In 2008, Esquire magazine named him one of the 10 best members of Congress, a forever principled conservative, never a party hack. And a question is whether he might be among the country’s top presidents, this smooth talking, gently paced Mike Pence. It’s possible, at the least, that he could in fact become president, given the Democratic urge to impeach Donald Trump rather than see what the voters want in 2020.

But wait, it’s said, the House may impeach, but getting a required two-thirds vote from a Republican-controlled Senate to evict? It’s impossible. Excuse me, but let’s say instead that it’s highly unlikely but indeed possible. Some 63% of polled Americans have said the Ukrainian phone chat is a “serious problem.” If the public gets sufficiently worried by around-the-clock news sirens and comes to an overriding sense that Trump’s acts are a criminal abuse of power, election-wary, Trump-tired Republican senators could conceivably vote against him.

Thereby Pence could rise. And listen, he does not write semi-literate, misspelled tweets that bypass real issues to address petty matters with thoughtless insults. He is not vulgar and does not contradict himself in the same sentence. Before his vice presidential adventure, he spent a dozen years as a congressman observing D.C.’s twists, turns and somersaults and knows something about how the place works.

Jay Ambrose mug

Jay Ambrose

He knows issues, how to negotiate and, how to manage, as he showed as governor of Indiana. He does not go to dinner alone with any woman except his wife, and is safe from #MeToo retaliation, a real blessing these days. At one point a radio talk show host as well as a lawyer, he is articulate and a first-class debater, as he demonstrated during the 2016 election campaign. He took on Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s VP running mate advertised as solid, and broke him up into little pieces sprinkled on a national TV audience.

You have free articles remaining.

Become a Member

Register for more free articles.
Stay logged in to skip the surveys.

Pence is also a good public speaker, but the contrast between him and Trump is a silver haired gentleman vs. a golden haired rock ‘n’ roll star: Arousing thousands to uninhibited enthusiasm is not a charismatic talent he enjoys.

But then we come to Trumpian policies he supports, such as freeing businesses of crushing taxes and pointless regulations so that we have had the highest wage increases and the lowest unemployment in decades along with a reduced poverty rate. Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation points out in a Wall Street Journal article that the median wage has hit $65,084 in today’s dollars, the highest ever, which means the middle class is doing amazingly well however much one hates corporations that helped the cause.

The Democratic presidential candidates meanwhile want to incarcerate everyone in a socialistic state, costing a fortune, wrecking the economy and taking away freedom. The moderate columnist David Brooks summed up the party these days as somewhere “to the left of Che Guevara.” While Pence could fight this effectively, he could have trouble with his idea that there’s a third entity besides a woman and her doctor in abortions, namely a fetus with a right life. He has been hit for his stands on gay and immigration issues.

While the Esquire congressional evaluation is obviously not a definitive judgment, Pence is an able politician who could handle the presidency. He might have voter appeal the Democrats never dreamed of, especially if we continue to learn, for instance, about bumbles in the Trump investigation. Of course, Trump is most likely to stay in office after the curtain comes down on the impeachment drama and it just could be the Democrats lose either way.

Be the first to know - Sign up for News Alerts

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Tribune News Service columnist Jay Ambrose can be reached at speaktojay@aol.com.


(8) comments


Another prominent conservative pundit was even more brutal about Pence, saying, “I know him well. I’ve never heard him say an interesting or insightful thing.”


I want to save the entire country, not some obsolete, antiquated political party. I want our next President and Congress to save the United States of America from shame, dishonor, internal decay and destruction.


Pence always looks,ogles and leers, so wantingly at the Orange Carcass, like they just had sex. He"s a creep,no doubt about it, a weird,weird,weird creep,of the worst.Former hate radio host and a crummy one at that. He best behave ,forever...or that trump won"t take him with him(if you know what I mean. He is the biggest toadie of "em all

The Mouse of Death

[censored]It would behoove Mullah Mike to save the Iranians to make the USA a theocracy. We are indeed bemezzled by the Christian Taliban and the ISIS Southern Baptists with the Warren Jeffs and the Tammy Faye Baker.


Well, if the worst political punster in the paid political opinion business thinks so highly of Mike Pence, you KNOW something is basically amiss and wrong with Mr. Pence. What is the most interesting thing about Ambrose's effort today, however, is the unstated subtext that emerges: he and most GOPers understand and know Trump to be a unmitigated, immoral meathead who poses a danger to the Republic, and I think in their heart of hearts hope that the House impeachment investigation will uncover the goods on Trump that will render him useless, driven from office to save his skin or by a Senate impeachment vote that cannot ignore Trump's proven criminality. The dream all along for the likes of Ambrose is to have Pence in the White House. Good luck with that.


According to what I have read on Pence, it was very unlikely he would have been reelected as governor of Indiana, because he was so disliked in the state. I also read he was considered to be one of the stupidest congress members. He certainly is a bizarre right wing christian conservative. Pat Robertson could not get elected president. Pence is the next best thing. A religious fundamentalist president would be a really bad for our country. Just look at Iran.




how can you argue with Esquire magazine, the premier source for political truths. Ambrose is that desperate that he quotes a fashion magazine to prop up Pence. Yes as governor he was despised by the voting public. He couldn't save his way out of a paper bag, let alone the GOP.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.