Pence, who has built his career on being a steady and reliable conservative, has struggled to find ways to distinguish himself in any meaningful way over Trump’s term because, well, Trump is Trump.
Of late, that reality has been a good thing for Pence. The vice president has, largely, avoided being dragged into Trump’s fantasy world in which he won the election but was somehow cheated out of it.
“It’s a tactic Pence has used to navigate the final days of Trump’s presidency: stay out of the spotlight and insulate himself from his boss’s baseless election-fraud crusade, all while still finding ways to burnish his own credentials and technically toe the party line.”
While Trump has been content to largely sequester himself in the White House and tweet conspiracy theories, Pence has been taking many more duties that would have once been the purview of the President.
For Pence, then, this is the longest sustained period of attention he’s had since the early days of the coronavirus task force — before Trump decided to take over the daily briefings by the group.
None of this changes the uncertainty surrounding Pence’s future, of course. If Trump does run again in 2024, as he has indicated, Pence will be forced to the sidelines. And if Trump doesn’t run but endorses one of his offspring as the preferred heir to his political legacy, then Pence will be similarly out of luck.
But that’s the unknown future. In the right now, Pence is enjoying the national spotlight in ways he struggled mightily to do over the past four years.
The Point: Trump’s disinterest in actually performing the duties of the president has opened the door for Pence. And the vice president has walked through it.