Even casual observers of politics see it: Whenever Trump is in front of the cameras, Mike Pence isn't far behind, gazing lovingly from an appropriate distance for maximum adoration. It's been a constant subject of social media snark and ridicule for the past 2 years.
But that doesn't seem to be enough for Donald Trump. It's possible it's his own laziness and tendency to send Pence to the places he doesn't want to go is nagging at him, but whatever the reason, Trump is very worried about Pence's loyalty to Dear Leader.
SERIOUSLY? From DAY ONE, I've tried to find anyone who looks at Donald Trump the way Mike Pence looks at him, to no avail. Those long, lingering gazes of adoration, the short nods of approval when Trump utters anything, no matter how false or stupid. Only Pence is there at his side. Only Pence.
But Trump being who he is, understands nothing about loyalty or anything like it. This, after all, is the man with three wives who cheated on the third wife at least twice -- with a porn star and a Playboy model.
It stands to reason that Trump has a roving eye, and is imagining himself standing next to a woman who might mitigate the problems he's got with women.
That this is even a thing at all is absurd. Our press spends more ink and time on how Donald Trump feels, what he thinks, how his mood is that day than anything else. Policy is quite nearly a thing everyone has forgotten. But I confess to being amazed at the idea that Mike Pence is anything other than wedded to Donald Trump through 2024, in sickness and in health and so on. That's just some top-grade paranoia.
After all, Pence is his talisman with the hard-core "evangelical" right. Right? Not so fast.
Robert P. Jones, the chief executive of the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute, said that the president faced an “at best moderate risk” if he were to drop Mr. Pence from the ticket.↓ Story continues below ↓
Mr. Jones said that while Mr. Pence may have served as a validating figure for white evangelicals, recent research showed that 7 out of 10 white evangelicals who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party would prefer Mr. Trump over any alternative Republican candidate in 2020.
A third of white evangelicals who support Trump, Mr. Jones said, indicated there was virtually nothing the president could do to shake their trust — which theoretically includes selecting a new running mate.
“At the end of the day evangelicals have become sold not just on Pence but on Trump himself,” Mr. Jones said.
It's a cult, y'all! A cult Mike Pence helped build, and a cult which could easily do away with Mike Pence and not cost Trump anything at all if he cynically decided he should add, say, Nikki Haley to his ticket.
It's Trump's loyalty to Pence that's at issue, not the other way around. Mike Pence, Cuck for Trump.