While the media is having a meltdown over Ron DeSantis’ campaign launch on Twitter and Trump is being Trump on Truth Social, Mike Pence sits quietly in the background with little to no attention.
In an interview with Fox News earlier this month, Pence stated “the American people love competition and it’s a free country. Everyone is entitled to vie for offices in this country.”
Sure, but that doesn’t mean everyone should.
Pence Is More Vanilla Than Biden’s Ice Cream
Some Republicans are clamoring that DeSantis is bland and uncharismatic. Mike Pence makes him look like George Clooney.
Pence is indistinguishable. He doesn’t have anything that makes him stand out from the rest of the pack in the Republican primary, particularly against someone as dynamic as Donald Trump.
Haley has a great personal story. She is the daughter of Indian immigrants who worked hard to find success in South Carolina. As governor of The Palmetto State, she’s run an executive office. She’s a woman, as well as a minority, and married to a man in the South Carolina National Guard who served in Afghanistan.
With his book, “Woke, Inc., Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam,” Vivek Ramaswamy is a bold culture warrior outlier who rallies against a narrative that places everyone in a hierarchy of victimhood. He is also something other than the most targeted person in America right now – an older white man. While Republicans don’t tend to focus on race as an advantage, it helps when it can’t be used against him.
The same for Tim Scott. While the conservative senator, also from South Carolina, doesn’t abuse the race card, it certainly throws the left for a loop. Raised by a single mother in a poor household, his personal story is probably the strongest of all the candidates and strikes a chord with patriotic Americans. His blinding optimism makes him, if not necessarily a winner, a refreshing addition to the race.
Then there is DeSantis. Despite a rocky start to his campaign, he’s got a list of successes a mile long as Governor of Florida. He’s served in the military. Plus, he’s the closest thing to Trump besides Trump and for those “never Trumpers,” that’s a selling point.
Trump loyalists despise Pence for turning on the former President in the 2020 election. He is not only an adversary; he is a traitor. Not even DeSantis warrants as much wrath as Pence. Trump and his acolytes will absolutely wreck him.
Know Your Audience
In the interview on Fox, Pence claimed that Republican voters’ familiarity with his story affords him some breathing room as he makes a decision on whether to launch a campaign for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
“The American people know the Pences. By and large, they know our story and our career, some are getting to know them better every day.”
If by Republican voters he means those over 65, then sure. He can afford to sit on his laurels while the rest of the vigorous, energetic candidates begin to ramp up their campaigns.
Pence bills himself as a “classical conservative” who would return the Republican Party to its pre-Trump roots, according to a piece earlier this month in the New York Times.
The New Republican Party
The days of Reagan conservatives are long gone. While many in the Republican party are more than exhausted by Trump, that ship has sailed.
Pence himself declared “different times call for different leadership.”
He’s right. Unfortunately, it’s just not him.
In this new media era, conservative candidates need to be bold, assertive, and aggressive to oppose progressive doctrine. Even Ronald Reagan may not have done so well today.
There is a new, and younger, brand of conservatism that knows how to go on offense and is more social media savvy, ready at the helm for the cultural, as well as the political, battle.
Media personalities like Ben Shapiro and Matt Walsh and almost every other candidate in the Republican primary field, know this, even if a few, like Trump, are older in years.
Pence is scheduled to attend a town hall hosted by CNN on June 7 at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa.
The former vice president said he thinks his team has time to be “discerning … reflective … and to listen.”
Hopefully, he listens to a voice inside his head that tells him not to announce his candidacy.