The Rise and Fall of Mike Pence: Lessons on Trumpism and Political Ambition

The Rise and Fall of Mike Pence: A Tale of Trumpism and Political Ambition

In the world of politics, alliances can be both a blessing and a curse. This is a lesson that former Vice President Mike Pence learned the hard way.[0] Pence, once a staunch conservative and devout Christian, saw his political career take a dramatic turn when he embraced Donald Trump and his brand of populism. Little did he know that this alliance would ultimately lead to his undoing.

Back in 2016, Pence made the controversial decision to endorse Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the Indiana primary, despite Trump’s rise in popularity. However, after Trump secured the nomination, Pence quickly shifted gears and threw his support behind the businessman-turned-politician. He believed that Trump was giving a voice to the frustrations of working Americans and saw an opportunity to legitimize and tap into a growing populist movement.[1]

But as time went on, Pence began to resist the more extreme elements of Trumpism. He refused to overturn the results of the 2020 election, despite pressure from Trump and his supporters.[2] However, this refusal only served to further alienate him from the populist base that had once embraced him. Pence found himself caught between a rock and a hard place – betray his longtime supporters by backing Trump or risk losing his newfound fans by not fully endorsing him.

The events of January 6, 2021, solidified Pence’s antipathy towards Trump and Trumpism.[3] As Congress tried to certify the election results, Pence found himself pinned down at the Capitol while a mob of Trump supporters stormed the building.[3] Trump did little to quell the violence, and Pence’s life was put in danger. This experience further strained his relationship with Trump and exposed him as a political traitor in the eyes of the populist base.[4]

Throughout his time as vice president, Pence struggled to defend Trump and protect his own reputation. During the 2016 campaign, he focused on safeguarding his own image in case Trump lost.[3] When the infamous Access Hollywood tape was released, Pence distanced himself from Trump for a brief period to assess his own role in the campaign. This pattern of self-preservation continued throughout their time in office.

Pence’s fate was sealed when he agreed to be Trump’s running mate in 2016.[0] He became inextricably tied to Trump’s narrative and was seen as complicit in the chaos and controversies of the Trump administration. Despite his best efforts to reclaim his own story and distance himself from Trump, Pence found himself unable to escape the shadow of his former boss.

In October 2023, Pence made the difficult decision to suspend his presidential campaign.[5] He acknowledged that the timing was not right for him and that he needed to step back from the race.[6] While he received praise from some Republicans for his principled stand against Trump’s attempts to overturn the election, others saw him as a weak and ineffective leader who lacked the courage to fully break from Trump.

Pence’s departure from the race narrows the field of Republican candidates and consolidates support for those who are looking to challenge Trump in 2024. However, Trump remains the heavy favorite and continues to hold a double-digit lead in the crowded Republican field.[7]

As Pence exits the stage, it is clear that his political identity will forever be intertwined with Donald Trump’s. He may have tried to write his own ending, but ultimately, he was unable to escape the consequences of his alliance with Trump and the rise of Trumpism.

In the end, Pence’s story serves as a cautionary tale for politicians who align themselves with divisive and controversial figures. While it may offer short-term gains and opportunities for advancement, it can also lead to a downfall that is difficult to recover from. Pence’s political ambitions may have been thwarted, but his journey serves as a reminder of the power and pitfalls of Trumpism in American politics.

0. “GOP Presidential Candidates Listed in Their Likely Order of Disappearance” Newsweek, 31 Oct. 2023,

1. “It ended in Sin City. But Mike Pence’s campaign was DOA for months.” POLITICO, 28 Oct. 2023,

2. “As his presidential bid ends, Pence may finally escape Trump’s shadow” MSNBC, 30 Oct. 2023,

3. “Pence, Who Couldn’t Derail Trump, Is Looking at Who Might” TIME, 30 Oct. 2023,

4. “Mike Pence: Former US Vice President withdraws from 2024 presidential race”, 28 Oct. 2023,

5. “Pence Runs Away From the Circus – Chris Stirewalt” The Dispatch, 31 Oct. 2023,

6. “In praise of Mike Pence – The Spectator World” The Spectator World, 28 Oct. 2023,

7. “Pence exit portends a narrowed GOP field. Which Trump alternatives will benefit?” Miami Herald, 30 Oct. 2023,

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top