Opinion: Mike Pence proves he is the man for this moment

by Peter Heck · Mar 17th, 2020 1:47 pm

For the last four years, the left has painted a caricature of Vice President Mike Pence that has been as unfair as it has been wrong. Either Pence was diminished as nothing but a White House Yes Man, chosen to bring a stoic and pious face to an otherwise impulsive and irreverent administration, or he was a cold, calculating, and manipulative monster just waiting in the wings to electrocute the gays and force all women into bonnets and dresses.

As it turns out, the Vice President is an honorable statesman whose calm and reassuring demeanor has never been more needed than in these panicked days of COVID19.

This truth comes as no surprise to those of us who have known Mike Pence since his days of representing our state in Congress, and then as our 50th governor. Since parlaying his statewide radio talk show into a career of public service, Pence has carved out a reputation of being unflappable and almost preternaturally composed.

  • In the sometimes-caustic world of talk radio, Pence habitually refused to even raise his voice at hostile callers.
  • When Indiana became ground zero for the LGBT political lobby in its war against religious freedom protections, Pence weathered the storm by holding a press conference and reiterating, "We'll get this balance right."
  • As NFL players from the San Francisco 49ers staged a Kaepernick-style anthem kneeling publicity stunt during a game the Vice President had come to honor Peyton Manning by attending, Pence quietly left the game and withstood the criticism gracefully.
  • When South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg attempted to build his presidential campaign around bizarrely attacking Pence for non-existent offenses, Mike just shrugged it off and said, "He knows better."

So it should have shocked no one that when antagonistic left-wing media exploded with indignation at the prospect of the Vice President leading the country's COVID19 response team, then mocked him for daring to pray with that team before their meetings, Mike Pence took it in stride and has proceeded to exude a confident, calming presence that is even being noticed by his political rivals.

Marc Short, who serves as the Vice President's Chief of Staff, acknowledges that his boss "has an understanding of what people are looking for," meaning facts that are "straightforward, and not alarmist." That's Mike Pence in a nutshell. He didn't try to obfuscate or hide the fact that the country was facing a shortage of testing kits. He acknowledged it and reassured that the team would work on changing that reality quickly and efficiently.

In short, with a country bordering on panic in many corners, Vice President Pence is exuding the precise kind of measured leadership we desperately need. Even left-wing Politico has admitted as such, complimenting that Pence has,

[P]layed the role of press secretary as if born to it. He was calm. He was direct. He was polite in face of shouted, competing questions. He deferred to the medical and policy professionals on the dais with him.

Truthfully, regardless of your politics, there is no man better suited to lead us right now than Vice President Mike Pence – a man seemingly uninterested in hogging the limelight away from the medical professionals on his team, and a man who is determined to evenly address the masses in a way that discourages panic and unnecessary fear.

Just weeks ago one of the more popular online rumors was that President Trump would be replacing Pence with Nikki Haley as his running mate in this year's election. At this rate, maybe the next rumor should be that Pence will be choosing Haley as his running mate in 2024.

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