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Today in Politics
(Alex Wong / Getty)
Vice President Mike Pence has by all accounts been a dutiful Robin to President Donald Trump’s Batman, going to bat for him even in those rare instances when other Republicans are mum.
But with an impeachment inquiry revving up (surely on some minds: Pence is next in line for the presidency), is that seemingly happy marriage on the verge of a divorce?
My colleague McKay Coppins dove into the fragility of the Trump-Pence relationship. This comment from his story today caught my eye:
On Capitol Hill, where Trump’s fate may be decided, Pence is far more popular than the president. Doug Heye, a Republican strategist who worked for more than a decade in Congress, told me the lawmakers he’s talked to are exhausted by the president’s behavior. “Everywhere they go, there’s a mic in their face and a reporter saying, ‘Defend what Trump just did,’” Heye said. If Pence ascended to the Oval Office, “it would make the lives of every Republican member easier.
But even before the former Indiana governor assumed his current post, he had already fine-tuned the art of flattering Trump:
Campaign operatives discovered that anytime Trump did something outrageous or embarrassing, they could count on Pence to clean it up. “He was our top surrogate by far,” said one former senior adviser to Trump. “He was this mild-mannered, uber-Christian guy with a Midwestern accent telling voters, ‘Trump is a good man; I know what’s in his heart.’ It was very convincing—you wanted to trust him. You’d be sitting there listening to him and thinking, Yeah, maybe Trump is a good man!”