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The Case for Mike Pence Being the MVP of Trump Administration

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June 28, 2017 in Politics

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While President Trump is certainly the star of his own show and garners much of the presses attention, quietly vice president Mike Pence, could be the glue and most valuable player of this administration. The former governor of Indiana quietly goes about the delicate business of delivering the sometimes garbled message and governing vision of the Trump administration policies in a clear, palatable and more conservative package true to his roots.

Pence was largely known for his social conservatism in his former role as governor, but before that he was also admired in GOP ranks as a federal budget-slashing fiscal conservative in congress from 2001 to 2012, before there was a tea party to be a part of. Pence has put all these principals to good use often behind closed doors but also in recent public appearances meeting with GOP members and reassuring key constituent groups.

Recently Pence, who is well liked by the evangelical community, addressed a 40th-anniversary celebration conference put on by Focus on the Family, the self-described “global Christian ministry” that provides “help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God’s design.” Pence spoke for a half hour on both foreign policy and domestic issues, but focused a large amount of time on abortion, reconfirming the Trump administration’s commitment to what he characterized as the “timeless values” Focus on the Family upholds foremost.

GOP political strategist Jerri Ann Henry tells RollCall that Pence ”

provides a calming presence to groups who are dealing with doubts from their constituents about Trump’s agenda and loyalties. Pence calms those concerns.”

“He has a lot of credibility with some of the hard-right groups like Focus on the Family, credibility Trump doesn’t have even if those groups supported him,”

Henry went on say to RollCall.

Pence, also recently addressed a conference of contractors and builders in Washington and local business leaders and their employees convening at Tendon Manufacturing Inc., an American-owned and American-operated metal fabrication company in Cleveland Ohio, touting Trump’s economic efforts, reiterated his anti-Obamacare message and encouraged the crowd to “just pray for America. Michael Steel, a former aide to 2016 GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush, said Pence is a “natural choice for such targeted outreach” because he possesses “a deep background dealing with a range of individual interest groups across a spectrum of issues.”

Meanwhile Pence has also been travelling back and forth to and from Capitol Hill, as part of a push to work out a deal to secure the 50 votes needed to pass the new health care bill through the Senate. 

Recently Pence has formed a political action committee, the Great America Committee, enabling him to raise money for candidates who need help in 2018, which seems like a straight forward and smart political move. But it has made considerable political news because it is an unusual and perhaps unprecedented move for a sitting vice president. So, between the PAC funding along with President Trump’s continuing Russian scandal probe and the vice president’s increased travel especially to rust belt states, it has sparked speculation that Pence is positioning himself for a post-Trump future in the party, something his advisers strenuously deny. “His travels could yield a more personal payoff if President Trump fails to finish his term, or doesn’t run for re-election,” Michael Steel, a former senior adviser to Jeb Bush during the 2016 presidential campaign, told RollCall when asked about the VP’s movements.

There might be some truth to the “preparing for the future” speculation, but there really are immediate reasons to call on the vice president and his conservative credentials to take the lead on many fronts. With Republican candidates suddenly facing difficult battles in usually counted on red districts and states, Pence is preparing to tour the country this summer to stump and fund-raise in several Midwestern states, as well as traditionally conservative southern states. “He has an appetite to fight, so he’s going to get out there and fight on the president’s behalf,” Pence strategist Nick Ayers told Politico.

As GOP political strategist Jerri Ann Henry sums up:

“Through all of the chaos of this administration, I think it is safe to say Pence is without question the most valuable player.”

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