In what appears to be a potential interest in a 2024 presidential run, former Vice President Mike Pence is adding staff to a new office in Washington DC, even though his relationship with former President Donald Trump and his supporters is tenuous.
According to a CNN report, the two last spoke in April, when Trump called Pence to wish him well after heart surgery.
Those close to the former vice president are pretty adamant that Pence isn’t looking forward to seeing what Trump does in 2024, and that he’s letting that determine his own political future.
Former Vice President Mike Pence adds staff to his brand new office in downtown Washington — one step closer to a possible White House run, even as his position deteriorates with former President Donald Trump and his base of supporters. https://t.co/ZBezoJ8QUU
— CNN (@CNN) September 17, 2021
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Doing things his way
After serving as Donald Trump’s second-in-command, Mike Pence seems willing to forge his own way forward, independent of Trump or anyone else.
The CNN report goes on to say that a close adviser to Pence said, “Mike is going to look at this and say, ‘Where am I being called to serve?’ That will not be thwarted by any man or woman. If he feels called to do this, it will not be because of who else is in the race.”
In addition to the new DC digs, he has doubled his workforce to about 20 people. Pence has also attracted John Fogarty, a leading Republican fundraiser, and office space for his nonprofit Advancing American Freedom.
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Aid workers also say Pence is also traveling around the country helping Republican candidates. His aides also say that Pence is mainly focused on winning back Republicans in the House and more governors in the 2022 midterm elections.
Mike Pence’s new nonprofit group aims to raise $18 million in its first year, a plugged-in source tells me. That makes it a formidable vehicle to lay the groundwork for a run in 2024 https://t.co/8CTULGQl3F
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) September 16, 2021
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Helping GOP Candidates
Despite how he is received by some Trump supporters, Pence himself is a bit of a fundraising draw. During a stop in Omaha Nebraska last weekend, Pence met the parents of Daegan Page, a Marine and one of 13 servicemen killed in Afghanistan during the troop withdrawal.
He also attended an event hosted by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, which also featured Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). He was also at a fundraiser for Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) whose district Joe Biden wore in 2020.
Pence has also been to South Carolina to assist Representative Nancy Mace, and twice through Virginia for gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin. He has also raised some money for the Republican National Committee.
In the coming months, however, Mike Pence will be making a few more trips that could grab people’s attention, traveling to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
President Biden’s speech yesterday was unlike anything I’ve heard from a US president. To have a president who berates not just the American people, but governors across the country. . . it’s just not the American way. pic.twitter.com/OrWY2ysTn6
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) September 10, 2021
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All roads lead to Iowa
Mike Pence may be on a busy road heading toward Iowa for the next few weeks. In a poll taken in July, Tony Fabrizio, a former Trump Pollster, polled 800 registered Republicans, and some names other than Donald Trump stood out.
Donald Trump walked away with the poll with 47%, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was next in line with 19%. Pence and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley came in at just 3%. Others like Ted Cruz, Tim Scott, Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton came after Pence and Haley.
Thomas Gift, founding director of the Center on US Politics at University College London, calls this period the “invisible primary,” in which many potential candidates conduct internal polls to gauge where they stand.
And Pence also doesn’t have to commit to anything at the moment and he can play the game he / she wants until the 2022 elections, and keep the attention and interest to himself.
Mark Shanahan, associate professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Reading University, put it best.
Mike Pence sees himself as a serious candidate for a run for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, and his recent ‘Heartland’ public events are a good way to test the water and see which direction the Republican wind is blowing. “
Interesting polls for GOP 2024: Donald Trump: 47%, Ron DeSantis: 19%, Mike Pence: 8%. Without Trump: DeSantis: 39%,
Pence: 15%, Ted Cruz: 7%, Nikki Haley: 4%. H/T Lunchtime Politics
— Andrew Malcolm (@AHMalcolm) July 19, 2021
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