Eight United States presidents became president because of the death of the sitting president. [source] Clinton is 68 years old, Trump is 70.
Moreover, people around have Trump have suggested that if he is elected his vice president will be extraordinarily powerful.
Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, explained that Trump's pick for vice president would be important because “[h]e needs an experienced person to do the part of the job he doesn’t want to do. He seems himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO.” [source]
Ohio Governor Kasich has reported that Donald Trump, Jr. approached a staffer of his to "entice Kasich with a position as the most powerful vice president in history – putting him in charge of all domestic and foreign policy," a claim the Trump campaign denied. [source]
Tim Kaine practiced law in Richmond for 17 years, specializing in fair housing law and representing clients discriminated against on the basis of race and/or disability. He has seen the many ways that some landlords try to circumvent accessibility requirements and that some neighbors and neighborhoods try to exclude people with disabilities from their midst. He has seen the inadequacy of current housing supports, which rely heavily on the HUD Section 8 voucher program that has long wait lists. While Trump has built buildings that violate the ADA sometimes and claimed credit for following it other times, Kaine has enforced the ADA and other statutes that benefit people with disabilities. He has seen how important it is for his clients and for him as a civil rights lawyer to be able to recover fees when he and his clients win. He knows that goals that individuals cannot enforce — like Republican education “reforms” — can turn out to be empty or harmful. His wife is the daughter of a Republican governor who supported and helped push through integration of Virgina’s schools and an advocate for children and youth in foster care. [source] Kaine has been a fighter on the right side for many years, and understands disability issues well. As on other issues, Kaine’s views on disability are rooted in his Catholic faith. [source] [source] [source] [source]
Mike Pence’s positions on disability issues have been harmful. As a six-term Congressman, serving from 2001-2012, he repeatedly voted to cut programs including social security which benefit people with disabilities. [source] [source] As governor of Indiana from 2013 through summer 2016, his record was similar. [source] Pence’s actions as governor contributed to an HIV outbreak in a rural county in Indiana in 2015. Indiana law prohibited ownership of hypodermic syringes without a prescription, contributing to a situation in which drug users shared scarce needles. It was only months into that outbreak that he allowed local governments to make available clean needles to users of intravenous drugs, a step he had long opposed. He explained that his decision was the result of prayer after law enforcement pled with him to allow needle exchanges. [source] Though Pence did accept Medicaid expansion funding under the Affordable Care Act, he cut state public health spending. As NPR explained: “As governor, Pence signed legislation that cut Indiana's budget for public health programs, despite the state's many pressing public health problems. Indiana has a high smoking rate, high obesity rate, and high infant mortality rate. The state is ranked nearly last for both federal and state public health funding. According to Trust for America's Health, Indiana spends just $12.40 per resident on public health. West Virginia, in contrast, spends more than $220.” [source]
In keeping with his general view that abortion should be outlawed, Pence signed a bill that was almost certain to be, and was, struck down, [source] (on striking down law). It would have prohibited abortions based on disabilities, with an exception only for some “lethal fetal anomalies” — those which “will with reasonable certainty result in the death of the child not more than three (3) months after the child's birth. [source] [source] If it would take six or twelve or twenty-four months for a child to die, however painfully, the statute Pence signed would have prevented abortion. For fetuses with disabilities, the statute would have been counterproductive, as it would have penalized parents and doctors who communicated openly about prognoses and supports.