It should have been his moment, and his moment alone.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence accepted the 2016 Republican vice presidential nomination to a huge ovation. But he had to follow one of the most controversial convention speeches in modern history after Republican delegates booed Senator Ted Cruz off the stage after he refused to endorse Donald Trump during his speech.
Pence was the perfect tonic to calm the delegates down and restore civility after Cruz encouraged Republicans across the country to “vote your conscience” instead of offering a clear endorsement of his one-time opponent.
Pence is everything Trump is not. Experienced in politics, calm in demeanor and a lifelong conservative on issues from abortion, to opposing marriage equality to encouraging tougher penalties for adultery.
In his first nationally televised address, Pence went after Hillary Clinton calling her the “secretary of the status quo.” He repeatedly said Trump would “lead from strength.” The biggest applause line of the night is when he pointed out that President Obama will be leaving the White House six months from today.
He did not mention the remarks by Cruz, although he had endorsed him prior to the Indiana GOP primary.
Earlier in the day there were reports that Trump’s son had offered the running-mate job to Ohio Governor John Kasich. Trump said he never made the offer, although he did not say his son Donald, Jr. had not.
Pence accomplished everything a running mate is supposed to do in an acceptance speech. The eyes of the world will be on the convention Thursday night when Trump delivers his acceptance speech.