What exactly is Mike Pence planning?

The former vice president is acting like a man ready to run for the White House — so what does he have in mind?

Mike Pence
(Image credit: Illustrated/Getty Images)

In a bygone era of politics, former Vice President Mike Pence would be sitting comfortably as the unquestionable heir apparent to the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Even without his White House experience, Pence's experience as a former congressman and governor are the sort of bona fides to make him a formidable candidate. And yet, as the GOP field for the upcoming presidential election starts to take shape, Pence has thus far held back, making feints toward tossing his hat into the race without actually capitalizing on his ostensible status as an elder statesman in the party.

In no small part, Pence's "will-he-won't-he" status is a byproduct of his onetime boss and current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, who not only dominates the nomination race, but has also primed his sizable MAGA base to despise Pence for certifying President Biden's 2020 victory. Adding to that already complicated calculus is the declared candidacy of fellow Trump administration official Nikki Haley, as well as the undeclared Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose presence looms large over the GOP field as a whole.

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Rafi Schwartz, The Week US

Rafi Schwartz has worked as a politics writer at The Week since 2022, where he covers elections, Congress and the White House. He was previously a contributing writer with Mic focusing largely on politics, a senior writer with Splinter News, a staff writer for Fusion's news lab, and the managing editor of Heeb Magazine, a Jewish life and culture publication. Rafi's work has appeared in Rolling Stone, GOOD and The Forward, among others.