On Saturday morning, in the Hilton hotel in midtown Manhattan, The Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” reverberated in the hall, symbolically announcing the new union of Donald Trump and his veep pick, Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
After a whirlwind 48 hours in which the news of Pence’s pick leaked, and Trump reportedly waffled on the choice so much that he was making midnight calls on Thursday night to try to find an escape hatch, the two men—opposites in most qualitative respects—briefly shared the limelight behind a podium emblazoned only with Trump’s name.
“We are the law-and-order candidates,” Trump declared in a dizzying 30-minute address before Pence even made it to the stage. “And we’re the law-and-order party.”
As the Indiana governor looked on from the side of the stage, the presumptive Republican nominee devoted much of his address to bashing “Crooked Hillary” Clinton and weighing in on recent global conflicts, including the attempted military coup in Turkey on Friday.
"Great people, amazing people,” Trump said of the Turks, switching back and forth from prepared remarks to his usual riffing. “We wish them well. A lot of anguish last night but hopefully it'll all work out.”
A day after the Trump campaign scrapped the initial scheduled rollout for his vice presidential pick—which was ultimately unceremoniously announced on Twitter—they quickly pulled together an event at the same location where Ronald Reagan announced his 1980 presidential bid, with all the pomp and circumstance of a man meeting a mail-order spouse.
“Indiana Governor Mike Pence was my first choice,” Trump said despite the fact that he reportedly struggled to choose between an establishment-pleasing pick (pushed by campaign chairman Paul Manafort) and two men with whom he’s had better rapport: Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Much of Saturday’s speech, a rollout that was accompanied by a website redesign to include Pence’s face and a new logo—replacing a suggestive image that was mocked on social media on Friday—sounded like any other Trump address.
“Hillary Clinton is the embodiment of corruption,” Trump said before suggesting that “she got away with murder” for not being charged after an investigation into her use of a private email server. He dropped typically braggadocious lines like “I was the one that predicted it,” in reference to Brexit, before seemingly remembering that Pence was supposed to be the man of the hour.
“Back to Mike Pence,” he’d interject before beginning to discuss his success in the Republican primary again (“I dominated with evangelicals”). Trump conceded that one of the reasons Pence was selected was for “party unity” before adding “he looks really good.”
When he finally called Pence to the stage, the two men shared a brief handshake before Trump waltzed off and gave the governor the floor—choosing not to stand beside him for a visual representation of the Republican ticket.
Pence, with close-cropped white hair and a strong mandible, represented a striking divergence from Trump; a disciplined, conservative Republican who read from prepared remarks with designated moments for applause.
“I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican in that order,” Pence said to applause in the room. The Indiana governor’s address and policy positions—which include much more conservative opinions on LGBT rights and abortion—were intended to assuage on-the-fence Republicans who can’t fathom a former reality television star being the standard-bearer of their party.
He told the crowd that Trump had called him with the decision on Wednesday night, which runs counter to the narrative Trump himself presented to the media in various interviews on Thursday, during which time he proclaimed he hadn’t made his “final, final decision.”
“These are good people,” Pence said of Trump and his family. “And Trump will make a great president of the United States of America.”
The tenuous relationship of the two men has developed over the past two months since Pence made a less-than-enthusiastic endorsement of Senator Ted Cruz ahead of the Indiana primary (today, Trump said that endorsement was essentially one for him).
Their policy differences have played out on Trump’s favorite form of social media, with the Indiana governor tweeting his support of the Trans Pacific Partnership in 2014, something that the real estate mogul is adamantly against.
In December 2015, Pence tweeted: “Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional,” in response to an initial proposal from Trump that the United States place a temporary ban on Muslims coming to the country after the attack in San Bernardino.
But on Friday during his first interview as Trump’s vice presidential pick, Pence told Sean Hannity that he is “very supportive of Donald Trump's call to temporarily suspend immigration from countries where terrorist influence and impact represents a threat to the United States," a more recent iteration of the proposed ban.
As their official union got off to a bit of a clunky start, Trump’s family joined Pence onstage at the end of the event, giving the two men an opportunity for a rare side-by-side photo.
Roger Stone, a one-time adviser for Trump who showed up in a grey striped suit, was pleased with the results.
"It was strong. A winning ticket!" he texted The Daily Beast after the event.
Michael Caputo, an adviser who resigned from Trump's campaign last month in the wake of former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski's firing, echoed Stone's remarks.
"Pence's speech was solid, exceptionally well written and delivered expertly," Caputo told The Daily Beast. "I think he made perfectly clear what he can do for this ticket. His speech was a rousing call to arms for Republicans and a full volume defense of Donald Trump. Mission accomplished."
Before the two men appear together once again at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week, the governor is returning to Zionsville, Indiana on Saturday for what is billed as a “Welcome Home Rally” according to the Trump campaign.
“Please note that Mr. Trump will not be in attendance,” the media advisory reads.