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Mike Pence: American weirdo

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In an era filled with shall we say increasingly unconventional political figures, this guy might be the single strangest person on the scene:

As for his relationship with Trump during the administration, Pence told Fox News: “We were very close friends.”

“We parted very amicably on Jan. 20,” Pence said. “I don’t know if the president and I will ever see eye to eye on my duties on Jan. 6, but, in the aftermath of that tragic day, we sat down, and we talked through it. And then we rolled our sleeves up and finished the final weeks of our administration working together.

“And we parted very amicably. And we spoke in the months that followed us leaving office—we spoke with some regularity,” Pence continued. “And now, I think we’ve kind of gone our separate ways over the last year, but I’ll always be proud of the record we created.” 

Pence added: “We delivered for the American people.”

People, people: this is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let’s not bicker and argue about who tried to lynch who.

Does Maggie Haberman have any insights about all this? You know she does:

Nonetheless, even some of the harshest critics of the Trump era have said that the actions of Jan. 6 should not be treated lightly.

“It’s true that for months before the election and weeks after, Mike Pence played along with Trump’s baseless election conspiracies,” said David Axelrod, a former top adviser to former President Barack Obama. “He certainly didn’t dissent. But, at the end of the day, he’ll be remembered for one critical moment when he resisted enormous pressure and literally put his life on the line for our democracy. And, for that, he deserves all the accolades he’s received.”

The complaints from Democrats have focused not just on his tolerance for Mr. Trump’s norm-shattering behavior but also for the administration’s policies. Mr. Pence’s aides say he believed the administration was enacting policies he generally agreed with, including putting forward conservative nominees for three Supreme Court seats. His long loyalty to Mr. Trump could resonate with some Republicans, but, with the former president demanding total fealty, it is a difficult line to walk.

“The irony is that Pence was arguably the primary enabler of Trump” said Rob Stutzman, a Republican strategist based in California. “He was the mainstream traditional conservative Republican who would go to donors and not just defend Trump and his policies, but with a straight face insist that Donald J. Trump was a good man.”

Ain’t no hangman gonna put a rope around me.

That Pence thinks he can win the Republican nomination in 2024 would seem to be a testimony to the powers of self-delusion and wishful thinking. On the other hand the GOP has gone so completely around the bend that trying to predict what these people are going to do is a pretty dangerous proposition.

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