Should Mike Pence be re-elected as vice president, observers believe the chances are very high that he will take a shot at the real thing in 2024: succeed Trump as president of the United States.
He is 61, and in American politics, you are still young enough to be able to go for a while.
For the past four years, Pence has played a minor role alongside Trump. In February this year, he got the coronavirus on his plate. He became chairman of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, a special force tasked with containing and preventing the spread of the virus.
Media talked about a thankless assignment, with a president who long denied the danger. Pence himself also repeatedly misrepresented things.
He explained the rapidly increasing number of corona infections due to the growing number of tests, but scientists contradicted that. In April he had paid a working visit to a hospital without a mask. Shortly afterwards he acknowledged that he had acted wrong.
“Christian, Conservative and Republican, in that order,” the vice president once described himself. As a teenager, he was still a Democrat and a fan of the late President John F. Kennedy and the human rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. who is said to have inspired him to enter politics.
But the presidency of Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) and his, as Pence put it, “common sense conservatism” caused a turnaround. He abandoned his Roman Catholic faith at the same time to become a born again Christian.