If perhaps you were wondering why Donald Trump keeps putting Mike Pence in harm’s way politically, it’s because he’s getting pressure from Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to boot Pence from the 2020 ticket and replace him with someone who brings more to the game.
According to journalist Tony LoBianco, who has written the definitive biography of Pence, Piety & Power, all of this is part of a larger Machiavellian plan on the part of the two senior White House advisers:
“Over the summer (Pence) had two terrible events in July. The weird thing where he flies out to New Hampshire, gets called back to the last minute. Then they send him to a detention camp and there is a terrible video of him with a grim face, which should have been Trump. That should have been the president, not the vice president, that’s what VP’s aides and allies are telling me. They see that as Trump yanking on the leash.”
In order to try and salvage the 2020 reelection plan, LoBianco went on to add, Jared and Ivanka see a need to try and reach out to suburban voters and women:
“These are fealty tests, these are loyalty tests,” he added. “For some of them they feel it is incredibly demeaning of him, and it goes to this point of him playing the long game. He has to survive, you know, the talk … about Jared and Ivanka … ways to get rid of him. Politically, you need to bring back suburban voters and women.”
The White House has repeatedly dismissed suggestions that Pence will be tossed overboard and replaced with former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, but LoBianco noted that the plot to get rid of Pence is very real and moving forward:
“That’s all very real, and the way we know it is real — and of course they deny that, let me put that out there, their people say that is not accurate — but the way we know it is real is by the actions of Pence and his team.”
Here’s the Catch 22 for Trump and his campaign team: Pence is their ambassador to the Christian right and evangelicals. How would they react if Pence is removed from the ticket? Then again, if Trump doesn’t expand his support beyond his base, he risks losing in 2020. Either way, we can always hope that both Pence and Trump will be long gone after the ballots are counted next November.
Here’s the video of Tony LoBianco’s comments: