Trump’s bizarre Pence introduction defies explanation
It went from hearing the Stones’ ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ to a rambling 28-minutes of self-congratulation and then introducing Mike Pence as an afterthought. Ezra Klein writes:
What started as farce continued as farce. Trump emerged without Pence. He spoke, alone, at a podium adorned with Trump’s name, but not Pence’s. And then Trump proceeded to talk about himself for 28 minutes. There is no other way to say this than to say it: it was the single most bizarre, impulsive, narcissistic performance I have ever seen from a major politician…
I can tell you that he rambled, but that doesn’t do it justice. He spoke about Hillary Clinton, about himself, about his victories. He talked about crushing the Republican establishment in the primaries and talking to a buddy building plants in Mexico. He bragged about the beautiful hotel he is building in Washington, DC, and patted himself on the back for his foreign policy foresight over the years.
Every five minutes or so, he seemed to remember, just for a moment, like a man trying and failing to wake from a dream, that he was there to introduce Mike Pence, and so he would say something like, “now back to Mike Pence,” but then he would slip back again, and tell another anecdote about himself.
Even when he did mention Pence, he often managed to say exactly the wrong thing. “One of the big reasons I chose Mike is party unity, I have to be honest,” Trump admitted midway through his speech, at the moment another candidate would have said “I chose Mike because he’ll be a great president.” Trump then segued into a riff on how thoroughly he had humiliated the Republican establishment in state after state. Thus he managed to turn Pence from a peace offering into a head on a pike, a warning to all who might come after…
When Trump finally stuck to Pence, at the end of his lengthy speech, he seemed robotic, bored, restless. He recited Pence’s accomplishment like he was reading his Wikipedia page for the first time, inserting little snippets of meta-commentary and quick jabs as if to keep himself interested.
The final humiliation was yet to come: Trump introduced Pence and then immediately, unusually, walked off the stage, leaving Pence alone at the podium.