Mike Pence Can’t Win in 2024: Former Vice-President Mike Pence has crawled out from the political hole he’s been hiding in since his book was released shortly before Christmas to remind us all just why we don’t need a Pence campaign in 2024.
Mike Pence Has a Problem
Sitting next to CNBC’s Joe Kernan, wearing a tie and button-up shirt (without the jacket to show the audience just how hip and cool he is…or something), Pence took the opportunity to trash Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for having the temerity to take on the Disney Corporation.
To be clear: DeSantis’ war against Disney is one of the most popular things with GOP voters that any Republican politician has done in years. Yet, there’s the last Republican vice president (who is clearly running for the GOP presidential nomination) bleating on about how terrible it is that a mega-corporation is being made to comport with the standards and preferences of most people in the state of Florida.
Pence, who is the ultimate throwback to a bygone (and hopefully dead) era when neoconservatives marched in lockstep with Libertarians on economic policies and (strangely) theoconservatives on social policies, is doing everything in his power to remind the voters why they don’t need him—and why America shouldn’t want him.
Already unpopular with the Trump base of voters for having supposedly “betrayed” their leader by refusing to overturn the 2020 election during the tumultuous final days of the Trump Administration, Pence is now going after the other most popular possible Republican presidential candidate in 2024.
This will not end well for Pence, who will soon find himself unable to secure a base of voters, as both Trump and DeSantis have gobbled up most of the voters on the Right.
Don’t Run, Pence
One inside source that spent years working with Mike Pence since his days as the governor of Indiana said that since early 2021, key Pence advisers, such as Marc Short, have been helping to lay the groundwork for his inevitable run in 2024. This inside source informed me that they had “pleaded” with the former vice-president to “save whatever dignity he had left” and not run again. The story was recounted to me in an incredible dismissive tone—and this is from someone who remains close to Mr. Pence and still defends him on key issues.
Mike Pence has been in politics for years. He was a conservative firebrand radio show host in Indiana before finally deciding to run for the House of Representatives. He shared many of the beliefs that former President George W. Bush had—meaning that Pence had very little in common with Donald J. Trump, who spent more time during the 2016 election trashing the Bush legacy than anything else.
In fact, Pence even took on many of the same mannerisms and “aww shucks”, down-home speaking style that George W. Bush had perfected over many years in politics.
None of these facts lend themselves to Pence running a successful presidential bid. After his time in the House of Representatives, Pence ran for the governorship of Indiana and won. In 2015, he became infamous for signing a bill that supposedly allowed for businesses, hospitals, schools, and other private entities to discriminate against members of the LBGTQ community. It caused quite a stir. The important thing to remember about this bill, though, was that it basically ended any hope that Pence may have had for running for higher office on his own.
What’s more, on the key political issue facing Republicans in 2016, whether to back Donald Trump, Mike Pence was solidly against Trump. He favored Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). When the campaigns of the other Republicans were imploding, though, Trump managed to convince Mike Pence to give him a chance. From that point, Trump eyed Pence as a possible vice-presidential pick. It is important to understand why Trump picked Pence, though: not because Pence was so impressive, but because it was assumed that Pence’s political career was so damaged that he would be grateful to have been given a reprieve by Trump by being promoted to the vice-presidency.
Pence Got to Where He Did By Being Non-Threatening
Trump believed Pence was a wallflower who could both be controlled and not seek to challenge Trump for his beloved limelight. While this was partly true, Mike Pence clearly had ambitions beyond being Trump’s quiet number two. He surrounded himself with staffers who were primed to take over the White House, if necessary. And Pence became very image-conscious early during the Trump Administration—indicating that he was at least hoping to be viewed as Trump’s heir-apparent. Sadly for Pence, he was never particularly popular with the Republican voters. And with two far more popular and dynamic candidates—Trump and DeSantis—Pence is wasting his time and the donors’ money.
Mike Pence will never be president. He will likely not make it out of the first primary state, given that people like Trump, DeSantis, Pompeo, and Nikki Haley will be there. Pence should avoid the election in 2024 entirely and focus on enjoying his retirement from politics.
Nothing good for him will come out his coming foray into the bloodbath that will be the GOP primary next year.
Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who recently became a writer for 19FortyFive.com. Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as a contributing editor at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (March 28), and Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.