As the Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States takes the stage at the Republican National Convention tonight, here are a few things you will discover:
1) I'll bet you will hear the sentence: "I am a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican - in that order."
- The first time I heard him utter this phrase was about ten years ago when I was a vice president of The Heritage Foundation. Needless to say, as someone whose faith informs my philosophical, policy and political views, I was blown away. As I got to know Congressman Pence through working with him and his amazing Congressional staff, I came to learn that Mike Pence lives every word of his self-description.
2) Expect to be inspired
- Mike Pence is a visionary. He is an eloquent speaker - perhaps the most effective communicator since Ronald Reagan. As a former radio host, this man knows how to reach his audience, and how to touch the hearts and minds of Americans from all walks of life. His brilliance, sincerity and message of hope are exactly what the GOP needs in this election cycle.
3) Expect to hear of his commitment to conservative solutions on the vast array of challenges America faces.
- From how to free our economy in order bring about more opportunities; to how to strengthen the American family; to how to protect the lives of the least among us; to how to restore parental rights, improve education, protect religious freedom, increase our security, and improve America's reputation abroad, Mike Pence is a solid conservative you can count on.
4) You will hear of his successful record as Governor of Indiana - Governor Pence is one of the most successful governors of our lifetime. Pay attention to the details of how he turned Indiana into a state that has a $2 billion surplus, all while improving education, lowering taxes, balancing the budget, and creating jobs.
But one powerful side of Mike Pence you will not see on the stage tonight is his private life. I've written before about my interactions with him as a neighbor when he served in Congress. He and his lovely wife, Karen, chose Arlington, Virginia as their home away from home and we frequently interacted in our community. Their son was in classes with my daughter at our local public high school and I had the opportunity to see Mike Pence as a devoted, loving father. I remember his attending "Back to School Nights," scurrying through the hallways searching for the next classroom like the rest of us confused parents as we made our way through an abbreviated version of our kids school day. He took the desk next to mine in a history class and respectfully listened to and questioned the teacher about about the curriculum, never identifying himself as anything other than Michael's dad.
I often saw Mike and his wonderful wife, Karen, strolling hand-in-hand as they went for evening walks through our neighborhood. He was a "regular guy," who always made time to strengthen his family amidst the busyness of life. His was, and is, a calling to fight for the policies that will strengthen all families. And fight he does. His record is sterling, both as a national leader, a neighbor, and a family man.
There is no doubt in my mind that a Vice President Mike Pence will set a new standard for the office. Mr. Trump has chosen well, as America will discover tonight and over the next four years.