After Hurricane Harvey, Mike Pence out-presidents Donald Trump - Macleans.ca
 

After Hurricane Harvey, Mike Pence out-presidents Donald Trump

All eyes were on Donald Trump in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. They should have been on president-in-waiting Mike Pence.


 
Vice President Mike Pence, center right, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, center in wheel chair, help move debris during a visit to an area hit by Hurricane Harvey, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in Rockport, Texas. (Eric Gay/AP)

Vice President Mike Pence, center right, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, center in wheel chair, help move debris during a visit to an area hit by Hurricane Harvey, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in Rockport, Texas. (Eric Gay/AP)

Before Steve Bannon left the White House, the going joke—if you can call it that—was that it was he, not Donald Trump, who was really running the place. This was perhaps a stroke of luck for Vice President Mike Pence, who, during the 2016 campaign, was added to the Trump ticket as a voice of reason, a more establishment politician who was, as CNN put it at the time, “a safe political option for Trump.” As a figure of the established U.S. conservative sect (and not a freewheeling neophyte rogue agent like Trump), Pence might have been expected to act as a normalizing force within the White House.

Yet, through the eight months of Trump’s presidency so far, Pence has been a virtual nonentity. His voice has been mostly absent; his thoughts either left unsaid or drowned out by the cacophony emanating from the Oval Office. Rather than looking to Pence to interpret what is going on, observers (ie. journalists) have been transfixed by Trump’s endless re-upping of apparently expendable personal advisers. Bannon, for example, was widely thought to be the most important voice in Trump’s ear—until he wasn’t.

Perhaps that alone explains Pence’s relative distance from both the president and the media. Close proximity to either is to tempt fate, it seems. Yet, Pence remains a key figure, whether we hear from him or not. As the Trump White House faces one controversy after another, and speculation mounts that Trump may not survive as president through his first term—or will face a Republican primary challenger before he gets a second—we might do well to keep an eye on Mike Pence.

There he was this week, in Texas, for instance, where he cut a considerably different figure than the president. While Trump and his wife, Melania, were scrutinized and criticized for what they said about Hurricane Harvey (marveling at its size) and what they wore to the disaster zone it left behind (branded hat; heels), Mike Pence flew into south Texas, donned blue jeans, and rolled up his sleeves to haul broken branches and embrace the locals.

READ: Donald Trump’s response to Harvey is better than it looks

Trump might have displayed the trappings of a president—he met the officials, did the press conferences, and waved the flag—but it was Pence who more closely resembled what people expect a president to look like in crisis times. It was not that long ago that, in the wake of another hurricane, then-President George W. Bush similarly opted to (quite literally) hover around the disaster, rather than engage with it. Who’s to know whether Bush’s uncaring reputation in those crucial hours, so bluntly summarized on national T.V. by Kanye West, weighed on Pence’s mind after Harvey, as it should have weighed on Trump’s.

Many wonder how long Trump can last as president, and, more importantly, who will be left standing if he doesn’t. Surely Mike Pence, very much a president-in-waiting, wonders the same.

MORE ABOUT MIKE PENCE:


 

After Hurricane Harvey, Mike Pence out-presidents Donald Trump

  1. That’s some good fiction. “speculation mounts that Trump may not survive as president through his first term—or will face a Republican primary “, nothing to substantiate this comment whatsoever, in fact Trump is polling higher than any other politician, including the media.

    Ask the governor of Texas, you know the politician actually responsible for the State’s response to disasters like Harvey what he thinks of Trump. Like a true executive, Trump responded immediately and the governor has nothing but praise for Trump and his cabinet.

    No wonder the media has such a low approval rating.

    • You said: “…in fact Trump is polling higher than any other politician”

      In reality: “Trump’s approval stood at 34 percent in the Gallup poll, tied for his lowest mark ever… Trump is more unpopular than any other president in the history of modern polling at this point in his first term.” Newsweek, Sept. 1, 2017. [http://www.newsweek.com/polls-show-trump-least-popular-president-ever-approval-rating-plunge-basement-658398]

      • Are you being deliberately dishonest here? That is NOT what that commenter stated.

        He stated Trump is more popular that every politician and the media, and this is absolutely correct….You (Because you are dishonest or a shill) instead misrepresent what he has said, and start once again rambling about Trumps overall favourability.

        Also do you think his favourability is improved by clueless idiots and establishment/Zionist shills being paid to spout infantile rubbish about him like THIS very article? Do you think the constant stream of meaningless drivel written about him makes the stupid masses like him more? No of course not…

        But the writer of this “article” knows this fine. His job is to get people used to the idea, or even behind the idea, that trump will be replaced by the Establishment/Zionist shill Pence.

        The people are waking up. Once they have they are coming for you.

        • The people have already seen through hit pieces like this, that’s why Trump won to begin with. The media has doubled down, and they hope as you say to “get used to the idea”. They are sadly mistaken, and just can’t #getoverit

        • Oh really? Well, given that Horgan has actual numbers that show Trump polling at historical lows, it’s fair to question the validity Wilberry’s claim. So unless he can actually link to those polls that show Trump polling higher that EVERY politician AND the media, it’s more than likely that he is the one that is being dishonest.

      • There are so many omissions, unsubstantiated assertions and flat out falsehoods in this piece it is really something you should be ashamed to have posted Colin.

        According to Gallup generic congressional approval is 16% for the last date of polling.

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/1600/congress-public.aspx

        Who was telling this joke about Bannon running the White House?

        Where is evidence of the ‘speculation mounting’ about Trump not finishing his first term?

        Melania war those famous heels getting on the plane to go to the disaster zone. That’s a significant factual error.

        This story is written with the level of professionalism one would expect of a campus newspaper/blog. Not from a supposedly serious national news magazine.

      • There are so many omissions, unsubstantiated assertions and flat out falsehoods in this piece it is really something you should be ashamed to have posted Colin.

        According to Gallup generic congressional approval is 16% for the last date of polling.

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/1600/congress-public.aspx

        Who was telling this joke about Bannon running the White House?

        Where is evidence of the ‘speculation mounting’ about Trump not finishing his first term?

        Melania war those famous heels getting on the plane to go to the disaster zone. That’s a significant factual error.

        This story is written with the level of professionalism one would expect of a campus newspaper/blog. Not from a supposedly serious national news magazine.

  2. Any of Larry, Curly or Moe could be more presidential than DT. Or how about Huey, Duey or Louis? Or Thing 1 or Thing 2.