by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Mike Pence is the latest entrant to the 2024 presidential race. He is a good man, a solid conservative, and as qualified and prepared for the job as anyone in the field, including the current and former president. He undoubtedly would make a fine president. His challenge is the current political environment, and the current Republican presidential field. Much will be asked of him to overcome those hurdles.
Pence brings with him a long-standing commitment to solid Reaganite principles, a deep and public Christian faith, and a wealth of experience. He has been a talk-radio host, a congressman, a member of House leadership, the governor of Indiana, and the vice president. He is a full-spectrum conservative on social, economic, and national-security issues. He is inclined to be a voice for fiscal sanity on entitlements and spending that has been woefully lacking during the past three Republican presidencies.
Pence was an immeasurable asset to Donald Trump in 2016 and in the White House, as his ambassador to social conservatives, the guarantor of his Supreme Court nominee list, and a steady presence behind the scenes of Trump’s administration. He deserves a measure of the credit for the successes of that administration.
He also deserves the nation’s gratitude for his courage in standing up to Trump on January 6 and rejecting the crackpot constitutional theory that Pence was empowered by himself to reject state slates of electors. For this, he was thanked by a pro-Trump mob chanting that he ought to be hanged. Trump remains disgracefully unrepentant about this.
Pence kept his dignity and his integrity in as trying circumstances as any vice president has faced.