Pence is sparing in his resentment over a mob incited to lynch him.
He instead dwells on stuffy things like loyalty. Loyalty to the Constitution on which his country was founded. His oaths to uphold it. His Catholic upbringing, growing up in Hoosier country, dull things like that, not nearly as juicy, humorous, and resentful as Harry tells his tale like a Shakespearean blame thrower about growing up in a monarchy.
Pence titles his book solemnly “So Help Me God.”
And some would say appropriately with the final words of the oath he had taken six long, tumultuous years ago.
On that triumphant day standing on the steps of the U.S. Capitol with his wife Karen and daughter Charlotte proudly beside him, the Irish Catholic son of decorated U.S. Army officer, a Hoosier who had risen to governor of the state where he had grown up, now was about to take the oath presented to him by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to become . . . Vice President of the United States of America.
He swore on that momentous day to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, as he would remind President Donald J. Trump four resplendently productive years ago turned stormy on that fateful day of Jan. 6, 2021, after which the House named a Select Committee to investigate alleged wrongdoing.
Trump was not just his boss, but a leader whom he regarded as the hardest-working, shrewdest, most resourceful, and effective businessman president whom he had admired and loyally served under for four exciting, memorable and overall successful years in The White House judging from the economy and a host of other accomplishments.
Then the bombshell Pence starts his book with.
In the beginning of “So Help Me God,” Pence writes that he told the President on that fateful day that he believed the oath he took was foremost and primarily to defend the Constitution of the United States.
Thus, it required him to preside over a joint session of Congress and put into effect that inflammatory word certify . . . to certify the results or the 2020 presidential election that he firmly believed in his mind and more deeply in his Catholic heart and soul that he and President Trump had (gulp) lost.
Then on that day that would live in infamy, haunt and torment our country for agonizing years to come, Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough seated a few feet in front of Pence, whispered through her face mask, “Mr. President protestors have breached the Capitol building’s doors on the first floor. Just informing you.”
And so help me God, Mike had sent me a signed copy of his biblically-toned book. Maybe it had something to do with my sending $40 to the NRCC to keep me out of its crosshairs as a much too vacillating Republican from hot to cold depending on the climate, the issues and who’s running. Was I some kind of RINO nut?
Pence describes when he first met Trump on Independence Day at his golf club in Bedminster where Trump was interviewing prospective running mates. While waiting for Trump the club manager told Pence that Trump had called three times asking if Pence was okay as “Trump wants things to be right.”
Pence writes “it was my first glimpse of the insistent and personal attention that I would see him give to important matters for the next four years.”
Later in the book Pence would write “I knew from the outset that no other Republican could have defeated Hillary Clinton. No other Republican was capable of binging about a level of change on taxes, regulation, energy, trade, judges and foreign policy that Trump proposed.”
Trump was rightly skeptical of nation-building in the Middle East and Pence said he articulated “what many Americans felt but their leaders wouldn’t say: that other nations should have more skin in the game when it came to global defense.
“It was a blueprint for a policy that put US citizens and their interests first, but did not abandon our commitments around the world or desert our partners.”
Then that tragic day, January 6.
Just prior to it, Pence said he was sure Trump and himself would be reelected after receiving the largest vote total for a Republican ticket in history and 10 million more votes in modern presidencies. “But still we came up short under circumstances that would cause millions of Americans to doubt the outcome . . . and set in motion events leading to a tragic day,” he writes.
Still, Pence says his “first instinct” was that there was no way the founders of this country intended to give any one person the authority to decide an election.
“The last thing the framers of the Constitution would have intended would be to confer unchecked authority on one individual.”
Then he recounts Trump telling him “You can be a historic figure, but if you wimp out, you’re just another somebody” to which Pence writes he responds:
“Mr. President, you know me, I’m going to do the right thing,” adding “I praised the House and Senate members for bringing objections because that’s what the Constitution and the law allow.”
Then on the final day before what many call the “insurrection,” Pence says Trump made a final appeal for him to show some courage to which Pence writes he responded saying: “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have courage, and you know it.”
Pence writes Trump told him he had the power to decertify the election to which Pence said he didn’t believe the Constitution or the law granted him that power.
The president then referred to a crowd outside saying ‘Those people love us and suggested Pence could not let them down.
“Those people love you, Mr. President. And those people also love the Constitution.”
Tom Madden writes articles, weekly blogs at MaddenMischief.com and books, including his most recent, WORDSHINE MAN about how to make writing inviting. When not writing, he’s running his PR firm, TransMedia Group, in Boca Raton, FL.