News reports dutifully note that Vice President Mike Pence has been a busy fellow campaigning ... er, make that carrying out his official duties of the vice president. The New York Times reports he has established a fundraising committee, Great America Committee, and met with prominent Republican donors at a Washington fundraiser in July. Speculation on the part of some is that Pence may be looking at a 2020 presidential campaign should President Trump not run or should his “numbers” continue to drop like a rock.
From the way Pence reacted to The Times’ report, describing it as “disgraceful and offensive,” some of the vice president’s observers are wondering if he “doth protest too much,” to borrow from Mr. Shakespeare.
President Trump of course just blasted the media, reckoning his popularity to be high despite reports to the contrary, which he labels as “fake news.”
Pence’s outrage is understandable. President Trump is the king of the bullying tweet, and as some former staffers can now attest, he might not be anyone’s first choice for standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a foxhole.
Still, Pence shouldn’t be surprised by speculation about his prospects and intentions. Trump’s approval ratings are at record lows, and some GOP members of Congress appear to be looking at self-preservation more than supporting Trump’s erratic policies.
But no matter how much money he raises, Pence isn’t going to be able to separate himself from the circus that is the Trump administration. He is part of it.