Mike Pence demurs.

There is nothing a politician loves more than a boost from the media—especially a newspaper that normally disses him. Vice President Mike Spence considers it a win if the New York Times just mentions his name. For the newspaper to suggest that he might be a Republican candidate for the presidency in three years is more than he could hope for.

While deeply flattered and pleased at the mention, Pence is required to blush and say: “I am loyal to my President.” That goes with his job. Even though President Trump is unaware of the protocol of the position, Pence knows that Trump would cut him off at the knees if he ever looked like he was campaigning to replace the erratic and unappreciative Trump.

It is only when you try to imagine Trump running for re-election in 2020, that you understand the humour of the situation. With the approval to-day of less than a third of U.S. voters, Mr. Trump would have to do something very dramatic in the next couple years to bring himself into contention. And, hopefully, nuking North Korea is not what he will try.

The interesting situation here is that the real beneficiaries of this are New York’s Koch brothers. These are the major financiers of the Republican Party in the United States and Mike Pence, when Governor of Indiana, was bought and paid for by the Koch brothers. They are also major supporters of Donald Trump. They have the situation in hand whichever way it falls.

Obviously, the Koch brothers have very little confidence in Donald Trump. While he is furthering their program of killing Obamacare and tax cuts for the very rich, he considers himself their equal. He hardly follows their direction as faithfully as his Vice President.

But they have Pence for back-up. They have already launched a PAC to fund his back-door campaign for the presidency and they are setting him up to speak to their various front organizations within the Republican Party. This includes both gubernatorial and Tea-Party gatherings to ensure a broad base for him in the 2020 race.

And if Mr. Trump does not stay President for his full term, they have Pence ready to carry the ball. For Trump to try to stay in for a second term could spoil the Koch brothers and Mike Pence’s hopes.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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