Mike Pence Relentlessly Pivoted During The Debate, Which Made It Seem Like He Was Running For President
Well, we all survived yet another debate. Granted, the stakes of the vice presidential debate were not as high for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's run toward the presidency as their own debates are. But some are wondering if one person had more to lose than his opponent and his running mate. That person is Republican VP candidate Mike Pence, who may be stealthily laying the foundation for a 2020 presidential run.
Speculation that Pence might be eyeing the White House began when he accepted the vice presidential nomination. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza argued that maybe, just maybe, Pence had some ulterior motives.
It's a compelling argument. And if Trump does win and doesn't wish to abdicate the gift of assumed party nominee that comes with being president, Pence can keep biding his time until 2020. This is further amplified by the fact that Trump has spent his run being anything but a conventional Republican candidate. It's very possible that once his run is over (with or without a White House stay) the party will be eager to get behind an experienced man who frequently calls himself, "a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order." Even Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway has said Pence has that presidential vibe. “He would obviously be a favorite for a future presidential campaign after Trump has been president, and that’s unusual for somebody who didn’t run himself in what was a very crowded and talented field this year," she said while still a Trump pollster.
Then we had the debate, and the debates brought up even more speculation about Pence's presidential aspirations. Several comments by pundits on Twitter and news outlets alluded to Pence's failure to back up and defend Trump on all the issues. As much as everyone is tired of the word, Pence did some master pivoting when Kaine tried again and again to engage him on Trump's history and policies. Pence even went so far as to say things about Russia that are at odds with what Trump has said.
Pence may have proven himself to be a smooth debtor, but he also left many wondering if he was really in the debate for his running mate or if he had other goals in mind. And while it's perfectly natural for a vice president to have presidential ideations, he shouldn't be having them at the expense of his running mate.