Ross: Mike Pence appears almost heroic in Trump’s indictment

Aug 3, 2023, 9:25 AM | Updated: 9:56 am

Mike Pence Trump's indictment...

Republican presidential candidate and former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Clinton County GOP Hog Roast, Sunday, July 30, 2023, in Clinton, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

If anyone comes off well in the Trump indictment, it’s Mike Pence. Democrats considered him weak, unable to stand up to Trump during his four years in office, doing as he was told, basically an empty suit.

And yet, on January 6, when he finds himself in the Senate Chamber — the eye of the hurricane — with Trump on the phone telling him to reject Biden’s votes, he tells Trump no.

More from Dave Ross: Trump’s Jan. 6 indictment gives Americans the ultimate choice

And when Trump sends out that tweet telling the crowd that Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done,” and the barbarians are at the gates threatening to hang him, even though Pence is hustled away, he refuses to leave the building. He lashes himself to the mast, and the votes are eventually counted.

So during our weekly talk, I asked former State Attorney General Rob McKenna, Eagle Scout, lifelong Republican, and one of the few Republicans to be elected to statewide office in Washington State, if his portrayal in the indictment might be the thing that energizes his presidential campaign.

“You know, I think it’s helpful to him that what’s being, you know, really talked about this week, coming out of the indictment, is that Trump told them, quote, ‘you’re too honest.’ That’s not a bad insult to run with when you’re in the grand scheme of things.”

But let me ask, I’m not sure how much of an authority McKenna is, but does that play in Trump world?

“If you mean, does it help Pence get the nomination? No, it doesn’t, because the +70% of base Republican voters supporting Trump seem to be rock solid,” McKenna said. “And it doesn’t seem that anything he does or anything he’s accused of doing is going to shake their faith in him.”

So, bad news for Mike. Timing is everything, and this is a time when courage has nothing to do with defending the Constitution.

More on Trump: How the Trump fake electors scheme became a ‘corrupt plan,’ according to the indictment

Even I have to admit that compared to dismantling the IRS, and de-politicizing the FBI, protecting the Constitution is not just dull, it’s C-SPAN dull.

And yet when I read that indictment, it was Pence’s decision to keep his oath that averted a much bigger crisis, a decision which, under the circumstances, wasn’t just an act of moral courage but physical courage.

But to most Democrats, he’ll always be the guy who waited too long to stand up, and to most Republicans, he’s the guy who stood up when he should have stood down.

There’s no one lonelier than an honest politician.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Mike Pence appears almost heroic in Trump’s indictment