“Patriot or Pussy”: What price does the always loyal Vice President Mike Pence pay?

Apparently there is freezing cold between Donald Trump and his deputy. After the events of the last few days, Mike Pence could put his make-up on his political career, say some observers. On the contrary, say others.

1 / 9

This is how we know the two: US President Donald Trump in front, his devoted Vice Mike Pence a little in the background.

AFP

But in the last few days in their offices, the two men broke up.

But in the last few days in their offices, the two men broke up.

REUTERS

Then when Pence ratified the election result on January 6th and ...

Then when Pence ratified the election result on January 6th and …

REUTERS

Four years of showcased unity – but then in the end there was a huge crash between the US president and his vice-president. He has never seen Mike Pence so angry, a Republican senator tells the US media about the day the Capitol was rushed. “After everything I’ve done for him!” Donald Trump’s US deputy is said to have exclaimed.

It was the one thing that a mob of Trump supporters in the Capitol yelled for Pence to hang. That the president himself incited the pack in Washington against his vice because he was fulfilling his official duties (more here) was the other. “I hope Mike doesn’t listen to these would-be Republicans and the stupid people he listens to,” Trump had hooted into the crowd, which a little later, fueled again by Trump attorney Rudy Guiliani, marched off towards Congress.

“Trump has thrown his vice under the bus”

While Pence sat in the Capitol and resisted his evacuation, Trump is said to have followed the events with relish on TV, write US media continue about this day. “That a president throws his own vice under the bus and encourages supporters to mess with him is unscrupulous,” says a former political advisor from Pence der «New York Times».

In the following days there was apparently an ice age between Pence and Trump. The president had held tirades against Biden, whom he branded a traitor, precisely because he had ignored Trump’s wish not to formally recognize the election results with the winner Joe Biden. When he was made aware that Biden could be decisive in an impeachment process, Trump became nervous and invited Pence to the White House after five days. The conversation lasted an hour. Officially it was “good”, unofficially “little substantial” and “stilted”, according to the “Times”.

«Patriot oder Pussy»

The relationship between the president and his vice-president, who stood by Trump for four years “biting his tongue” and “swallowing proudly”, has probably been damaged for good since the storm on the Capitol. It was always Pence’s goal not to anger Trump, not to “trigger” him or to prevent others from doing so, the “New York Times” continued.

Pence’s loyalty to the New Yorker was always out of the question – until the moment when he was given the choice by Trump last week: “You can either go down in history as a patriot – or you can go down in history as a pussy”.

2024 as a price?

For his decision to fulfill his duty as Senate chairman, to ratify the election result and to defy the president, Pence has to pay a high price, writes the newspaper: The decision robbed him of all chances of running for president in 2024.

“Pence had a choice between his constitutional responsibility and his political future, and he has made the right decision,” says a representative of the Times’ vice president. “He’s the man of the hour in many ways, for both Republicans and Democrats. He did his duty, even though he knew that he would never become president. “

“Pence is Trump’s reliable spending”

That Mike Pence – he describes himself as a “Christian, Conservative and Republican, in that order” – also ended his presidential ambitions with his decision is not everyone’s opinion. “There are good prospects for a candidacy,” says USA expert Thomas Jäger *. “The years of loyalty to Trump should ultimately pay off for Pence”. So he could not only use the office of Vice President as a springboard for a candidacy in 2024, but “if he is skilled” he could also expand his regular electorate.

“For many, pence is the reliable output of Trump,” said Jäger. “In the eyes of many Trump supporters, he has shown himself to be consistent and loyal, which is a long-term political advantage. With the evangelical Christians he also has the strongest group of voters in the USA behind him. In the future, he should try to reach minority voters like Hispanics. “

Pence, not Trump is there

In the meantime, and in his final days as runner-up, Pence is making little fuss, it seems. While Trump describes his speech before storming the Capitol as “absolutely appropriate”, Pence once again stood behind his boss: On Tuesday, he rejected the Democrat’s requestTo remove Trump from office.

And in a week, on January 20, the vice-president can once again show his style: Then the outgoing vice-president will take part in the inauguration ceremony for Trump’s successor Joe Biden. The motto: «United America». Trump, on the other hand, is breaking with the more than 100-year-old tradition and will not appear because he does not recognize Biden’s election victory.

* Thomas Jäger is Professor of International Politics and Foreign Policy at the University of Cologne.

Mike Pence was born in Columbus, Indiana, in 1959. Pence studied history first, then law. After completing his studies, he worked as a lawyer. From 1994 Pence became a presenter for various conservative television and radio programs.

From 2001 to 2013 he was a member of the US House of Representatives for the state of Indiana. He was governor of Indiana from 2013 before moving to the White House as Trump’s vice president in 2017.

He’s a very conservative Republican: Pence is a gun advocate who works for a lean, low-tax state. He vehemently opposes abortion and has repeatedly spoken out against LGBTQ laws, same-sex marriage and homosexuality. Pence is an evangelical and therefore part of a major electoral group in the US – a group of voters that Donald Trump does not really reach with his antics.

Pence has been married to teacher Karen Pence since 1985. The couple have three children together.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.