SLIDELL, La. — Just over yonder at the recreational vehicle park where my wife and I are parked for a few nights is an RV with a tall flagpole. It flies Old Glory and a Donald Trump campaign flag.
The Trump flag says: “Trump 2020 . . . Keep America Great.”
I am struck by something missing from the banner: the name of Vice President Mike Pence. I’ll stipulate that I’ve seen political banners containing both men’s names. So perhaps this Trump 2020 banner is no big deal.
Then again . . .
I’m scratching my head. I won’t ask the owner of the RV about it; he likely doesn’t know a thing about any possible back story. I do remember a moment about a year ago when Trump asked Pence if he would run with him for re-election. Pence said “yes.” Trump applauded in front of the boisterous crowd. All seemed happy in Trump World.
But . . . is it?
I’ve noted that the president and the vice president aren’t eating lunch these days privately, per their custom. Trump jettisoned the personal lunches with the No. 2 man in the government’s executive branch. Atlantic magazine reports that Trump reportedly has chided Pence privately about the VP’s endorsement of Sen. Ted Cruz prior to the2016 Indiana Republican presidential primary. Trump won that primary and he reportedly has lorded that over the VP.
I must wonder whether the president is so indebted to Pence that he would keep him on the GOP presidential ticket in 2020. I also am wondering if Pence’s devotion to the president registers with Trump. Does he care that the VPOTUS has stood foursquare with him?
Trump demands loyalty among subordinates. He looks for all the world to me like someone who feels no need to reciprocate.
Thus, I am wondering whether the “Trump 2020” flag portends a big announcement.