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The Right Resistance: Mike Pence’s non-endorsement of Trump won’t change the 2024 dynamic

“What? I didn’t hear about that…?”

 

How many times has each of us been deeply engaged in conversation – or even airy chitchat – when the person opposite mentions a tidbit of news that maybe you should’ve heard already but it somehow escaped your ears up until that moment? In this day and age

of the 24-hour news cycle, I’m guessing it happens a lot.

 

Such was the case last week when the story broke that controversial former vice president Mike Pence had apparently decided that he would not be endorsing former governing partner Donald J. Trump for president in this year’s election. Of course, Pence is only “controversial” because of his associations with Trump, particularly regarding the still simmering topic of January 6, 2021, when Pence caused a stir by refusing to accede to the then-president’s wishes and put a stop – or at least a delay – to the House of Representatives’ constitutional formal duty to count the 2020 election’s Electoral College votes.

 

Everyone within reach of a TV that day recalls how the coinciding Trump demonstration/protest got out of hand, with a number of individuals in the mob getting unmanageable and saying (and doing) some not-so-nice things about the gentlemanly Pence. The establishment media particularly relished it when an element of the crowd erected makeshift gallows with Mike Pence’s name on it, symbolism to the nth degree but also probably not something one should do to a high official of their own government.

 

I still continue to believe that Pence’s physical wellbeing was not seriously at risk that day, he being protected by a human barrier sometimes known as the United States Secret Service. And those citizens gathered to exhibit their First Amendment right to assemble observed the laws by not bringing firearms to the melee.

 

If the J6 crowd had truly hoped to stop the proceedings or get at Pence they certainly didn’t pack (pardon the pun) for the occasion.

 

At any rate, it’s almost three and a half years later, Pence’s former boss is once again atop the Republican Party’s presidential ticket and the former veep had heretofore been silent about how he felt about getting behind Trump for another go-round. Not as the 45th president’s running mate again, but as a loyal Republican who, like tens of millions of his fellow Americans (including Trump) would do just about anything within their power to prevent senile president Joe Biden from receiving another term.

 

Pence recently broke his silence, and while he didn’t roundly trash his party’s three-time nominee, Mike didn’t exactly offer a ringing “I’m with you” endorsement either. Bygones aren’t always bygones, particularly in the realm of politics.

 

In an article titled “Pence says he won’t endorse Trump in 2024 race”, Brett Samuels reported on Pence’s decision at The Hill:

 

“Former Vice President Mike Pence said [recently] he will not endorse his former boss and two-time running mate in the 2024 general election, a nod to the deep divisions between the two men that has formed since they left office.

 

“’It should come as no surprise that I will not be endorsing Donald Trump this year,’ Pence, who ran an unsuccessful 2024 presidential campaign of his own, told Martha MacCallum on Fox News. ‘Look, I’m incredibly proud of the record of our administration. It was a conservative record that made America more prosperous, more secure, and saw conservatives appointed to our courts in a more peaceful world,’ Pence said. ‘But that being said, during my presidential campaign I made clear there were profound differences between me and President Trump on a range of issues.’…

 

“The former vice president told Fox News that his differences with Trump go beyond [January 6], citing the former president’s lack of a plan to confront the national debt, his evasive comments about restrictions on abortion and his recent opposition to a ban on TikTok, something their administration pursued in 2020.”

 

Taken at face value, Pence’s non-endorsement decision doesn’t sound unreasonable. The two men suffered an irreconcilable break over the 2020 aftermath, and, for those who still sting from the vitriol, you recall how it was evident they could barely stand each other from that time on, the residual from a once thriving political marriage that suddenly – or at least within the span of a few weeks – went sour, leaving the politicians bitter and angry and, it looks like, permanently separated.

 

It requires no rehash, but President Trump has never seemed like the most forgiving of men, and his penchant for wearing his emotions and thoughts on his sleeve is not easily surpassed. One senses that Trump has – somewhat – tried to hold back his real feelings towards his former vice president, sparing Pence some of the sharper edges that he’d reserved for competitive rivals like Governor Ron “DeSanctimonious” DeSantis and Nikki “Birdbrain” Haley in the 2024 race.

 

I don’t recall if Trump coined a nickname for Pence, but in refraining from doing so, Trump has maintained some semblance of self-discipline. No one can be sure how long it will last, but at least this particular chapter of the first Trump administration appears to be closed now.

 

I haven’t seen nor sought out a great deal of conservative reaction to Pence’s announcement. The little aftermath I noticed came from Trump’s enemies at leftist propaganda arms like MSNBC, who gleefully trumpeted the news that Trump and Pence would persist on the semi-permanent enemies list. Leftist news analysis outlets couldn’t care less about the former vice president himself, but they adhere to the old adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

 

If Pence had gone on Fox and told Martha MacCallum that everything was copacetic between the old political pals, the liberals’ heads would’ve spun around in furor and Pence’s lifeless political body would’ve then been put on full display along with any other reformed doubter (like Ted Cruz) who’d once been a Trump basher but now appreciates the man’s political talent for getting things accomplished.

 

But that didn’t happen here. The question is now what will the fallout end up being from Pence’s somewhat surprising “I’m not gonna endorse Trump” announcement. I think most politics watchers figured the former vice president would’ve swallowed his pride and gone ahead and endorsed Trump, again, figuring that the fate of the country was such that temporary ill-feelings weren’t sufficient justification to risk the possibility senile Joe Biden would continue to wreck the nation with (Barack Obama’s and) his intentional drive to transform America into a socialist dystopia that would make the movie “Idiocracy seem like a desirable future outcome.

 

In addition, one way or another, Pence’s political legacy is forever tied to Donald Trump’s, and it does Mike few favors to issue such a public declaration of non-support. (Note: Pence did add he wouldn’t vote for Joe Biden, so it’s unclear which way he would lean, or simply not participate, which doesn’t send a positive message, either.)

 

Nobody has insisted that Pence had a number of good options on this topic, but wouldn’t he have been better served by simply saying something like, “I haven’t decided what I’m going to do” or, “I’m still waiting and hoping that President Trump clarifies his positions on some of the issues of importance”?

 

Now, unfortunately, Pence comes across as a grudge-holding ex-political spouse who doesn’t want to share time with the kids, divide the assets equally or agree to have a neutral third-party decide the disposition of the 401K.

 

Unlike some others, I also would not take this opportunity to relentlessly bash Pence for his thought processes or actions. It shouldn’t be forgotten that Pence agreed to join the Trump ticket in 2016 when a lot of more “established” politicians were giving the newcomer outsider the cold shoulder and could’ve led to an embarrassing – and potentially fatal to the prospects of winning – situation where Trump selected someone totally inappropriate under the circumstances.

 

Would Trump have won anyway? It’s hard to say, but choosing Pence to run alongside him certainly helped bolster Trump’s standing with social conservatives, which, again if you remember, was on shaky ground for a good while in 2016. Mike was a consensus compromise vice president candidate who didn’t lug any baggage onto the already heavily burdened Trump campaign train.

 

Pence was so mild mannered, who could ever get mad at him? Democrats, that’s who, because they knew from experience that Pence was a man of principle who’d fought the good fight and was eager to go to the mat for the conservative agenda, something that can’t be said for the party leadership in Congress at the time. Rather than wavering and delving into the leftist-inspired corporate media slime that swirled around Trump, the quiet Indianan Pence rallied to the cause.

 

Pence’s 2024 campaign never got off the ground because conservatives and MAGA supporters wanted Trump, but also disagreed with the former vice president’s aggressive neoconservative views regarding Ukraine and other military ventures. Many Trump supporters did harbor resentment towards Pence, but I don’t believe it was fatal to his political chances.

 

Republicans simply trusted Trump more to do the things he said he was going to do. That’s the nature of politics where the personal popularity element can never be dismissed outright. Trump proved over the past eight-plus years that he’s got the right combination of anti-establishment verve and populist issue appeals to continue in politics as long as he desires.

 

Mike Pence’s choice to not endorse Donald Trump did engender some hullabaloo, but nothing that will last long into this year’s campaign. With senile Joe Biden and Trump as their respective party nominees, there will be very little room to stimulate discussion outside of the two main competitors themselves. Pence is a good man, though he still can’t get beyond what happened all those months ago.



  • Joe Biden economy

  • inflation

  • Biden cognitive decline

  • gas prices,

  • Nancy Pelosi

  • Biden senile

  • January 6 Committee

  • Liz Cheney

  • Build Back Better

  • Joe Manchin

  • RINOs

  • Marjorie Taylor Green

  • Kevin McCarthy

  • Mitch McConnell

  • 2022 elections

  • Donald Trump

  • 2024 presidential election

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1 Comment


dgj
dgj
Mar 25

I struggle to understand what Mike Pence hopes to accomplish with this. While he claims it's "no surprise," in fact it is. He took the pledge to support the nominee. He affirmed a number of times that he would support the nominee. Yes, he didn't want to answer when asked if it was Trump, but the indication was that he would. I figured that he would have a hard time walking back his campaign rhetoric, but he would walk it back, especially since he failed spectacularly in that endeavor.


Mike Pence claims this isn't sour grapes about the primary or J6. Trump simply isn't conservative enough for him anymore. Pence cited Trump's flip flop on the Tik Tok ban, and…


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