There hasn’t been any official announcement coming from the offices of the former Vice President, but most of the smart money inside the Beltway believes that Mike Pence is looking at a 2024 presidential run. It’s a prospect that becomes even more tense if Donald Trump announces another run himself, as most expect him to do. The tension between the two men is palpable and there are clearly still some hard feelings between the two of them over the fallout from the January 6 riot. But does Mike Pence really have a path to the nomination with or without Trump in the race? At NBC News, Peter Nicholas gamely tries to make the case that he does. And he’s basing that analysis almost exclusively on Pence’s perceived “popularity” that he’s gained as a result of the January 6 Committee hearings. (I know…)

After Pence’s refusal to cave to the demands of former President Donald Trump became a focal point of Jan. 6 committee hearings, advisers say he is getting approached a lot more often.

“You saved the republic,” is the message he gets from strangers on the street.

Once demeaned by the left as a Trump flunky and dismissed by the right as lacking the charisma to be president, Pence is getting a second look in the political world.

Even Democrats who recoiled at much of what the Trump administration did over four years are congratulating Pence for what he refused to do one day in January 2021 — overturn the election.

Readers with an overly sensitive gag reflex might want to be careful when clicking on that link. Quotes from anonymous new admirers of Pence are included beyond the person who said he “saved the Republic.” Another person who claimed to not be a Republican alleged told Pence, “I just wanted to say thank you.”

Pence’s anonymous advisers told NBC News that Pence would run on a platform of low taxes, border security, and anti-abortion policies. I’m not sure if they noticed, but that’s pretty much just a carbon copy of Trump’s presidency except without the Bad Orange Man saying the words. Don’t get me wrong… that’s a solid conservative platform that few in the base would complain about. But if Trump runs again and you’re planning to offer “an alternative to Trump,” shouldn’t you come up with something that looks like, you know… an alternative?

None of these issues touch on the larger problem that Mike Pence would have if he attempted this. A very significant portion of the base remains loyal to Trump and they support his policies with his name stamped on them, along with other things such as his list of conservative justices waiting for a seat on the Supreme Court. And all of those Trump voters are fully aware of the state of war that cropped up between Trump and Pence over the past 18 months or so.

Mike Pence will be viewed in that sizable camp as a traitor to the cause. And if he somehow managed to nab the nomination, you can expect Trump’s base to stay home in droves. That would basically hand the White House right back to either Joe Biden or whichever Democrat the DNC finds to replace him if they urge him out the door. There are a number of other Republicans who have either been supportive of Trump or at least remained neutral and didn’t wind up in Trump’s crosshairs. Any one of them might be able to weld together a coalition that could take back the Oval Office after four years of Biden sending the country into an economic and national security death spiral. And if the nominee is branded as being “Trump-neutral,” Trump’s base will likely come along for the ride. But if it’s Mike Pence, I wouldn’t give us a snowball’s chance in Haiti.

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