OK, so former Vice President Mike Pence isn’t exactly at the top of the GOP polls. Or, for that matter, even near the top of the GOP polls.
While no polls have been taken since Pence announced on Wednesday that he is seeking the highest office in the land, according to the Real Clear Politics polling aggregate, he is sitting in fourth place at 3.8 percent.
That’s behind former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s 4.4 percent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 22.4 percent and former President Donald Trump’s rather commanding 53.2 percent.
It’s also just 1.2 percent ahead of businessman and author Vivek Ramaswamy. That doesn’t bode well for Pence.
But, hey — a campaign announcement is the best time to get the party faithful excited. There’s nothing more effective than a lead-in speaker who pumps up the crowd to get a rally started right.
So Pence found a guy who noted that some have called the former veep “mayonnaise on toast.”
Great start. This can only end well.
The hype man in question was Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston. I know Pence is a Hoosier, but is this the best guy he could score for an event held in Iowa?
It would help if Huston at least tried to inspire confidence in Pence. And if you like Hellmann’s, maybe this works:
“Somebody said Mike Pence can be a lot like mayonnaise on toast … The Mike Pence that we know … there’s a lot of Iowa bacon — maybe even a little Tabasco sauce in that toast, too.”
— Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston (R) during Mike Pence’s 2024 campaign launch in Iowa pic.twitter.com/3oEcrqVAoV
— The Recount (@therecount) June 7, 2023
“Somebody said Mike Pence can be a lot like mayonnaise on toast,” Huston said.
“Let me just suggest this: I think you’re going to get to know the Mike Pence that we know. … There’s a lot of Iowa bacon, maybe even a little Tabasco sauce in that toast, too.”
To make this worse, a fair bit of internet sleuthing didn’t find anyone who’s described Pence as “mayonnaise on toast” aside from, well, Huston.
But I do concede that someone may well have described him that way somewhere along the line — and that’s because it’s not an uncommon assessment.
For instance, I like Mike Pence. I would love it if he were running for president in 2024 under different circumstances, preferably as Trump was leaving the White House after serving his second term. I think Pence is a patriot, a man of God, and a leader of distinction.
And yet, when he’s speaking, I find myself wondering whether he’s falling asleep or I am. Or both.
We both made it through his speech bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on Wednesday, although the key quotes from the kickoff address were so nondescript and platitudinous that it might as well have been the first political speech written by ChatGPT.
“Elections are about the future, and I believe different times call for different leaders,” Pence said. And, of course, guess who the different leader could be.
“It’d be easy to stay on the sidelines,” Pence said. “That’s not how I was raised. I’ve long believed that to whom much is given, much will be required.” Apparently, the portion of the speech not written by ChatGPT was penned by Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben.
The “Tabasco sauce” came in Pence’s willingness to attack his former boss and current rival over his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, and during his 2024 campaign, which Pence characterized as insufficiently conservative.
“It might be fair to ask why I’m challenging my former running mate,” Pence said. “It begins with a promise that I made to the American people and to almighty God, and it ends with different visions for the future of our nation and our party. Jan. 6 was a tragic day in the life of our nation.”
“As I’ve said many times, on that fateful day, President Trump’s words were reckless,” he continued.
“He endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol. But the American people deserve to know that on that day, President Trump also demanded that I choose between him and the Constitution. Now, voters will be faced with the same choice.”
Later on, Pence noted that “when Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, he promised to govern as a conservative, and together we did just that. But today, he makes no such promise.
“After leading the most pro-life administration in American history, Donald Trump and others in this race are retreating from the cause of the unborn. … Now he treats it as an inconvenience, even blaming our election losses in 2022 on overturning Roe v. Wade.”
Pence went on to say that Trump and other Republicans would refuse to take on entitlement reform — particularly Social Security — and would “walk away from our traditional role on the world stage” as the Russia-Ukraine war is well into its second year.
Whether that’s the kind of Tabasco sauce Republican voters are looking for remains to be seen.
Pence’s announcement was quickly overtaken by Trump-related news on Thursday when it was confirmed that the Department of Justice was indicting the former president on charges related to his alleged mishandling of classified government material.
Maybe mayonnaise on toast sounds appealing to voters amid all that drama. Who knows?
What I do know is this: It’s not a good idea to have someone call you that just before you announce your candidacy.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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