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Does Pence have a path to the presidency?

Does Pence have a path to the presidency?

Contemporary prevailing wisdom says “no.”  The theory goes like this.  Pence will never have the support of the hardcore Trump base. And obviously, that would be even more true if President Trump were to run for a second term.  

Even if Trump is not in the race, there are better candidates to put together a winning coalition composed of Trump base voters and Republican conservatives who are not tied to Trump exclusively.  Pence could even attract some of the disaffected Republicans who left the GOP reservation because of Trump.

Allow me to emphasize.  That latter group is not composed of those who abandoned both the Republican Party and the conservative movement to become high-visibility apostates for Democrats – the folks you see drawing fame and fortune from their frequent appearances on left-leaning media.  Rather, I am referring to the millions of grassroots voters who maintain their belief in conservative principles – but were driven away from Trump because of his pugnacious personality.

The Pence haters-by-proxy will always be there.  They are the folks who believe that Pence had the power to stop the certification and should have done so.  That is the Trump position – and consequently many of his personal loyalists.

Anyone who has a modicum of understanding of the constitutional process and the magisterial role of the Vice President would know that Pence did exactly what he was empowered to do by the Constitution.  Only the members of Congress can vote to reject certification – and that vote fell short. 

Had he called off the certification unilaterally, it would not have changed the results of the election. It would have only further delayed the certification by days at most. The issue would have been tossed to the Supreme Court on an emergency basis.  In such a case, I would have bet that it would have been a 9-to-0 decision forcing the certification of the election – on the basis that the Vice President abused his authority.

We have to keep in mind that Pence is a very effective speaker and campaigner. Since his days as a radio talk-show host – and his years in Congress – Pence has had a reputation for being persuasive – an ability to disagree without being disagreeable.

Pence’s biggest challenge would be handling Trump – either as an opponent or a powerful voice against Pence.  He would have to do what any candidate opposed by Trump would have to do.  Not get into the harsh verbal exchanges and childish insults – actually make light of Trump’s attacks.  A bit of a chuckle – and a “here we go again.”

Pence would have to avoid being cast as Trump with a better personality.  That is the danger Florida Governor Ron DeSantis already is facing.

Running against Trump means you never talk about the 2020 presidential election other than it is settled … over … fini.  By the time the 2024 presidential election is on the horizon, the entire atmosphere of America will be different.  We will be past the 2022 midterm elections.  Many of Trump’s more serious legal issues will be resolved.

There are a number of Republican candidates who can be competitive in 2024 no matter what Trump decides.  I just would not prematurely exclude Pence from the list – even though it is a steep climb.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. tom

    I agree with you Larry. I think Pence has a tough hill to climb. Again, in your blog you focus on Republicans and Democrats. I wish your writings were a little more inclusive of the largest voting block, we independents/unaffiliated. We will have much to say in 2022 and 2024 and will determine the elections. I think Pence will need to choose a path of conservative Democrats, non-Trump Republicans, Evangelicals and those against woke-ism, and Independents/unaffiliated voters. The other part of the equation is who will be running on the Dem ticket. If the Dem party moves towards center and silences their extreme left that will be bad for GOP. I do not think this will happen. If they run Biden again, then Pence should study Reagan hard and he will have a 50/50 chance or better.

  2. MikefromTexas

    No he doesn’t but he win the primary then I’ll have to vote for him.

  3. Americafirst

    The real Mike Pence was executed several years ago for crimes against humanity, pedophelia and treason. Don’t vote for an actor who says he is Mike Pence.

  4. Trucker-Mike

    C’mon Larry, that’s too easy. Let’s hear your cheerleading argument for Liz Cheney’s 2024 campaign. How the Adam Kinzingers of the GOP need to be brought back into the fold under an even larger tent. How “democracy” requires all far-leftists to approve of all GOP candidates. Let’s hear how folding to the democrats with beta-politness is far better than adherence to any principles. How FakeNews attacks need to be met with apologies, subservience & compliance with globalist agendas.

    • Name larry Horist

      Trucker-Mike … Apparently you did not read my commentary very carefully. In re-uniting the GOP, I specifically said that it does not include people like Cheney and Kinzinger, who have joined the other side in attacking the entire Republican Party. Kinzinger has been redistricted out of his seat by the Illinois Democrats and Cheney will soon lose hers. That is fine with me. If you have followed my commentaries, you would know that my first devotion is to conservative principles and policies. That is why I make a distinction between Trump administration policies and his personality that has mucked things up unnecessarily. He could have done much better for the cause if he handled the personal issues better. I did not vote for him in the 2016 GOP primary — but I did in the General Election. I will not vote for him in the primary if he runs in 2024 … but if he is the nominee, I will vote for him again. Because of the policy choice. I am not now — nor ever been — and admirer of the man. I am also not an admirer of folks like Cheney and Kinzinger.

      • Ben

        Show us in votes where Liz and Adam are not appropriately conservative you pompous ass of a hypocrite. Just because they feel Trump crossed a line your morals run too low to see you cast them out while saying nothing about the oathkeepers, proudboys, insurrectionists, and other fringers conservatives now embrace.

        Show us the votes proving liz and adam are less conservative than tou. .

        • Jimmy

          Proud boys. Oath keepers. Insurrectionists All true Americans.being persecuted by commie bastards.

          • Ben

            And many will enjoy the delights if being incarcerated in a different demographic setting as the new boy toys on the cell blick. .

  5. Ben

    I thought Trump didn’t matter Larry? What’s next; he won’t have the Republican White Supremacy base?

  6. Lyudmila

    Pence has no chance – not at all! Pence not only betrayed Trump, Pence betrayed us – THE PEOPLE. He betrayed the nearly 80 million Republicans who voted for him. Why do we need a traitor president after the weak-minded president that we have today. The price of Pence is one penny, zero chances.

    • Ben

      Lyudmila has taken too many ludes….. Still believes The Big Lie after seeing no valid proof whatsoever. Ignorant slut. Over 850 people charged so far in defense of The Big Lie. One with sever years, a bunch with 5 years, all given to support Trump’s Big Lie while he basks in the FL sun, popping out to grab your donor dollars at his racist rallies. And you people just line up, bend over, and say: “please sir, can I have some more!” He said he could shoot someone and get away with it. He has. You. When will you wake up and smell the coffee. Trump is a liar. It is all lies. His record, his beliefs, all lies. The man is a grifter who buried his first wife on his NJ golf course just for the tax break. She didn’t even play golf……. And now he’s burying you. How many will go to jail for this man to make a buck.