Former President George W. Bush and Sens. Mitt Romney, Republican stalwarts, won’t support his re-election. Other GOPers, like former House Speakers Paul Ryan and John Boehner, have not indicated where they stand while Sen. Lisa Murkowski is “struggling” with the decision.
With a schism forming, the time is ripe for a high-level official to make the dramatic break that would signal that someone is ready to stand as the leader of the post-Trump Republican Party. I would nominate for this job, Vice President Mike Pence. Unprecedented? Pretty much. But the Trump era is unprecedented too, and Pence signaled, when he agreed that he would be Trump’s running mate, that he’s willing to do the unexpected.
At this point, as President Trump’s support weakens, Pence should weigh the merits of declaring he won’t be vice president for a possible second term. There’s an argument that Pence’s status in Trumpworld might be endangered anyway. If the President continues to trail Joe Biden by double digits in the polls this summer and if the Democratic contender picks a woman of color for his running mate, he could be tempted to shake up his ticket by selecting Nikki Haley or another candidate for VP. Such a move could bring back some of the white suburban women Trump needs to win re-election and remind everyone that he’s not a typical politician.