Background Briefing: July 27, 2022


What is Pence’s Strategy in Challenging Trump Without Condemning Him?

We begin with an effort to understand former Vice President Pence’s campaign strategy as he appears to be running against Donald Trump without explicitly condemning him for the January 6 insurrection which came close to costing Pence his life. Joining us is Tom LoBianco, national politics reporter for Yahoo News and formerly a Washington Correspondent for Business Insider who covered Trump and the Republican Party. A longtime reporter who has covered Mike Pence from the statehouse to the White House for the Associated Press, CNN, and the Indianapolis Star, he is the author of Piety & Power: Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House and we discuss his latest articles at Yahoo News, “Pence tries to look forward in Washington speech amid Jan. 6 tension with Trump” and “Attempting a rebrand for 2024, Trump focuses on ‘cesspool of crime.”


Pelosi’s Trip to Taiwan Has Created an Unnecessary Crisis in an Already Deteriorating Relationship

Then we look into the rising tensions between China and the US over a planned trip to Taiwan by House Speaker Pelosi which has exacerbated an already deteriorating relationship and placed the Biden administration in a position where cancelling the trip would be a sign of weakness in the face of Chinese threats and going ahead with the trip would be reckless given the warning from China’s Foreign Ministry that they will take “firm and resolute measures” if Pelosi goes ahead with the trip. Joining us is Shelley Rigger, Professor of Political Science at Davidson College who has been studying and visiting Taiwan for nearly four decades. She consults for the US government on East Asian national security issues and is the author of Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse, Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy and, most recently, The Tiger Leading the Dragon: How Taiwan Propelled China’s Economic Rise.


The Coming Global Debt Crisis That Won’t Stop at Sri Lanka

Then finally we go to India to speak with Jayati Ghosh, who taught economics at Nehru University in New Delhi for nearly 35 years and since January 2021 has been Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has authored 20 books including The making of a catastrophe: Covid-19 and the Indian economy and When governments fail: Covid-19 and the economy. In 2021 she was appointed to the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All and, most recently, was appointed to the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism. We discuss her article at The Guardian, “There is a global debt crisis coming – and it won’t stop at Sri Lanka.”