White House photo
BRYCE ON POLITICS
– Will he run in 2024?
During my lifetime, most of our presidents served in some public office before becoming our commander-in-chief, with the exception of Dwight Eisenhower (former general), and Donald Trump. Some were former Senators, Governors, members of the House, or some other capacity, including Vice President.
Today, the presumptive candidate for the Democrats, Joe Biden, served as VP for Barack Obama. Off-hand, you would think the person who is a heartbeat away from the presidency would be the logical candidate. Not necessarily. In my lifetime, only 38% of the Vice Presidents ascended to the Presidency, including:
* Lyndon Johnson (served under Kennedy) * Richard Nixon (Eisenhower) * Gerald Ford (Nixon) * George H.W. Bush (Reagan)
In terms of Johnson, he became president following Kennedy’s assassination, and Gerald Ford moved up following Richard Nixon’s resignation. Only Nixon and Bush ascended through normal campaigns.
Remarkably, 64% of the former vice presidents did not ascend, including:
* Hubert Humphrey (under LBJ) * Nelson Rockefeller (Ford) * Walter Mondale (Carter) * Dan Quayle (GHW Bush) * Al Gore (Clinton) * Dick Cheney (GW Bush) * Joe Biden (Obama)
So, it is certainly not a given that the Vice President will move up, but it is still a good place to wait your turn and plan your campaign. This leads us to our current VP, Mike Pence, who served six terms in the House before being elected Governor of Indiana. Whereas President Trump is the ultimate Washington outsider, VP Pence is the ultimate insider which materially assisted the President in traversing the government.
Pence was a surprise running mate for Trump. It was thought he would have selected one of the other fifteen GOP presidential candidates of the day, but this didn’t happen as the president most likely wanted someone capable, but with a lower profile.
Today, the press frequently asks the President if he is going to cast the Vice President from the 2020 ticket, and select another, such as former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Time and again, the President refuses the notion and insists the Vice President is his man.
Trump and Pence make an interesting odd couple. Pence may lack Trump’s bombastic personality, but he has learned how to get things done by observing the boss. Instead, he gives the impression of being calm under pressure, unafraid to tackle any assignment the President gives him, and is someone who finds comfort in his spiritual beliefs. It seems rather obvious the President trusts his VP and has made him his confidant. In turn, Pence loyally supports the President wherever he goes and is perhaps his number one cheerleader.
For the President, Mr. Pence has played the role of scout in a tour of the Pacific where he met with representatives in Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and Australia. He has also acted on the President’s behalf when Mr. Trump was away, which is typical for Vice Presidents. He also showed his loyalty to the President during the Mueller probe and impeachment witch hunt, stating, “It’s time for us to come together, time for us to come together around this good man (Donald Trump).” “The choice couldn’t be more clear for the American people. Donald Trump has been completely consistent in his positions.”
His biggest test though, was when he was appointed chairman of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and did an admirable job in the process. In fact, Pence has always acted with great dignity and class in his duties.
Because of their close working relationship, Pence is often criticized by the media and portrayed as a “Yes” man to Trump. The truth is, he is attacked for no other reason than guilt by association. This will follow him should he decide to run for President in 2024.
It is also worth noting, Pence has strong conservative values, which he openly defends, particularly his Christian beliefs which have been ridiculed by the news media.
Should Pence decide to follow Trump’s coattails to the White House, he will be well prepared to pick up where President Trump left off. Even though he is a good and honorable man, he will meet strong resistance from the news media, and it will be interesting to see if he will have Trump’s strength to fight them. Even though Mr. Pence is more subdued than the President, the press will still attack him with the same ferocity they did to President George W. Bush, where they portrayed him as a bumbling buffoon. He is far from this, but it will be interesting to see how Pence matches wits with the press early on, which will be his first test as a leader.
Should be interesting. Stay tuned!
Keep the Faith!
P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!
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Tim Bryce is an author, freelance writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Tim’s columns, see: timbryce.com
Copyright © 2020 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.