In what appears to be possible interest in a 2024 Presidential run, former Vice President Mike Pence is adding staff to a new office in Washington D.C., even as his relationship with former President Donald Trump and his supporters is sketchy.
According to a CNN report, the two last spoke in April, when Trump phoned Pence to wish him well after undergoing heart surgery.
Those close to the former Vice President are fairly adamant that Pence is not waiting around to see what Trump does in 2024, and letting that determine his own political future.
Former Vice President Mike Pence is adding staffers for his brand-new office in downtown Washington — inching closer to a possible White House run even as his standing worsens with former President Donald Trump and his base of supporters. https://t.co/ZBezoJ8QUU
— CNN (@CNN) September 17, 2021
Doing Things His Way
After being Donald Trump’s second in command, Mike Pence seems to be prepared to forge his own path forward, independent of Trump or anyone else.
The CNN report continues, saying that a close advisor to Pence said, “Mike is going to look at this and say, ‘Where am I being called to serve?’ That’s not going to be thwarted by any man or woman. If he feels called to do this, it’s not going to be because of who else is in the race.”
In addition to the new D.C. digs, he has also doubled his staff to around 20 people. Pence has also brought on John Fogarty, a top Republican fundraiser, and office space for his non-profit, Advancing American freedom.
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Aides also say that Pence is also traveling the country, helping out Republican candidates. His Aides also say that Pence is principally focused on Republicans winning back the House and more governorships in the 2022 midterm election.
Mike Pence’s new nonprofit group is looking to raise $18M in its first year, a plugged in source tells me. That’ll make it a formidable vehicle to lay the groundwork for a 2024 run https://t.co/8CTULGQl3F
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) September 16, 2021
Helping GOP Candidates
Despite how he is received by some Trump supporters, Pence himself is somewhat of a fundraising draw. At a stop in Omaha Nebraska last weekend, Pence met with the parents of Daegan Page, a Marine and one of 13 service members killed in Afghanistan during the withdrawal of troops.
He also attended an event put on by Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, where Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) were also in attendance. He was also at a fundraiser for Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) whose district Joe Biden carried in 2020.
Pence has also been in South Carolina to help out Rep. Nancy Mace, and two swings through Virginia for gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin. He has also done some fundraising for the Republican National Committee.
In the coming months however, Mike Pence will be making a few more trips that might get peoples’ attention, trips to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
President Biden’s speech yesterday was unlike anything I’ve heard from an American President. To have a President not just scolding the American people but scolding Governors around the Country . . . it’s just not the American way. pic.twitter.com/OrWY2ysTn6
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) September 10, 2021
All Roads Lead To Iowa
Mike Pence may find himself on a crowded road headed towards Iowa in the next few weeks. In a poll taken back in July, Tony Fabrizio, a former Trump Pollster, surveyed 800 registered Republicans, and some names other than Donald Trump jumped out.
Donald Trump ran away with the poll at 47%, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was next in line with 19%. Pence and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley came in at just 3%. Others like Ted Cruz, Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, and Tom Cotton came in behind Pence and Haley.
Thomas Gift, founding director of University College London’s Centre on U.S. Politics calls this period of time the “invisible primary,” where lots of potential candidates do internal polling to gauge where they stand.
And also, Pence does not have to commit to anything at this time and can play the will he/won’t he game right on up and through the 2022 election, and keep attention and interest on himself.
Mark Shanahan, associate professor at the Department of Politics and International Relations at Reading University put it best.
“Mike Pence considers himself a serious candidate for a run at the Republican nomination for the presidential candidate in 2024, and his recent ‘Heartland’ public events are a good way to test the water and see which way the Republican wind is blowing.”
Interesting poll numbers for GOP 2024: Donald Trump: 47%, Ron DeSantis: 19%, Mike Pence: 8%. Without Trump: DeSantis: 39%,
Pence: 15%, Ted Cruz: 7%, Nikki Haley: 4%. H/T Lunchtime Politics
— Andrew Malcolm (@AHMalcolm) July 19, 2021
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