Mike Pence, Like Dan Quayle, Lacks Needed Charisma to Win the Presidency: Former Vice President Mike Pence’s soft-spoken style and conventional politicking is reminiscent of another former vice president and Indiana native, Dan Quayle.
Simply stated: Mike Pence lacks the personal charisma of Donald Trump or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Pence and Quayle have stressed personal character in their political careers, but that doesn’t equal charisma, which equals donors, and donors equal voters.
Mike Pence Has a Unique Image Problem
Both Hoosier vice presidents came from the Right of the Republican Party. Both made conservative Christian values the hallmark of their political careers. Also, both served under one-term Republican presidents.
Quayle mounted a long-forgotten run for the White House in 1999 before dropping out due to lack of financial resources in the face of then Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s ascendant 2000 presidential campaign. He enjoyed only 9% support when he dropped out of the race.
The former vice president faces the same enthusiasm deficit and is deeply disliked by Trump’s supporters who will have a commanding influence on the GOP primary season next year.
“The president laid into me. ‘You’ll go down as a wimp,’ he said. ‘If you [don’t block certification], I made a big mistake five years ago!’” Pence recalled in his book “So Help Me God.”
Trump’s supporters have not forgotten this perceived slight against the former president either.
Pence Is Now No Fan of Donald Trump
Pence’s CNN town hall appearance in January made it clear that the former vice president felt a sense of having been betrayed by Trump.
“I was always loyal to President Donald Trump. He was my president, and he was my friend. And we worked together very closely for all of those four years of our administration. And when we had disagreements … I kept them in private. I thought it was important as vice president that I offer my advice and counsel to the president, and we did,” Pence said.
“But I had one higher loyalty, and that was to God and the Constitution, and that’s what set in motion the confrontation that would come to pass on January 6. Because I had taken an oath to the Constitution of the United States. It ended with a prayer, ‘So help me God.’”
Ratifying the 2020 election was part of his oath as vice president, Pence said, invoking the Bible, saying he felt he did his duty on January 6 in upholding the peaceful transfer of power. Trump tore into Pence over his handling of the certification of the election.
Pence ridiculed Trump at the recent Gridiron Club dinner in Washington, taking aim at Trump’s religiosity and his invitation to the former president to attend a Bible study.
“He really liked the passages about smiting and perishing of thine enemies. As he put it, ‘You know Mike, there’s some really good stuff in there,’” Pence said, doing a verbal impression of the former president.
“Which reminds me. I read that some of those classified documents they found in Mar-a-Lago were actually stuck in the president’s Bible.
His decision to attack his former boss, Donald Trump, might resonate with never-Trumper Republicans, Liberals in the media, or in the general election electorate; however, Pence’s stalwart social conservatism is a non-starter for them.
Currently, only 7% of Republicans support Pence for president in 2024, according to a Morning Consult tracking poll.
If Pence runs, he likely will face disappointment and go down as another also-ran like Quayle.