Metaphor of the month: Pence plane skids off runway, no one hurt

It’s easy to joke about now, or at least downplay it as Mike Pence did on the morning shows earlier, but last night’s rough landing of his campaign plane had the potential to be much worse. His Boeing 737 slid off the runway during a difficult landing, causing no injuries but certainly worrying plenty of people. Pence tells NBC’s Savannah Guthrie on Today that it caused nothing more than “ten seconds of uncertainty,” and that LaGuardia’s first responders surrounded them before they fully realized what had happened (edited for grammar):


Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, in a live interview with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer, described the moment his campaign plane skidded off a rain-slickened runway at New York’s LaGuardia Airport as “10 seconds of uncertainty.”

“It seemed like the first responders were literally around the plane before we came to a rest,” Pence said. …

“As soon was we landed, we could tell they were trying to brake the aircraft pretty quickly,” Pence said. “We felt the plane fishtailing a little bit, and then it slid sideways and when we saw the mud splash up on the windows up in the front of the aircraft, we knew we were off the runway.”

True to form, Pence played down the incident for the most part. He even offered this gracious bon mot to the group that his running mate most likes to demonize:

Members of the press pool traveling in the plane noted that Pence walked down the cabin aisle to check on everyone after the plane came to a stop.

“We’re really grateful everybody’s okay, including our press corps,” he said.

Fact check: mostly true. Matt Lauer even teases Pence about that claim, but the lighter mood didn’t last long after that. Lauer made a lot more of Donald Trump’s joke about handing the election to him than it was worth, but Pence deftly turned the question around to ObamaCare initially — but when Guthrie and Lauer wouldn’t let it go, Pence said Trump’s main complaint is that the national media is rigged. For some reason, the two anchors seemed less inclined to pursue that topic.


Since everyone’s safe in this incident, we can safely use this as a metaphor for this election. For instance, one could say that the national media’s manipulations have become so obvious that they’ve skidded off the runway. Alternately, one could argue that the GOP has skidded off a runway that should have led them straight to the White House in three months, but perhaps Pence’s presence will mean that casualties will be at a minimum and this cycle will just amount to “10 seconds of uncertainty.” Or maybe it just means that Republican presidential-ticket candidates shouldn’t spend time in New York City in the last two weeks of the election. Take your pick, or offer up a few others.

Updated: Edited an awkward sentence for better clarity.

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John Stossel 1:00 PM | June 15, 2024