And now? The man who left Pence for dead continues to be adored by the Republican Party — while Pence can’t even get a table at Olive Garden.
“I can confirm now with personal experience,” Pence said Tuesday during a highly anticipated speech in Washington, “you can actually be a congressman from your home state for 12 years, you can be the governor of your home state for four years, you can even be vice president of the United States of America. But you’re still going to wait 25 minutes to get a table at Olive Garden on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Pence concluded from this episode humiliating, “Only in America”.
The student audience at the Young America Foundation seemed unsure of what to make of Pence’s story and responded with scattered applause.
There was a reason for their confusion: everyone knows that if there’s a wait at Olive Garden, you go to Red Lobster instead.
Waiting for his lasagna fritta is the least of the indignities Pence is enduring right now. Naturally, he gets no credit from his fellow Republicans for standing up for democracy that day in early 2021. And, as he launches his 2024 presidential bid, he feebly tries to differentiate himself from his former boss and tormentor – while simultaneously praising his former boss and tormentor. The result is a profile in shyness.
“I came today not to look back, but to look forward,” he said on Tuesday, unveiling his supposed starting point from Trump. ‘The Conservatives must… come up with a bold and positive agenda of solutions for the future.’
He added: “To win, Conservatives must do more than criticize and complain. We must unite our movement behind a bold and optimistic agenda.
Then, after calling for a forward-looking vision, he gave a retrospective speech on the Trump administration. After calling for positivity and optimism, he delivered sweeping negativity.
Pence gushed about what made him “proud” of the Trump years, repeatedly praising what happened “under the Trump administration” and “during the Trump administration.” He praised Trump’s name no less than nine times: “We need to permanently extend the Trump-Pence tax cuts. … The Trump administration was the only administration in the 21st century where Russia did not seek to redraw international lines by force. … I am proud to say that the Trump administration has changed the national consensus on China.
A student asked about the “rift” between Pence and Trump. “I couldn’t be more proud of the Trump administration’s record,” Pence replied, allowing only a faint ray of daylight between him and Trump. “I don’t know if the president and I disagree on any issues, but we may differ on direction,” Pence said, saying “now is the time for us to deliver a bold and positive agenda.”
A sample of the “positive” program described by Pence: “American freedom is under attack…a pernicious woke program designed to control the American people and destroy the American dream…one disaster after another…our borders are under siege…socialism at large government… toxic waste in the wellsprings of our culture… censorship, coercion and cancellation of culture… the radical left of gender… leftist tyranny, socialism and decline.
So Pence’s idea of differentiating himself from Trump is to praise Trump and deliver the same type of “criticize and complain” speech as Trump, but with less sentiment? No wonder he lost the battle.
On Tuesday, Trump staged a big comeback in Washington, delivering a keynote address to the pro-Trump America First Policy Institute. For hours before the speech, sycophants praised the former president and leader of the failed coup.
“I applaud President Trump,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).
“I love him very much and miss him,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.).
Pence, on the other hand, couldn’t make a break. Travel delays forced the cancellation of his scheduled speech at the Heritage Foundation on Monday, leaving him to deliver the same speech to a lukewarm reception from the Young America crowd. “God must have had different plans,” Pence explained.
I don’t claim to know God’s plans. But is it possible that God, in delivering Pence from the mob that day, wanted him to find the courage to speak out against the evil that is jeopardizing our democracy?
Instead, as Pence once again plays Trump’s sweet pleader, more humiliations will follow. He deserves it too.