I bet Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich are heaving sighs of relief and positively giggling as they pander for Trump day after day, because at least they are not Mike Pence.
Pence has the unenviable task of assuming center stage tonight to debate Tim Kaine in the normally-borefest Veep show. Granted, it probably won’t get the attention Trump vs. Hillary gets, but it will make Pence a non-cipher for about one or two news cycles. And it will highlight his rancid hypocrisy on every issue where he opposed Trump before he entered into political matrimony.
On the policy side, Pence and Trump have varied wildly at times. While Trump has insisted that he was against the Iraq War from the beginning, Pence voted for the war when he was in the House.
When Trump proposed a ban on Muslims entering the country last year, Pence called the idea “offensive and unconstitutional.”
As Trump’s running mate, Pence has released 10 years of tax returns, even while Trump has refused, and Pence has said plainly that President Obama was born in the United States, while Trump said recently that he did “a great job” insisting that the president produce a long-form birth certificate.
And we’re just getting started. Pence will have to defend the indefensible, over and over again, and likely be hit with his own words, and be forced to eat them.
The very reason Trump chose Pence–his credibility–is why Pence has got to be feeling quite chumpish right now. He traded years of being a reliable conservative for a bowl of fish gut stew. He gave up his governorship for this.
Pence’s job is harder because his greatest asset is his credibility. While Trump flails and yells, Pence’s credibility, earned over a lifetime of public service, has allowed him to be the steady voice on the ticket, the “Reliable One” his fellow Republicans can trust will be the grown-up in a Trump administration. His credibility is also the reason he will be at the top of the list of GOP candidates in the future.
If Trump loses–which he has spend the last week trying his darnedest to guarantee without any help–Pence loses bigger. Trump will get TrumpTV, or TrumpMedia, or something valuable out of it. I think The Donald secretly wants to be the next David Letterman for a year or two, or until America realizes what an idiot he is.
Meanwhile, Pence will lose every shred of integrity he’s ever had, and Trump will likely even blame him for the loss, putting him somewhere south of Sarah Palin on the untouchable scale. If Pence thinks he can rehabilitate after this debacle for a 2020 run, I think he’s more of a chump than even Trump takes him to be.