Today presumed Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump announced Indiana Governor Michael Pence will join him on the campaign trail as his running mate. This means Pence will drop his bid for re-election as Indiana's governor, a position he's held since 2013.
By late Thursday news outlets had honed in on Pence, who also served in the House of Representatives from 2001-2013, as Trump's pick. But the presumptive Republican nominee abruptly postponed his announcement originally scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday, leaving the playing field wide open.
I'm betting that in the next 12 hours Trump throws out his list of VPs and surprises everyone.-- John Lilly (@johnolilly) July 15, 2016
When Trump gave the official word via Twitter Friday, some in the business community were pleased, considering Pence's track record of cutting taxes for businesses. "The tax cuts [Pence] signed into law in Indiana have improved the state's competitive position," says Raymond J. Keating, chief economist with the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council. "Pence would be a positive addition to the national debate."
As Indiana's governor, Pence approved legislation meant to gradually cut the state's corporate income tax from 6.5% in fiscal year 2016 to 4.9% by 2022, and eliminate personal property taxes for small businesses with less than $20,000 worth of equipment.
Of course, Pence wasn't chosen by Trump--who's been a highly improvisational and unorthodox candidate--based on tax policy.
"Pence may well be the best 'good cop' choice to balance [Trump's] 'bad cop' image," says Ari Ginsberg, professor of entrepreneurship and management at New York University's Stern School of Business. "Pence's elective experience and strong ties to the Republican base, especially conservatives, should shore up his support among holdouts who have been critical of Trump's temperamental nature and some of his liberal viewpoints."
But what does the business community think?
Perhaps due to election fatigue after a year of Trump and Clinton news or just a case of Summer Fridays, but in the first few hours after the announcement, Silicon Valley was oddly quiet. Pence's anti-LGBT stance did raise an eyebrow, especially considering Peter Thiel's support of a Trump ticket. Homebrew VC partner Hunter Walk, one of 145 Silicon Valley VIP's to sign an anti-Trump letter, questioned how the openly gay PayPal founder will feel about the Republican Party's new VP candidate.
So, are Thiel and Pence gonna sit down to talk about LGBT rights? Hunter Walk (@hunterwalk) July 15, 2016
Some, including Change The Ratio and TheLi.st founder Rachel Sklar, also took the opportunity to tweak Thiel, by recalled when in 2015 Governor Pence attempted to start a state-run, taxpayer-funded news outlet to release pre-written stories about his administration.
Remember when Mike Pence tried to start a gov't propaganda outlet? https://t.co/Rsws0evXg3 Watch out Peter Thiel, he's a media entrepreneur!-; Rachel Sklar (@rachelsklar) July 15, 2016
And the ever-observant Mark Cuban spotted a money-making opportunity in the announcement.