Mike Pence is trying a daring exercise in trying to have his cake and eat it too. He is trying to embrace the legacy of Trump and herald his own role in it, while making a point of distancing himself from the man. The problem is that this plain old does not work. Part of the magic of Trump is Trump himself.

Complicit in the 2020 Election and Denying It

Pence failed to stand up for American democracy on January 6 when serious election irregularities threatened it. Instead, Pence was trying to placate the left by certifying the results of a flawed election. Now, he is trying to whitewash his own role in the events of the 2020 election while trying to tie himself to Trump in every other way.

Pence Is Milquetoast Until the End

There is a reason why Pence is lagging in the polls of potential non-Trump candidates in the 2024 election. He is trying to play all ends of the fence. In the end, Pence does not have the heft or the charisma to have his own natural base, so he is making a serious miscalculation. He needs to stick closely to Trump, but his former boss understandably does not have a deep reservoir of love for a politician who tries to be a chameleon at best. At worst, Pence is coming off as downright duplicitous and ungrateful to the man who rescued him from a near-certain defeat for reelection as governor in a red state.

Pence was never known for being the most instinctive politician, and the fine line he is trying to tread right now will definitely trip him up in the future. The Mike Pence show is very much in danger of being canceled.