The Indianapolis Star was out on a limb Thursday afternoon, by its lonesome in declaring outright that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is Donald Trump’s pick for a running mate.
In the process, it hopefully proved that all politics is local — even when the ramifications are distinctly national. Otherwise, it could have some egg on its face.
The heated competition to discern Donald Trump’s vice president seemingly climaxed with the Indianapolis outlet declaring, “Gov. Mike Pence is dropping his re-election bid in Indiana to become Donald Trump’s running mate.”
Of course, prior to any formal Trump announcement, that leaves the possibility the Star could prove spectacularly wrong. If so, it might need a clarification long enough to extend from Indianapolis to Gary. But there was also a coincidental reality that made the matter even more of a local story: Pence needs to formally declare by Friday whether he’s running for re-election as Indiana governor.
So there presumably is a rather large universe of local and state sources for the paper and website. The sourcing for its news story was distinctly vague but its conclusion unqualified.
“IndyStar has confirmed that Trump plans to announce Pence as his selection for vice president, ending a weeks-long vice presidential casting call during which Trump vetted a handful of high-profile Republicans.”
One could read it and, if so inclined, turn to MSNBC where Brian Williams was interviewing political analyst Nicolle Wallace underneath a rather large chyron that declared: “SOURCES: TRUMP HAS NOT YET MADE VP DECISION.”
A few minutes later, Donald Trump Jr. told MSNBC in an interview that the search was down to three people, meaning it wasn’t over.
But, at minimum, Pence was the betting choice. “Signs point to pence As Trump prepared to notify VP hopefuls,” declared Politico. “BREAKING NEWS: Sources say Indiana Gov. abandoning re-election bid, all but certain to be Trump’s VP pick,” said Fox News. “Indiana Gov. Mike Pence emerges as likely Trump running mate” was The Washington Post’s afternoon take.
As for The New York Times, it was also leaning the same way: “Donald Trump’s Campaign Signals He Will Pick Mike Pence as Running Mate.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated Pence’s deadline to declare his intent to run for re-election is Saturday. It is Friday. We apologize for the error. Thanks to Rob Burgess for bringing this to our attention.