Donald Trump recently tried to have Mike Pence murdered. Trump still hates Pence so much that he managed to make sure Pence wasn’t invited to speak at this year’s CPAC convention. Yet Pence is still claiming that he and Trump are close, even as Pence launches a political group aimed at pandering to Trump’s base. This has all led observers to conclude that Pence is a coward who’s afraid of Trump. But that’s not what’s going on here. In reality Pence is just shamelessly ambitious.
After Mike Pence’s political career stalled out in Indiana, he latched onto Trump in 2016 in the hope of reviving it. Sure enough, that worked. Now Pence is forever married to Trump in the eyes of most of the public as a result, but that’s just the price he pays for having ridden Trump’s coattails to begin with.
Pence knows that if he were to publicly come out against Trump at this late date, the far right would completely reject Pence in response, and no one outside of the far right would suddenly become a Pence supporter. In other words, the far right is the only space that Pence has left to pander to, and because Trump is still popular on the far right, Pence is still playing along with that notion.
Mike Pence knows that if he wants to mount any sort of a minor comeback, either as a Congressman in a far right Indiana district, or as a far right lobbyist, he’ll have to keep pandering to Trump’s base for awhile longer. Trump is already irrelevant in mainstream American politics, but Pence was never going to play well with the mainstream anyway.
The bottom line is that Pence is still willing to humiliate himself in order to feed his shameless ambition of remaining relevant in politics, so he can continue pushing his far right views and continue pocketing the money. He humiliated himself by joining the Trump ticket to begin with, so this is nothing new for him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report