Remember kids… Vice President Mike Pence is not a decent human being. And when you find such an unacceptable cullion hanging around your workplace, what do you do? You give him (or her) the boot. That’s precisely what Speaker Nancy Pelosi has done, kicking the Veep out of his office at the House and taking the space back for herself. (NPR)
The speaker giveth, and the speaker taketh away.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has reclaimed office space her predecessor, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., awarded to Vice President Pence.
Republicans gave Pence, a former House member, a first-floor bonus office in the U.S. Capitol shortly after President Trump was inaugurated in 2017.
The vice president rarely used the space, but it was a symbolic gesture of the warm relationship Pence enjoyed with Ryan and the House GOP.
The real world implications of this are virtually nil, but the symbolism speaks volumes. Was this really necessary? Clearly, the office wasn’t in that high of a demand or Ryan wouldn’t have been able to sacrifice it for the past two-plus years. And while Pence might not have needed to use it all that often, it was a convenient spot when the Vice President needed to be in the neighborhood in case there was yet another 50-50 vote coming up in the Senate during the last session.
That wasn’t an unusual of a requirement as you might think, either. In just the first two years of Donald Trump’s first term, Pence had to come cast a tiebreaking vote 13 times. Compare that with Joe Biden who didn’t have to perform that task even once in eight years. Dick Cheney cast eight votes over two terms and Al Gore cast four in the same amount of time. Dan Quayle was never called on for that duty, though George H.W. Bush had to do it seven times while Reagan was in office. As compared to other recent Vice Presidents, Pence has been busy as a beaver.
Beyond being useful for that function, offering Pence an office was just a polite gesture. It’s not as if he has no business hanging around the legislative branch when needed. I mean, the guy is only the President of the Senate, after all. But now it’s going to be given over to the legislative affairs team, at least according to one of Pelosi’s spokesmen.
We understand that the Democrats are all about the #RESIST movement now and doing everything they can to be confrontational when it comes to the White House. But couldn’t we at least pretend for a while that the co-equal branches are all playing for the same team? This was a petty, snide move on Pelosi’s part and she comes off looking much smaller for it. As for the Veep, he’s apparently shrugging it off and getting on with his duties. Perhaps he can get his office back in 2021 if Pelosi is somehow no longer holding the Speaker’s gavel.