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Analysis: With Trump Ailing, a Steady Pence Tries to Keep the Campaign Afloat | Top News

Analysis: With Trump Ailing, a Steady Pence Tries to Keep the Campaign Afloat | Top News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Mike Pence achieved on the debate stage what arguably President Donald Trump did not in a similar showdown last week: He offered a cogent and restrained case for why traditional Republicans and some swing voters should return the Trump-Pence ticket to the White House for four more years.

For Wednesday night’s vice presidential square-off, Pence was charged with trying to steady the ship after a tumultuous week in which the president was hospitalized with the coronavirus and opinion polls showed the Republican Trump’s re-election bid against Democrat Joe Biden slipping away.

But even if Pence had a strong night against Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, the reality is that Pence is not Trump, the candidate who dominates TV screens and media coverage so completely that everyone in his orbit becomes lost in shadow.

And there was nothing to suggest the vice president’s debate performance in Salt Lake City will help Trump with his biggest problem in the Nov. 3 election: women.

The televised clash felt weightier than in years past, with the 74-year-old Trump being treated for COVID-19. Biden, 77, has also faced questions about his fitness for office should he win in November.

That made Pence and Harris more than campaign stand-ins. They were dueling backup quarterbacks, ready to take the field at any time if needed.

In the course of the 90-minute event, Pence reeled off a list of Trump campaign priorities such as low taxes, a powerful military, a conservative judiciary and an aggressive posture toward China – often refusing to directly answer questions in favor of his prepared remarks.

It was a notable difference from the erratic and caustic performance Trump himself turned in at a debate against Biden last week, one that sent polls spiking further in Biden’s direction. The most recent

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With Trump ailing, a steady Pence tries to keep the campaign afloat

With Trump ailing, a steady Pence tries to keep the campaign afloat

By James Oliphant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Mike Pence achieved on the debate stage what arguably President Donald Trump did not in a similar showdown last week: He offered a cogent and restrained case for why traditional Republicans and some swing voters should return the Trump-Pence ticket to the White House for four more years.

For Wednesday night’s vice presidential square-off, Pence was charged with trying to steady the ship after a tumultuous week in which the president was hospitalized with the coronavirus and opinion polls showed the Republican Trump’s re-election bid against Democrat Joe Biden slipping away.

But even if Pence had a strong night against Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, the reality is that Pence is not Trump, the candidate who dominates TV screens and media coverage so completely that everyone in his orbit becomes lost in shadow.

And there was nothing to suggest the vice president’s debate performance in Salt Lake City will help Trump with his biggest problem in the Nov. 3 election: women.

The televised clash felt weightier than in years past, with the 74-year-old Trump being treated for COVID-19. Biden, 77, has also faced questions about his fitness for office should he win in November.

That made Pence and Harris more than campaign stand-ins. They were dueling backup quarterbacks, ready to take the field at any time if needed.

In the course of the 90-minute event, Pence reeled off a list of Trump campaign priorities such as low taxes, a powerful military, a conservative judiciary and an aggressive posture toward China – often refusing to directly answer questions in favor of his prepared remarks.

It was a notable difference from the erratic and caustic performance Trump himself turned in at a debate against Biden last week, one that sent polls spiking further in Biden’s direction.

Read the rest
Pennsylvania House Insurance Committee chairwoman reaps big harvest of campaign contributions from insurance industry

Pennsylvania House Insurance Committee chairwoman reaps big harvest of campaign contributions from insurance industry

State Rep. Tina Pickett, whose position in Harrisburg gives her enormous say-so over what happens to proposed insurance laws, has more cash in her political campaign account than any of her 201 colleagues in the House — thanks in large part to the insurance industry.

A review by The Morning Call of hundreds of campaign finance reports showed Pickett’s $268,546.49 cash balance in late May was inflated by a years-long influx of insurance industry cash that began when Pickett became chairwoman of the House Insurance Committee in 2013.

“The representative’s numbers are staggering,” said Douglas Heller, an insurance industry expert with the Consumer Federation of America, an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that carries out research and advocacy.

The newspaper’s review showed the balance in Pickett’s campaign account on May 18, the end date of the state reporting period just before the primary election, was tops among all House incumbents. In the subsequent period — the most recent for which records are publicly available — Pickett’s total increased slightly but still led all 202 House members.

At least $170,350 in contributions — or more than 54% of the overall total — made to Pickett’s campaign between her Sept. 25, 2013 assumption of the Insurance Committee chair and the May reporting date came from insurance industry political action committees or people tied to the industry.

Experts says such big contributions are made to curry favor.

One insurance group that gave more than $12,000 has even called Pickett the “lead architect and champion” for the industry.

“There is no coincidence that the chairperson suddenly is lavished with incredible amounts of campaign cash. Because, with this position, she has the power to move forward consumer protections, or stop them, and move forward industry interests or stop them, and that is a lot

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Why Peloton’s new ad campaign works better than last year’s

Why Peloton’s new ad campaign works better than last year’s

  • When Peloton released its holiday commercial last December, viewers cringed at its awkwardness and took to social media to ridicule the company.
  • Peloton took note and released a new ad campaign this week that features real riders ranging in body type, race, and location. A narrator explains “why they ride,” as the viewer sees the bike tucked into real homes.
  • Alixandra Barasch, an assistant professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, breaks down why Peloton’s new campaign is so powerful, what the fitness brand learned from previous mistakes, and how other companies can apply these lessons to their branding.  
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When Peloton released its holiday commercial last December, in which a man gifts his wife a bike and she records a year’s worth of workouts, viewers cringed at its awkwardness and took to social media to ridicule the company. They dubbed the woman the “Peloton wife.” 

The ad promoted a great deal of negative commentary, including criticism that the commercial was sexist and classist — the already-fit woman was using a $2,245 bike. What’s more, the company’s stock fell by about 9% the day after online outrage spread across social media and news sites. 

Peloton took note. It released a new ad campaign this week that features real riders ranging in body type, race, and location. A narrator explains “why they ride,” as the viewer sees the bike tucked into real homes. (Disclaimer: this reporter is a Peloton user.)

“It’s all about how this can be your special time to step away and be part of a community,” said Alixandra Barasch, an assistant professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business. “It’s less about what went wrong in the last campaign, which was focusing too much on

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Harris-Pence debate brings emotional attacks, in parallel campaign reality: ANALYSIS

Harris-Pence debate brings emotional attacks, in parallel campaign reality: ANALYSIS

Wednesday’s debate was full of searing attacks on different visions for the U.S.

It might be remembered for the plexiglass, or for the relative tameness, or perhaps not at all given the chaos back in Washington and the frenetic pace of the campaign as a whole.

Or it might be remembered for searing attacks not just on opposing plans but on entirely different portrayals of the past and visions of the near future, amid a pandemic that seldom has felt more urgent.

If the debate felt removed from the wild events of recent days, both candidates still brought emotional heft to the crisis that is clearly defining the presidential race and so much more.

“The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country,” Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, said in her first exchange of the night. “They knew what was happening and they didn’t tell you… They knew and they covered it up.”

Vice President Mike Pence responded with a tone less of anger than of disappointment. He laid out an argument where swift action from Trump prevented even more deaths from COVID-19.

“From the very first day, President Donald Trump has put the health of America first,” Pence said.

Pence was also quick to suggest that Biden and Harris could risk lives by undermining confidence in a vaccine,

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