Look at the picture. The person to Donald Trump’s right is none other than the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence.
Of all the chatter we’ve heard about that meeting, the one image that continues to stick in my craw is of Pence sitting there, silent, not saying a single word. Meanwhile, the president argues with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer about the federal budget and financing construction of The Wall on our southern border.
The image of Pence sitting there mute reminds me of what President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden said of their relationship during their eight years in power.
Obama has made it abundantly clear, and Biden has affirmed it, that Biden was the last person to leave any room where the two men were present. Biden would argue with Obama, telling him — sometimes with great emphasis — where he believed the president was wrong. The president would fire back. The two men would go at it tooth and nail.
But through it all, as the former president has recounted their service together, they forged a lasting friendship and partnership.
Do you think the current vice president and the current president have anything approaching that kind of relationship, let alone any semblance of a friendship? Of course not!
Trump comes from a world where he was The Boss. He made decisions. Those who worked for him did what they were told to do. If they didn’t, they were out. Indeed, we’ve seen evidence of that background even as he has morphed into what passes for the chief executive of the federal government.
Thus, when Trump, Pelosi and Schumer were haranguing each other in the Oval Office, one couldn’t possibly expect VP Pence to chime in with his own view. I mean, after all, he’s only the No. 2 man in the executive branch of government. He was elected right along with Donald Trump to lead the nation. Isn’t that right?
Doesn’t that by itself give him any “cred” to say what he believes, to tell the president anything at all that might contradict whatever passes for the president’s world view?
One would think. Except that we are talking about Donald Trump, who is unfit for the office he holds. He wanted an obsequious lap dog to serve as VP and, by golly, he got one.