side these vulnerable families and we’re just here to help tell that story and very inspired by it.”

Louisiana’s Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ issued a statement about Trump’s visit that was semi-critical. Edwards office said, “Gov. Edwards wasn’t informed of the Trump campaign’s visit to the state or the schedule. We welcome them to Louisiana, but not for a photo-op. Instead, we hope they’ll consider volunteering or making a sizable donation to the LA Flood Relief Fund to help the victims of this storm.”

Obama has been vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts and been spending most of his time golfing, except a fundraiser for Clinton. The president is facing criticism for avoiding visit Louisiana in the past week. The flooding has caused 13 deaths, while thousands have been dislocated forced to leave their homes because of the flooding, with many of these homes damaged, it has been the worst devastation Louisiana has seen in years.

The White House later announced on Friday, that Obama would be touring the damage in Louisiana on Tuesday, Aug. 23. The White House’s statement announcing the visit said the President is “eager to get a first-hand look at the impact of the devastating floods and hear from more officials about the response, including how the federal government can assist and tell the people of Louisiana that the American people will be with them as they rebuild their community and come back stronger than ever.”

Neither has Clinton visited the region. Instead, she received a briefing from Gov. Bell. Clinton posted a message after on Facebook, writing, “My heart breaks for Louisiana, and right now, the relief effort can’t afford any distractions. The very best way this team can help is to make sure Louisianans have the resources they need,” she wrote in the post. “These are our friends, our family members, our community –, and they’re counting on us to reach out with open arms right now.”

Politics July 15, 2016: Trump announces that Mike Pence is his pick for vice presidential running mate

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Trump announces that Mike Pence is his pick for vice presidential running mate

By Bonnie K. Goodman

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 16:  Donald Trump introduces Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as Vice Presidential running mate at a press conference at the Hilton Hotel on July 16, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Steve Sands/WireImage)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 16: Donald Trump introduces Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as Vice Presidential running mate at a press conference at the Hilton Hotel on July 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Sands/WireImage)

The worst kept secret in the 2016 presidential campaign is no longer a secret. On Friday morning, July 15, 2016, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump announced via Twitter that he chose Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate. Trump was supposed to make the formal announcement at a press conference in New York Friday morning. After the terror attacks in Nice, France on Bastille Day that killed over 80 people, Trump postponed the formal declaration until Saturday morning same time and place, 11 a.m. Trump Tower, New York City.

On Friday morning, Trump made his decision official ending a day of rampant speculation in the news media about his choice of running mate. The GOP nominee wrote, “I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate. News conference tomorrow at 11:00 A.M.”

On Thursday afternoon, July 14, the news media was already announcing that Trump chose the Indiana Governor. Pence emerged as the frontrunner from a pool of four candidates, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Alabama Rep. Jeff Sessions.

CNN reported late Thursday afternoon; that Trump had phone Pence offering him the post and Pence agreed. Later Pence was seen arriving in New Jersey with a police detail accompanying him. Even the Indianapolis Star reported that Pence decided to be Trump’s running mate forgoing running for re-election as Indiana’s Governor, withdrawing from that race, as the law does not permit him to do both.

Trump’s campaign, however, kept denying that the nominee chose Pence. Trump added fuel with his Fox News interview with Greta Van Susteren Thursday evening. Trump said, “I haven’t made my final, final decision. I mean, I’ve got three people that are fantastic. I think Newt (Gingrich) is a fantastic person. I think Chris Christie is a fantastic person, been a friend of mine for 15 years. Just a fantastic person. And there’s Mike, and Mike has done a great job as governor of Indiana. You look at the numbers, and it’s been great — he’s done really a fantastic job. But I haven’t made a final, final decision.”

With Pence, Trump pleases the GOP establishment, who has been reticent about the nominee and reluctant to support him. Trump is hoping to unify the party with his VP choice, a social and fiscal conservative, with experience in the House of Representatives and executive experience governing Indiana for one term. Pence has the support of the Tea Party, as well as influential donors including the Koch brother, who Trump needs in the general election, and have not yet supported his nomination.

Although Pence differed with Trump on policy during the primary opposing his Muslim ban and endorsing rival Texas Senator Ted Cruz before Indiana’s May primary, Trump won him over, with Pence praising him and vowing to help the nominee will the election in November. Pence emerged as the frontrunner this week after a rally on Tuesday, July 12, in Indiana, where the governor introduced Trump and fiercely criticized presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton declaring she “must never become president of the United States.”

Recently, Pence praised Trump to reporters, telling them, “I think he is going to be a great president. I think he is someone who has connected with everyday Americans like no one since Ronald Reagan. I think he has spoken into the frustration and the longings of the American people as no one since the 40th president, and I think you’re going to continue to see him do that.” Trump and Pence will be formally nominated as the party’s official nominees at next week’s Republican National Convention.