“This is a guy whose every move, from when he left high school and went off to college, has been oriented toward the White House.” – Michael D’Antonio, Author of “The Shadow President: The Truth about Mike Pence”
With reports of whispers in the White House about putting the 25th Amendment to use — which, in part, grants the vice president in conjunction with the majority of the Cabinet the right to declare the president unfit for office — there are more eyes on Mike Pence than ever before.
According to the Constitution, the vice president is next in line for the commander-in-chief position if Trump gets the boot — a daunting prospect host Pat Thurston decided warranted a deep dive into Pence’s past. She turned to Michael D’Antonio, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist who devoted his latest book, “The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence,” to mapping out the life and intentions of the Indiana native.
D’Antonio’s research, which stretched back to Pence’s early years, found four overarching themes: Pence loves the idea of heading the executive branch, he’s opportunistic, he has a strategy and he’s prepared.
“This is a guy whose every move, from when he left high school and went off to college, has been oriented toward the White House,” D’Antonio revealed to Thurston.
According to D’Antonio, shortly after earning his law degree Pence hit the ground running with his first congressional campaign. After losing two bids for a seat, he went a different direction and pursued conservative talk-radio in order to hone his public speaking skills.
“All along the way he made friends with the richest donors in the Republican universe and kept cultivating this power base,” D’Antonio told Thurston.
In writing the novel, D’Antonio also discovered Pence’s strong religious beliefs, which are the primary source of his push for the widely-condemned practice of conversion therapy, had a curious origin.
“He went from being typical new-deal Democrat Catholic, his family all fit that definition, to becoming a right-wing evangelical conservative Christian. But, it also turns out that’s exactly what fit the congressional district he lived in,” D’Antonio said.
In addition, D’Antonio found several indicators that Pence is only in Trump’s corner because it directly benefits him, calling the relationship nothing more than “a political marriage of convenience.”
Listen to their full conversation below to learn more about Trump’s right-hand man and what he could have in store for the country.