Mike Pence’s political career should be considered a failure
Pence declined to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s Electoral College win. Insurgents posing as President Donald Trump went on the hunt for Pence in the halls of the US Capitol, but to no avail.
Pence then performed the biggest betrayal of all, standing sentry on the Capitol stage as Biden, not Trump, took the presidential oath of office a few days later, on January 20. Pence and his squad, on the other hand, aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.
Pence has been planning his return to public attention for weeks, using a methodical approach that has been a hallmark of his public service career. He teased reports in February that he was joining two top conservative organizations. And just three weeks ago, he received a full day of news coverage for the simultaneous announcement of a new political party and a $4 million book deal.
When Pence travels to South Carolina on Thursday to headline a fundraiser for a conservative Christian group, he makes his clearest move yet that he’s ready to regain his political future — and make the earliest of steps toward a 2024 presidential race.
To the qualified political eye, the imagery of Pence’s first public campaign-style pause since the 2020 election is impossible to miss: He’s setting up shop in the backyard of a potential 2024 rival, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, in a crucial early Republican primary state. He’s still courting conservative evangelicals, a key constituency he wants to hold in his corner.
“He’ll be telling people that he’s coming back from where he came, and frankly, I think that’ll be a pretty brave speech,” one Pence adviser predicted. But don’t expect Pence to make a bold move like announcing a presidential run now or anytime soon, according to Pence advisers.
Consider Pence’s speech on Thursday an attempt to carve out a path for himself in 2024 if Trump does not run. According to David McIntosh, president of the conservative advocacy group Club for Growth and a longtime friend of Pence’s, Pence is preparing for one of two futures within the GOP.
“The safest thing for Pence to be a Trump supporter if Trump tries to run again,” McIntosh said. “However, if Trump does not run again, it will be a Republican free-for-all.” And in that free-for-all, McIntosh, who also serves on the board of Pence’s newly launched political party, Advancing American Freedom, believes the former vice president has a strong chance of securing the nomination.
At the very least, Pence should take solace in tradition. Just two former vice presidents have failed to receive their party’s nomination after serving as the loyal second in command in the last four decades, and one of those two, Dick Cheney, didn’t want to run.
A spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence declined to comment for this article. Since Pence introduced his campaign-style advocacy organization, Insider has spoken with more than a dozen Trump advisers, Pence aides, Republicans, and others close to the former vice president.
If a lot of things go well, most people see Pence as a potential frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2024.
However, they admit that a single misstep or stroke of bad luck might relegate Pence to being just another “influential voice” on the right, far from the White House.
And the worst political luck for Pence will be if Trump ran for president a third time in 2024.
Read the full story at INSIDER