Does Pence Have What It Takes for 2024?

Gino Santa Maria /
Gino Santa Maria /

What will it take for Mike Pence to become a popular candidate for the 2024 presidential election? That is a question some who want him to become a serious candidate are asking.

Pence will likely have to clearly define himself with decisiveness and move aware from the middle-of-the-road positions that he has taken in the past.

Pence told Dana Perino and Bill Hemmer, the hosts of Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom,” that Congress did not have a formal role in Justice Department decisions and they can’t make recommendations. He also said, “As I wrote in my book, I think the president’s actions and words on January 6th were reckless.”

Pence has said enough for people to know that he thinks Trump’s actions were more than simply “reckless,” he has come close in the past to outright condemning the former president’s actions. It’s almost as if Pence is saying that they could charge Trump but they shouldn’t charge Trump.

When somebody tries to please everybody, they often end up pleasing nobody.

Here is one of Pence’s statements, “But when it comes to the Justice Department’s decision about bringing charges in the future, I would hope that they would not bring charges against the former president … As I wrote in my book, I think the president’s actions and words on January 6th were reckless. But I don’t know that it is criminal to take bad advice from lawyers. And so I hope the Justice Department is careful.”

He is trying to walk a tightrope so that he can stand on his four years as vice president for his presidential campaign, but he is also trying to distance himself from his former role as vice president.

Pence can’t have it both ways, and what happens is that people find it hard to know exactly where he stands. Take, for instance, his position with the January 6 committee. If he really believes what he has said about Congress, he should have just told the committee that they had no basis for making such moves and that the Department of Justice should not even act on the partisan committee’s recommendations.

Pence has a long and broad record to run for office on, he has served in Congress, as a state governor, and as vice president. He should have a strong foundation as a tried and true conservative that hasn’t wavered in where he stands. He made lots of friends in the tea party when he signed a religious freedom bill back in 2015 as governor of Indiana.

But he just might not fight in the political arena we have in America now. It’s a game of cutthroat politics, and a politician that tries to please everyone will be steamrolled by his or her adversaries.

Remember the old “nice guys” adage? He may very well finish last in today’s political world.

It will be extremely difficult to own his time with Trump, deal with the angry left, and cause his candidacy to rise above the rest of the field in 2024.

One reporter mentioned seeing Pence in an airport traveling with just one staff member and lugging his own bags. He said that he was approachable, kind, and exceedingly humble. He’s kind of the anti-power broker that is the norm in D.C. politics. Can a candidate like that survive in today’s dog-eat-dog world?

Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that it would be difficult for former Vice President Mike Pence to beat former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida in a GOP presidential primary.

“He’s got a huge problem,” the ex-congressional leader said. “I think Pence is very, very comfortable making a positive case for himself. He’d be very uncomfortable running a negative campaign because it’s just not really who he is.”