Dear Mr. VP,
How could I write to you about anything but this?
This is like a treasure trove of an article for those of us who find you fascinating.
There’s the reminder that you lost a race by 19 points after you were found to be using campaign money for your mortgage and utility bills.
There’s things I never knew before: for example, you think otter re-introduction in Indiana is an issue of big government.
Pence also demonstrated a knack for seizing on more-creative wedge issues. For instance, a 1995 initiative to reintroduce otters into Indiana’s wildlife population became, in Pence’s able hands, a frightening example of Big Government run amok. “State-sanctioned, sanitized otters today,” he warned, ominously. “Buffaloes tomorrow?”
(Turns out you were totally prescient there, by the way: bison are back on the Indiana prairie. The humanity.)
There’s the stories of your college days, accompanied by pictures. One anecdote suggests you were part of an elaborate plot to hide frat party drinking from administrators at Hanover. One picture suggests you have not always had such stringent policies on distance from women who aren’t your wife. The caption calls you a “square-jawed hunk.”
But nothing is more interesting than this.
On Friday, October 7, 2016,The Washington Post published the Access Hollywood tape that showed Trump gloating about his penchant for grabbing women “by the pussy,” and instantly upended the campaign. Republicans across the country withdrew their endorsements, and conservative editorial boards called on Trump to drop out of the race. Most alarming to the aides and operatives inside Trump Tower, Mike Pence suddenly seemed at risk of going rogue.
Trump’s phone calls to his running mate reportedly went unreturned, and anonymous quotes began appearing in news stories describing Pence as “beside himself” over the revelation. One campaign staffer told me that when she was asked on TV the day after the tape came out whether Pence would remain on the ticket, she ad-libbed that, yes, he was 100 percent committed to Trump. She remembers walking away from the set and thinking, “I have no idea if what I just said is true.”
It’s been reported that Pence sent Trump a letter saying he needed time to decide whether he could stay with the campaign. But in fact, according to several Republicans familiar with the situation, he wasn’t just thinking about dropping out—he was contemplating a coup. Within hours of The Post’s bombshell, Pence made it clear to the Republican National Committee that he was ready to take Trump’s place as the party’s nominee. Such a move just four weeks before Election Day would have been unprecedented—but the situation seemed dire enough to call for radical action.
This was, of course, immediately denied by your Press Secretary today.
Regarding The Atlantic’s tired, false claim about the VP during the campaign — we denied this in the article and deny it again today. Didn’t happen.
Not really a choice there in your camp, right? You can’t exactly go around admitting that you plotted a coup against your boss. That’s an excellent way to get yourself fired, and the rest of your nod-nod-nod track record shows you want to do nothing to cross him.
You’ve been watching and waiting for your moment all along. You thought it was the Access Hollywood tape. It didn’t happen then. But you’re doing everything you can to stick around for the next moment — which seems to be headed down the pike pretty quickly, if you ask me. God help us all.