Patterico's Pontifications

11/30/2021

Pence 2024? See Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



Yesterday Dana posted about Donald Trump’s requirements for a 2024 running mate. Unsurprisingly, they are all about who has shown undying loyalty to him (with some other qualifications thrown in to make it look like there’s more to it, although there isn’t). The Atlantic has a piece titled Pence 2024? that suggests Pence may seek the whole enchilada on his own:

Mike Pence spent much of his vice presidency quietly catering to the whims of President Donald Trump. But on January 6, he broke with Trump by refusing to overturn the 2020 election results. And now, Pence is eyeing a presidential run of his own, even though his old boss hasn’t ruled out a 2024 campaign. Pence wouldn’t necessarily stay out of the race even if Trump jumps in.

“If you know the Pences, you know they’ll always try to discern where they’re being called to serve,” Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff, told me. “And I don’t think that is dependent on who else is in or not in the race.”

I agree with the basic thesis of the article, which is: “A 2024 Pence campaign looks futile no matter the scenario.” In answer to a headline reading “Pence 2024?” I suggest the reader consult Betteridge’s law of headlines, which states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”

If you’re a Trump fan, Pence is a traitor who single-handedly deprived the Glorious Leader of his rightful ability to overturn a supposedly stolen election:

If you’re a Trump critic, the way Pence enabled and toadied up to Trump is troubling and likely disqualifying.

(If you’re indifferent about Trump, check yourself for a pulse.)

Either way, no sale.

I think Pence’s actions on January 6 were heroic. He resisted leaving the Senate, and after being whisked to an underground loading dock, refused to enter the limousine waiting for him — knowing that if he got inside, they would drive him away, which was an image he did not want the world to see. He wanted to stay and finish the job, and do it in a way that honored the Constitution . . . even though it flew in the face of the wishes of the man he had refused to contradict for four years. On some level, Pence had to know that refusing to monkey with the process would torpedo his political career and his presidential ambitions with it.

All of that makes up for a lot.

But not enough. The answer is “no.”

49 Responses to “Pence 2024? See Betteridge’s Law of Headlines”

  1. If you’re a Trump critic, the way Pence enabled and toadied up to Trump is troubling and likely disqualifying.

    See, this is where I disagree with a lot of the people who, like me, lament the fact that our country ever elected Donald Trump to the highest office in the land. I find that people like Mike Pence who willingly participated in the Administration brought a necessary professionalism to Trumpworld and were generally successful in keeping their boss from his worst inclinations (at least until Election Day 2020). There has been a lot of derision for people like Mitt Romney who obviously knew that Trump was a lout and a louse but who nevertheless were willing to serve in his Administration. But think of it this way: if your condominium homeowner’s association inexplicably elected a buffoon as the president of its board, would the proper response be to avoid him and run the risk that he undertakes stupid measures which threaten your property value and expose you to liability, or would the better response be to start attending homeowner association meetings, volunteer for various committees, and do your utmost to ensure you are mitigating his bad decisions? Yeah, it might entail having to cultivate a halfway cooperative relationship with a guy you don’t like, but it might turn out that some of his agenda is actually appealing to you and if you can help him enact that part while quietly dialing back much of the nonsense you will have rendered your fellow homeowners a great service.

    So I don’t care if Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, et al. want to continue pursuing elective office. I’m not going to hold it agains them that they did their best to stay in the boss’s good graces. They can explain for themselves their actions of 2017-21 and I am happy to judge them on that, not on the fact that they did their best under difficult circumstances.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. I think Pence needs to be considered based on all his actions. He definitely deserves credit for his actions on Jan 6. I think he’s been too silent since then. He has to have some knowledge of what went on but we haven’t heard much from him. Prior to that he. Struck me as servile and groveling towards Trump. I know that’s the price of entry to Trump’s orbit, but it’s hard to respect a man as a leader after they’ve debased themself like that. Which goes far beyond forgiving things said during the campaign as Romney did.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  3. Everything I knew about Mike Pence priors to 2016 supported him being a very decent and moral man. It’s hard to understand how a such a man could serve Trump as long as he did.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  4. I wasn’t a fan of Pence before he became Trump’s VP and his stint in the Trump administration didn’t help. Pence seems to be a simple and overwhelmed politician who is vanilla to his core and doesn’t really have a purpose, other than to collect a paycheck.

    He would make a great grocery store manager.

    Hoi Polloi (121542)

  5. He would make a great grocery store manager.

    Hoi Polloi (121542) — 11/30/2021 @ 9:35 am

    Truman ran a haberdashery…..

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  6. another purity test reject

    JF (e1156d)

  7. “Pence seems to be a simple and overwhelmed politician who is vanilla to his core and doesn’t really have a purpose, other than to collect a paycheck.”

    I guess he needed to tweet more….and make fun of the right people…..then he’d be butter pecan

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  8. #7

    It doesn’t take a MAGA hat to see Pence as #4 does.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  9. I guess he needed to tweet more….and make fun of the right people…..then he’d be butter pecan
    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 11/30/2021 @ 10:39 am

    Maybe not that, but maybe try to be more than just an evangelical running for office. I understood his positions were heavily influenced by his literal Biblical beliefs, which is great if you are in theological lockstep with him. But he didn’t really seem to bring much to the table for anyone else.

    Hoi Polloi (121542)

  10. Agreed. That there WAS a line he would not step over does not mean he didn’t step over too many lines.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  11. It’s clear that whatever principles Pence had before becoming VP ended up here.

    Rip Murdock (125f65)

  12. “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”

    President Quayle? 😉

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZL_tZxyBDo

    “Indiana Wants Me” – R. Dean Taylor, 1970

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  13. @3. ‘Everything I knew about Mike Pence priors to 2016 supported him being a very decent and moral man. It’s hard to understand how a such a man could serve Trump as long as he did.’

    Mike Pence: A Meteoric Rise but a Controversial Political Past
    Critics say GOP VP nominee’s track record as Indiana governor is troubling

    https://www.rollcall.com/2016/10/09/mike-pence-a-meteoric-rise-but-a-controversial-political-past/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  14. At least it’s not a dirty from their self-appointed song laureate John Cougar Mellencamp.

    In general, Indiana has been a loud bark soft bite R state since the Mitch Daniels ascendancy:

    https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2021/11/indiana-under-republican-rule-pro-business-policy-disappoints-outside-the-sunbelt/

    urbanleftbehind (c073c9)

  15. *Ditty, not dirty

    urbanleftbehind (c073c9)

  16. Yeah, I’m sure Pence is trying to read the winds as most politicians will do. He may have played a modest stabilizing role in the administration….it’s hard to know how much of the “good” he was responsible for…and whether he was at all effective at minimizing the “bad”. I’m sure his memoirs will be revealing. One’s perception probably depends on your previous opinions of the man. Right now, he gets a big meh from me. Sure he won’t beclown the office or tweet like a 14yr old…..but there’s too much silence in the face of the inexcusable. Even if she did back track, at least Haley launched some criticisms…and people like Mattis went even one step further. From Pence…..nothing. After leaving office….still nothing. There’s just too much cognitive dissonance surrounding him….and I see no eager constituency. I’m hoping for a better option.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  17. President Mattis. There’s a thought.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  18. @17, could get behind that

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  19. I have as much chance of getting the republican nomination as pence. My bet is AOC beats kamela harris in the 2024 primaries. Even black people don’t like harris. AOC vs trump 2024. If dnc tries to stop AOC like they did bernie it will tear the democratic party apart!

    asset (cbf2c8)

  20. If we could devise a scale that could be used to judge potential GOP vice presidential candidates if Donald Trump leads the ticket, say one that ranged from one to one hundred with Ivanka Trump at 100, where would Mr. Pence and other candidates line up?

    Steven Miller – 80

    Liz Cheney – 0

    Kevin McCarthy – 75

    Mike Pence – 50

    Ron DeSantis – 85

    Any others?

    John B Boddie (9f8361)

  21. If dnc tries to stop AOC like they did bernie it will tear the democratic party apart!

    Nominating her will do that, too.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  22. I don’t think Harris or AOC will have the backing of the DNC. It will be Mayor Pete.

    Hoi Polloi (121542)

  23. #21

    The GOP should just make Trump speaker, if they should win. Eliminate the middleman and those embarrassing moments when some hapless congressman fails to read the mind of his tweetership. And maybe McCarthy can star in a version of Celebrity Apprentice.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  24. AOC turned 32 in October, so she would be old enough to run for the presidency in 2024, by a few months.

    If she has accomplished anything in Congress, I’ve missed it. But I think she would make a great mud wrestler.

    (She claims to be Catholic and, by descent, partly Jewish.)

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  25. Cuomo/Cuomo/2024

    mg (8cbc69)

  26. Jim Miller (edcec1) — 11/30/2021 @ 1:58 pm

    (She claims to be Catholic and, by descent, partly Jewish.)

    Because most people whose families originated in Spain are partially descended from forcibly converted Jews.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  27. If they want somebody associated with Trump, but not at all like him, he stands a chance. But if they want someone not at all like Trump, what do they need somebody associated with him. Things would have to work out just right for him to be a serious contender, but he can hope..

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  28. Everything I knew about Mike Pence priors to 2016 supported him being a very decent and moral man. It’s hard to understand how a such a man could serve Trump as long as he did.

    Time123 (9f42ee) — 11/30/2021 @ 9:30 am

    He protected our democracy during that 1/6 nonsense. He made the whole thing worthwhile. And yeah he looks pathetic through the administration, up to the moment he didn’t.

    JVW has a good argument in the first comment. At the end of the day, this is the only practical way to see it. Hold our noses and divide the normals, and we end up like 2016.

    Dustin (a145cf)

  29. OT- Another Cuomo hits the wall, crashes and burns: suspended “indefinitely” from CNN. Translation: work out the contract termination numbers.

    ‘CNN suspends Chris Cuomo over texts with Andrew Cuomo’s team’- CBS News

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY0WxgSXdEE

    ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ – Queen, 1980

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  30. Pence’s brand of conservatism is antithetical, and anathema, to Trumpism, and by extension to the whole Trumpablican Party. But I would like him to run against Trump just for the principle of the thing. To give the finger to Trump, to the toadies, and to the mouth breathers.

    nk (1d9030)

  31. Eisenhower/Pence 1956.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  32. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 11/30/2021 @ 6:13 pm

    That is the business they’ve chosen. — Hyman Roth, Godfather II.

    nk (1d9030)

  33. @33. There’s dinner theatre in their futures:

    ‘Hamlets On the Hudson’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  34. They got a head start on a skull prop vis a vis their maternal grandfather:

    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2014/12/mario-cuomo-and-those-mob-rumors.html

    urbanleftbehind (c073c9)

  35. ‘CNN suspends Chris Cuomo over texts with Andrew Cuomo’s team’- CBS News

    I am glad I was sitting down when the new about Cuomo running interference for his brother came out.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  36. Gates/Musk 2024

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  37. Not sure which party.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  38. Which Gates? And Musk needs a constitutional rewrite?

    urbanleftbehind (c073c9)

  39. For all the rhetorical smoke surrounding Pence, the most interesting comment I’ve ever seen about him was some libertarian pundit calling his delivery “Trumpism without Trump.” IOW, he knew how to deliver sound arguments for a more populist GOP brand that went over a lot smoother than Trump’s bull-in-a-china-shop approach. And let’s not forget that the consensus is he won both VP debates with this style, to the point that the Dems’ press lackeys had to desperately resort to mocking him over a fly that landed on his head during the Harris debate.

    Unlike some commenters and pundits, I don’t believe Trump will ultimately be the GOP nominee even if he does decide to run. He’ll be 78 years old in 2024 and a lot can happen to person in a four-year election cycle–just look at Biden, who clearly can’t function without someone’s hand up his backside, and who only became the nominee out of DNC desperation to keep Bernie off the ticket. The next GOP ticket is going to still have a populist flavor to it, so any remaining Bush Republicans in the party will either have to accept that, or see Biden (or Harris) win re-election and risk GOP voters never taking Goldwater-style politics seriously ever again.

    Factory Working Orphan (2775f0)

  40. Pence was loyal to Trump for 1,460 days, and then for 1 day he was more loyal to the Constitution than his clown of a boss. For that so-called treachery and treason, “hang Mike Pence” has no chance.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  41. Pence was loyal to Trump for 1,460 days, 1,447 days and on the 1,447th day he kept on telling him he was undecided, Then one day he broke with him. For the next 15 days he didn’t speak to Donald Trump, if I have this right. He didn’t go see him off at Andrews, instead attending the inauguration of President Biden.

    Incidentally, after he chose thew constitution over President Donald Trump, he again chose the constitution over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

    She wanted him to violate the constitution and mis-use the 25th amendment, and he wrote that just like he had no power to not count the votes, he didn’t have the power, meaning the right, to invoke the 25th amendment and do this either.

    You may notice the number of days adds up to 1,462 by my count and not 1,461. That is because I count January 20th in five years. There are 1,460 days in a presidential term and two half days.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  42. * Loyal for 1,446 days, and on the 1,446th day he kept on telling him he was undecided, Then on the 1447th day he broke with him, at the last possible moment, For the next 15 days he didn’t speak to Donald Trump.

    Total is 1,462 days. consisting if 1,460 full days and two [2] half days.

    What you said sounded good, It took me a minute or two to catch the fact that it was erroneous, because Mike Pence did not revert to loyalty in the last 15 days of the Trump Administration.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  43. Sammy, Pence made his one-time “disloyal” decision on one single day, 1/6/2021. He was a loyal Trump suck-up the other 1,460 days of his term (I count his two half days as one full-time equivalent).

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  44. Which Gates? And Musk needs a constitutional rewrite?

    Bill, not Robert or Henry Louis (and Daryl is dead). Elon can buy one.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  45. da cuomo bros have become chum for the woke sharks

    mg (8cbc69)

  46. 44. Paul Montagu (5de684) — 11/30/2021 @ 10:38 pm

    Sammy, Pence made his one-time “disloyal” decision on one single day, 1/6/2021. He was a loyal Trump suck-up the other 1,460 days of his term

    No, he wasn’t. Because he did not boycott the inauguration.

    Since then, and even during those two weeks, he did try to be a “suck up” and they may sort of reconciled after the inauguration (and I was wrong – Trump and Pence did speak during the last two weeks of Trump’s term.)

    New York Times, January 13:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/12/us/politics/mike-pence-trump.html

    The rift between Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence has dominated their final days in office — not least because the vice president has the power under the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office with support of the cabinet. The House voted on Tuesday demanding that Mr. Pence take such action or else it would impeach Mr. Trump.

    Mr. Pence sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi late Tuesday refusing to act. But Mr. Trump has been nervous enough about it that he finally broke five days of the cold shoulder to invite his vice president to the Oval Office on Monday night to smooth over their split. The official description of the hourlong conversation was “good”; the unofficial description was “nonsubstantive” and “stilted.”

    The NYT notes in addition that Al Gore had a “bitter fight with President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office over who was to blame” for him losing the election, and Dick Cheney “castigated President George W. Bush for refusing to pardon I. Lewis Libby Jr.”

    Trump already was not sure about Mike Pence’s loya;ty even before the 2020 election and especially later. Pence was very polite in dealing with Trump’s requests.

    After Jan 6 he tried to reconcile somewhat and they may have done that somewhat after January 20: NYT Jan 13;

    But aides said Mr. Pence did not want to become a long-term nemesis of a vindictive president, and by Monday he was back in the West Wing.

    Unlike Mr. Trump, Mr. Pence plans to attend Mr. Biden’s inauguration, then expects to divide time between Washington and Indiana, possibly starting a leadership political committee, writing a book and campaigning for congressional Republicans.

    But no matter what comes next, he will always be remembered for one moment.

    Also:
    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/02/mike-pence-still-personal-friends-donald-trump-guy-who-sicced-a-mob-on-him

    While no one expected Pence to come out and condemn Trump after four years of catering to him, an in-person meeting between the two on January 11 was reportedly “lengthy, stilted” and “uncomfortable.” But CNN reported on Monday [Feb. 8] that the two had spoken twice on the phone since Biden’s inauguration—which Pence attended and Trump did not—and that a source close to the situation described their relationship as “amicable,” though they would not elaborate on the contents of either call.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/05/opinion/trump-pence-loyalty.html
    Paul Montagu (5de684) — 11/30/2021 @ 10:38 pm

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  47. Sammy, you’re assuming that Trump wanted Pence there for his White House lawn departure on 1/20. You’ll recall at the time that Trump didn’t want anything to do with Pence because of his VP’s “disloyalty”.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  48. That’s a good point. I’m not sure we know that Pence was offered the opportunity to be present at the takeoff, although the news coverage seemed to assume that.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/pence-biden-trump-inauguration-b1790024.html

    Outgoing Vice President Mike Pence attended Joe Biden’s inauguration after skipping Donald Trump’s sendoff at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

    As President Trump left the White House for the last time his vice president did not meet with him, according to reports.

    But Pence told reporters that he had to miss Trump’s farewell sendoff because of a logistical problem, which sounds like he wasn’t going to skip the inauguration.

    And from a political perspective, why should he? That would link him too much to Trump, and Trump’s conentions about the election. If he was going to be elected president, he couldn’t be linked to Trump’s claims.

    There were definitely people that turned Trump down. I read that Trump had to round up people to get a nice crowd.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)


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