Mike Pence, the next president of the United States?
Mike Pence As such, the fifty-year-old with an impassive face and white hair is currently the closest man to the presidency, either as an automatic replacement in the event of the premature departure of the president or as a natural successor in 2020 or 2024, depending on whether Donald Trump will do one or two terms.
Everything separates him from the billionaire tenant of the White House: he is a hero of Christian ultraconservatives, when Donald Trump is playing ideological lines; And he is as stiff and disciplined as his boss is exuberant and unpredictable.
This seriousness and steadfastness of character made him one of Washington’s key figures, much appreciated by Republican parliamentarians who were disoriented by the Trump way. Every week or so, Mike Pence, who sat in the House of Representatives himself, made the shuttle between the White House and Congress to reassure elected officials who struggled to understand the line of the executive.
In April, he also went to reassure the Asian allies of America during a long tour.
In the crucial case of the reform of the health system, he struggles to rally the slogans of the majority.
As the Daily Beast writes, Mike Pence “is the hammer behind the ice to break in an emergency.”
“Being present, having a face that says” I’m here, it’s all right, “is Pence’s mission,” Michael Munger, a professor of political science at Duke University, told AFP.
“Being the vice president of President Donald Trump is the greatest honor of my life,” he said recently.
Mike Pence, a 58-year-old man with unfailing loyalty to the man who took him out of anonymity, is still preparing his back. Discreetly.
In May, two of his relatives created a political action committee, a “PAC” as they say in Washington, reported the New York Times. These structures raise money and can be very useful in financing a possible application.
The Vice President has also begun to invite to dinner in his vast residence in Washington, the Naval Observatory, major Republican donors. Make contacts that can be used, in due course.
Investigations into possible collusion between members of the Donald Trump campaign team and relatives of the Russian leadership during the US presidential campaign fragilize the US leader, a handful of Democrats no longer hesitating to call for his dismissal.
Such a prospect remains extremely remote, as the Republicans remain at this stage faithful to Mr. Trump. But the Russian cloud is not dissipating, and many fear the findings of investigations by special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
In case of dismissal, Mike Pence would become the tenth vice president of history to be hoisted to power without having been elected president, the last being Gerald Ford in 1974 after the resignation of Richard Nixon.
Mike Pence took care this week of distancing himself from Donald Jr.’s eldest son, who met with a Russian lawyer last year in the hope that she would provide him with incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.
But he is not totally isolated from the case. He led the presidential transition team in 2016, apparently being deceived by a Trump’s adviser, Michael Flynn, who concealed part of his conversations with the Russian ambassador in Washington.
His credibility also took a hit after the revelation of the meeting of son Trump with the Russian lawyer, because Mike Pence had publicly assured that no contact had taken place with the Russians during the campaign.
“He was very loyal,” said Paul Beck, a political scientist at Ohio State University. “But if the controversy over Russia turns into a very serious problem for the Trump administration, Pence will find himself trapped like the rest of the team,” he told AFP.