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Mike Pence's 2024 campaign is ON

The ...

Posted: May 15, 2018 8:03 AM
Updated: May 15, 2018 8:03 AM

The New York Times is out with a bombshell story-detailing how a) Vice President Mike Pence and his advisers are operating as a sort of de facto political unit within the White House and b) allies of President Donald Trump are none too happy about that fact.

Here's the-key paragraph of the piece:

"Republican officials now see Mr. Pence as seeking to exercise expansive control over a political party ostensibly helmed by Mr. Trump, tending to his own allies and interests even when the president's instincts lean in another direction. Even as he laces his public remarks with praise for the president, Mr. Pence and his influential chief of staff, Nick Ayers, are unsettling a group of Mr. Trump's fierce loyalists who fear they are forging a separate power base."

None of this should be all that surprising. Here's why:

  1. Pence, a former House member and governor, is very much a party guy ---and-as much as he might shy away from this title now ---an establishment figure.-Trump, who has been a Democrat, an independent and now a Republican, ran against and beat that establishment in 2016.-
  2. Pence wants to be president when Trump is done, and that means he is spending at least part of his time as VP accruing chits from other pols for future use. Trump is already president. And he could care less about goodwill with other GOP politicians since most of those people backed someone other than him in 2016.
  3. Pence has surrounded himself with political/campaign people. Ayers managed former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's 2012 presidential campaign and also served as executive director of the Republican Governors Association. Pence's communications director Jarrod Agen is another campaign veteran, having done work in California and Michigan -- as well as serving as chief of staff to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. Trump has no such political team in place, largely surrounding himself with longtime friends and a smattering of military generals. Kellyanne Conway, a senior counselor to Trump, is a veteran campaign hand -- and also Pence's former pollster.

Regardless of whether he should have seen it coming, you can bet Trump won't be happy to read the Times piece about Pence or, more accurately, to watch the cable news coverage about it. Trump doesn't like when anyone one-ups him or shows loyalty to anyone or anything but him.

The Point: Politics abhors a vacuum. Trump's lack of ties to the GOP campaign establishment and his seeming disinterest in anyone's politics other than his own create an opening for Pence. The question is whether he can take advantage without seeming like he is taking advantage.

Read Monday's full edition of The Point newsletter.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 318761

Reported Deaths: 7027
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1303943795
Riverside24765537
Orange23901421
San Diego19371422
San Bernardino18912304
Fresno790687
Imperial7827135
Alameda7725148
Kern633997
San Joaquin627968
Santa Clara5983166
Tulare5678152
Sacramento533981
Stanislaus463351
Contra Costa460589
San Francisco442650
Ventura424653
San Mateo3949112
Santa Barbara393131
Marin343430
Kings289839
Monterey254018
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Merced188412
Sonoma165014
Placer105511
San Luis Obispo9054
Madera8938
Yolo83928
Santa Cruz5683
Napa4774
Sutter3724
Butte3384
San Benito3362
El Dorado3070
Lassen2750
Shasta1876
Yuba1803
Humboldt1654
Glenn1640
Nevada1631
Colusa1130
Mendocino1130
Lake1081
Tehama1041
Calaveras670
Tuolumne640
Del Norte600
Mono501
Siskiyou410
Amador400
Inyo341
Mariposa311
Plumas170
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
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Hi: 103° Lo: 68°
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Oroville
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Paradise
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Chester
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Willows
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There is a Red Flag Warning in Modoc county today and tomorrow with temperatures getting as hot as 110 degrees for some in the Valley by Wednesday.
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