Mike Pence, Who Tried His Finest to Assist Trump Overturn the Election, Desires to Be President in 2024

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Over the last month, it’s become clear that while Mike Pence was basically hailed as a hero on January 6 for refusing to overturn the results of the 2020 election, a more apt description would be “guy who did the absolute bare minimum and in fact tried his hardest to figure out a way to stop Joe Biden from being president in service to Donald Trump.” As we learned from Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s book, Peril, Pence, in his own words, reportedly told Trump that he did “everything” he could to try and stop the certification of a free and fair election, having pleaded with former vice president Dan Quayle to help him figure out if there was any way to pull it off, and telling Quayle, “You don’t know the position I’m in.” 

Meanwhile, as the The New York Times reported last week, Pence and his legal counsel, Greg Jacob, took the time to meet with John Eastman—the lawyer who wrote a memo laying out a plan for Trump to overturn the election—and despite seeming skeptical of his powers, Pence appeared to seriously explore the idea of halting the certification of Biden’s win. As Eastman told the Times, “I think Jacob was looking for a way for he and Pence to be convinced to take the action that we were requesting, and so I think he continued to meet with me and push back on the arguments and hear my counters, what have you, to try and see whether they could reconcile themselves to what the president had asked.” In other words, as The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent put it, despite ultimately deciding he didn’t have the power to overturn the results of the election, Pence seemingly wanted “to be convinced otherwise.” 

Anyway, we bring all of this up because it’s important to remember that Pence isn’t a great defender of the Constitution not only for posterity’s sake, but because the former V.P. is apparently intent on riding that schtick all the way to the White House in 2024. Per the Post:

Nine months after the Jan. 6 insurrection and his subsequent departure from the White House, Pence’s friends and advisers say he is likely to run for president—especially if Trump does not. He is taking all the traditional steps to position himself for a 2024 presidential bid—hopscotching the country giving six-figure speeches, sitting down for interviews with friendly conservative media outlets and hosting fundraisers for Republican candidates and causes.

Pence, 62, is being helped by a stable of fans—including many from his years as a stalwart evangelical figure—who say he can offer a path forward for the Republican Party rooted in the cultural and fiscal conservatism of its past, according to numerous allies and advisers, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. His potential candidacy serves as a stark test of whether there can be a political life after Trump for a Republican like Pence—who served four years as Trump’s loyal and subservient No. 2, only to be targeted by a pro-Trump mob and reviled as a traitor by Trump and millions of his followers for refusing to attempt to overturn the 2020 election

Pence has in recent months played down the events of Jan. 6 and—as he did Monday in an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity—casts coverage of the aftermath as an attempt to “demean” Trump voters. It is part of a consistent balancing act for Pence—taking credit for what he sees as the good of the Trump administration while eliding the bad.

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