Treacherous former VP Mike Pence is toast. Nobody likes him. Sometimes it seems he doesn’t even like himself. And absolutely nobody with a brain thinks he has any hope at all of winning the Republican nomination for president.
A recent article by campaign tagalong Adam Wren, writing for Politico, seemed to lament Pence’s poor showing in the polls. The article spent less space explaining why he should be the nominee than it spent sadly reporting how badly Pence has wanted to be president. Contrary to popular belief, he didn’t decide to run for president earlier this year in response to the prospects of his former boss getting the nomination again. He’s been dreaming of the Oval Office for decades.
But it ain’t gonna happen. Even while giving a stark but woeful walkthrough of his efforts in Iowa the author made it clear that he, Pence’s supporters, and even Pence’s staff have no real hope at all. According to the article:
It’s difficult to find a political prognosticator who is not on his payroll who gives Pence any plausible shot at winning the nomination, a reality he acknowledged on the trail earlier this month. “The media has already decided how all this is going to end,” he told just 13 people at a Pizza Ranch in Red Oak. “But as you all know, I think Iowa has a unique opportunity to give our party, give our country a fresh start.” He encouraged them to “keep an open mind.”
Pence, who evinces a just-happy-to-be-here vibe, is still hoping, pinning those dreams on evangelical-rich Iowa. So deep is his hope that he gave $150,000 of his own money to his campaign in the weeks before his dismal fundraising report. (A large sum for Pence, about two-thirds of his approximately $230,000 salary as VP, during which he often joked he came from “the Joseph A. Bank wing of the West Wing.”) And that verse about faith from the Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews has been on the former vice president’s mind. He posted it to X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) a few weeks ago on Sept.10. He posted it again on Sept. 24.
“Mike Pence’s greatest strengths are his doggedness and his belief that God has a plan for him,” his longtime friend Mike Murphy, a former Republican member of the Indiana House of Representatives, told me. “But he’s going to have to be open to discerning the difference between his plan and God’s plan.”
It’s difficult to imagine that Pence’s ambition is the only thing driving him. He’s pacing to be lucky to place 4th in any of the early states and his campaign is broke. He might not make it to the debate stage next month if he can’t get more people to donate, and who’s going to donate to someone polling as low as he is?
Is Mike Pence another Chris Christie, a plant by the UniParty Swamp to cast aspersions at Donald Trump to draw fire? If so, it hasn’t been working for a while. Trump has focused almost solely on Ron DeSantis and occasionally Nikki Haley.
It seems most likely that he’s simply delusional. He has ambitions that are hard to let go and he’s willing to take abuse all the way to the bitter end. Whatever his reason for staying in, he won’t last for long after the Iowa caucus. With 13 people showing up at his events, he might not even make it to the first battle.