Poor Mike Pence. Despite all the adoring glances at Trump, all the bad play acting, and notwithstanding his suffocating sycophantcy, Jared and Ivanka were working on ways to boot him off the 2020 ticket and replace him with Nikki Haley, according to John Bolton’s tell-all. It looks to be a good read, showcasing both the idiocy and treachery of this administration, if the tidbits below are any indication. Raw Story:
“Trump also arose “early,” although it was already afternoon Iraq time, and we spent a fair amount of time in his office chatting away because so few others were up yet. We ranged from what he would say to the Army and Marine troops at al-Asad and in the State of the Union address in January, to sending a New Year’s greeting to Xi Jinping and whether Trump should get the Nobel Peace Prize,” Bolton recalled.
“White House gossip was common that Ivanka and Kushner favored this approach, which tied in with Haley’s leaving her position as UN Ambassador in December 2018, thus allowing her to do some politicking around the country before being named to the ticket in 2020. The political argument in Haley’s favor was that she could win back women voters alienated from Trump. By contrast, it was said, the evangelicals supporting Pence had nowhere else to go in 2020, so their votes were not at risk if Haley took his place. I explained it was a bad idea to jettison someone loyal, and that doing so risked alienating people he needed (who could stay home, even if they didn’t vote for Trump’s opponent) without necessarily generating new support because of the replacement. That seemed to be Trump’s thinking as well.”
At the time, Haley denied the rumors, saying Pence had her support.
“Certainly, there have been a number of people telling people in the White House, including the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump, that Nikki Haley would be a politically smart choice to replace Pence,” Axios reporter Jonathan Swan reported. “So this is partly why a lot of these rumors have been circulating.”
Now factor this in: Nick Ayers, Pence’s chief of staff was asked to work on Trump’s reelection campaign but he demurred, saying that he wanted to work on Nikki Haley’s 2024 campaign. What would be a better set up for a presidential run for Haley in 2024 than if she was already Vice President? Just speculating.
Mike Pence’s biographer reported “that’s all real,” nearly a year later during an MSNBC appearance in Sept. 2019.
“These are fealty tests, these are loyalty tests,” said journalist Tom LoBianco. “For some of them they feel it is incredibly demeaning of him, and it goes to this point of him playing the long game. He has to survive, you know, the talk … about Jared (Kushner) and Ivanka (Trump), ways to get rid of him. Politically, you need to bring back suburban voters and women.”
Pence’s political career was on life support when Trump put him on the ticket in 2016 purportedly at Melania’s behest, according to her recent biography. She made the decision to choose Pence over Newt Gingrich or Chris Christie, because she thought he would be content in a number two position and not gun for the top job. It would have been better off for Trump if one of them had taken over, because his presidency has been spiraling out of control since day one. For all of their own flaws, Gingrich and Christie are light years ahead of Trump in what they know about government.
So the question becomes, could Pence get booted from the 2020 ticket? Consider this: in a recent interview with Martha Raddatz, Bolton was asked who the most powerful person in the White House was and he answered, “The sustained answer to that question…is Jared Kushner.” And Bolton is not alone in that. Jared Kushner has been called “the de facto president of the United States.” Brad Parscale said, “Nobody has more influence in the White House than Jared. Nobody has more influence outside the White House than Jared. He’s No. 2 after Trump.” So if Jared and Ivanka want Pence gone, he just might end up gone. Ask Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus and John Kelly what happens when Jarvanka wants you gone. And actually, that might work out to Pence’s advantage. If he gets dumped now, and Trump picks Haley and ends up losing anyway, then Pence is spared an embarrassing campaign and the humiliation of defeat.