As the administration of Donald Trump dissolves away into a nothingness as empty as the departing president’s cranial cavity, Mike Pence has gone from being a slavishly obedient puppy dog for his always offensive boss to being a mortally offended, somewhat uncooperative cipher whom Trump no longer trusts enough to grant him a pardon were he to resign before Joe Biden is officially sworn in as his replacement.
The alienation between Trump and his white-bread Vice-President was nowhere more apparent than in Pence’s valedictory post on Twitter.
Normally an exiting Vice-President would at least offer a modicum of lip service to the president he (or she, in a nod to the future occupant of the office) serves alongside.
One would think that any farewell tweet would include highlights of their term together and copious photos of the Executive Branch’s senior leaders conjoined at the hip in their endeavors as befits anyone with aspirations to return to the White House at some point in the future as more than just a transient visitor.
Not so with Mike Pence’s final post as Veep.
Not a quote from Trump, not a nod to him, not a photo, not even a mention of the disgraced 45th occupant of the office of the presidency could be found in this Vice-President’s goodbye tweet.
One can hardly blame Pence for trying to distance himself as much as possible from a boss who will soon be subject to an unprecedented second impeachment trial.
One does have to ponder, however, if the newly-opened abyss between Trump and his formerly servile second in command was so wide and deep, why wouldn’t Pence have immediately invoked the 25th Amendment immediately after the storming of the Capitol by Trump-inspired insurrectionists when he was being so vociferously urged to do so by top Democrats and even some errant members of the GOP?
Did Pence have some inner knowledge of Trump’s inability to do much further damage once his putsch attempt went “poof”?
Or was he too frightened of the effect that such a move would have on his future political prospects — which hardly seem incredibly promising at this late juncture —by alienating so much of Trump’s base?
Whatever the reason, the rift is now so great that Pence is reportedly not intending to bother to show up at Donnie’s early morning farewell bash at the Air Force’s Joint Base Andrews tomorrow morning before Trump is packed off on the final Air Force One flight of his presidency to be returned to Mar-a-Lago where he can continue his transformation into an uber-Florida man and all that that implies.
Pence may be trying to do his best to salvage what remains of his reputation, but it’s unlikely that his career will ever recover from its tainted association with the certified worst president in United States history.
As one of the few people who could have instigated a removal of Trump from office at any point during the last four years by gathering a few cabinet allies and invoking the 25th Amendment, Pence missed every opportunity to redeem himself.
He doesn’t deserve any kudos for his last-minute turnabout in these final days.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.