Can Pence be Trump’s greatest threat … and Cheney his greatest asset?
Now that the 2024 presidential race is off to a premature start, how about a little long-range armchair speculating? There is way too much time between now and November of 2024 to make any sort of rational predictions – but a little bank-shot fun speculation never hurts.
Vice President Pence
While I understand that conventional wisdom suggests that former Vice President Pence – as an enemy of the MAGA crowd — is not a favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. Where would he get his support given the fact that he would have the hostile opposition of President Trump’s loyal base – meaning those who will vote for Trump in the primaries no matter who his opponents are?
On the other hand, I do not believe Trump’s base is as large as Democrats and Trump suggest. Some say as much as 40 percent of the GOP voters. I say, no more than 15 percent and sinking. He may look strong today, but that is likely to weaken as other names come into play. I know too many supposed diehard Trump voters here in Florida who would vote for Governor DeSantis over Trump.
Pence’s potential for success would probably rely on all other candidates staying out of the race – especially Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. That is not going to happen.
I am not postulating the notion that Pence could be Trump’s greatest threat based on Pence beating Trump – although I think he would in a one-on-one situation. But as the person who has spent four years inside the inner circle, Pence knows a lot. Were he to strategically unload on Trump in a campaign, he could be the most important witness for the prosecution in the court-of-public-opinion — and perhaps in one or more courts-of-law.
Of course, Pence would have to shed a bit of his nice guy image – but I can see him doing that. So, far he has not. But I believe that in view of how Trump has treated Pence, the former Vice President has a lot of potential getting even to do. In an aggressive tell-all campaign, Pence could do more damage to Trump than all the witnesses in the Capitol Hill riot hearings combined.
Congresswoman Liz Cheney
Congresswoman Liz Cheney has committed her future to ensuring that Trump never again takes up residency in the White House. It is more than a passion. It is an obsession.
There has been some speculation that she would mount a presidential campaign of her own as a means of bringing down Trump. That would be a fool’s mission. She has been essentially blackballed from the GOP. It is less about her attacks on Trump than her expanding attacks across the entire GOP. Her chance of beating Trump in a one-on-one — or even emerging with more than a single digit vote count – is slim to none.
Were she to get into the Republican primary races, she is arguably more likely to help Trump. If it were a one-on-one race with Trump – which is extremely unlikely – she would never get enough votes to defeat him in any primary. Trump would win handily. If there were multiple candidates, she would only further divide the vote and give Trump a better chance.
The best situation for Trump could be Pence staying out and Cheney getting in.
If Trump does announce his candidacy in the near future, it is sad news for the American people. It means no letup from the incessant 24/7 Trump-bashing news – especially with so-called news platforms like MSNBC that have Trump on an endless loop. Democrats love to keep Trump in the headlines – and so does Trump. It is we the people who must suffer Trump fatigue.
So, there ‘tis.