Mike Pence is a go for launching a campaign in the Republican primary

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Mike Pence is set to launch his presidential campaign next Wednesday, June 7, in Iowa. The date is also his 64th birthday. He will be the second Republican to launch his campaign next week. Chris Christie is expected to announce his candidacy next Tuesday in New Hampshire. Neither candidate has a snowball’s chance of winning the nomination.


Pence is a good guy, don’t get me wrong. But, that’s not enough to get elected as the party’s nominee. He’s probably the most qualified person to enter the race with a good mix of previous experience on his resume. He’s been a congressman, a governor, and a vice president. He has both state and federal experience so he knows how everything works. As a governor and as the vice president during the pandemic, heading up the White House pandemic response team, he’s got plenty of experience as a problem-solver. But, he’s Mike Pence. He’s too nice. There’s not much in the way of charisma there.

The primary is about to get really awkward. Between Chris Christie and Mike Pence entering the race, Trump is facing challenges from his old frenemy, Christie, and his vice president, Pence. It’s going to get ugly, too. I can already hear the whines from Trump about how Mike Pence didn’t do his job and overturn the election in his favor, as though that was ever a possibility. Pence is a man of good character and doesn’t deserve the treatment he has been given by Trump. Trump, who insists on loyalty from everyone else, is loyal only to himself.

Pence’s kick-off event will be in Des Moines. Part of the campaign launch will be the release of a video that morning.

The former vice president may have a good shot in Iowa. He has a following among evangelical Christians and Iowa has a large conservative population that votes Republican. He may do well there.


The decision to begin his campaign in Iowa instead of his home state of Indiana underscores the importance Pence’s team is placing on the early-voting state. They see Iowa as critical to Pence’s potential path to victory and hope his message will resonate with the evangelical Christian voters who make up a substantial portion of the state’s Republican electorate. Pence is an avowed social conservative and is staunchly opposed to abortion rights, favoring a national ban.

Advisers say he plans to campaign aggressively in the state, hitting every one of its 99 counties before the caucuses next year.

The campaign is expected to lean heavily on town halls and retail stops — including plenty of visits to Iowa’s famed Pizza Ranch chain — aimed at showcasing Pence’s personality and background as he tries to emerge from former President Donald Trump ’s shadow.

He’s definitely going the traditional route. He certainly knows the Midwest, as a Hoosier, and visiting all 99 counties in Iowa is something that ambitious candidates like to do and then brag about it at campaign stops. Pence is an old-school traditional Republican who encourages those who will listen that it is time the Republican Party moves past Trump and curbs the populist trend within the party. He also criticizes DeSantis for his feud with Disney. Pence says he is open to making cuts to programs like Social Security and Medicare. Both Trump and DeSantis have vowed not to touch them.


Pence plans to travel to New Hampshire and North Carolina later in the week.

Also on Pence’s birthday, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum is scheduled to announce his candidacy in Fargo, so there’s that.

As I’ve said about some of the other candidates, I don’t know what lane Pence thinks he’ll take in this race. He checks a lot of boxes but stands little chance of making much headway. He competes with Asa Hutchinson for traditional, competent Republican but there isn’t much of a market for those these days.

The only thing Pence lacks on his resume is military service. It would be nice to have a veteran as commander-in-chief for a change. There is a candidate who checks that box, as well as former congressman and current governor. That’s right. Ron DeSantis. I’m waiting for him to catch fire and give Trump a run for the nomination. Trump should have to work for it, same as any other candidate.

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