| A guide to|
|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
“”Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn't kill.
|—Kamala Harris, following the 2020 Vice Presidential debate|
“”He looks like he’s from the 1950s, but he thinks like he’s from the 1650s.
|—John Oliver, on Last Week Tonight|
Michael Richard Pence (1959–) served as the 48th Vice President of the United States from 2017 to 2021. He is also formerly the 50th Governor of Indiana, a Representative from the state's 6th District, and the only man in the world who thinks MILF has a comma in it. A Republican, notorious Christian fundamentalist, and supporter of the Tea Party, he was a potential candidate for the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2012 and 2016, but chose not to run. In spite of his previous denouncement of Trump and endorsement of Ted "Vote your Conscience" Cruz, he was later chosen as Trump's Vice President.
The sad part is Pence didn't do much for Indiana; that was all Mitch Daniels. Pence first came to national prominence when he introduced and subsequently signed a bill into law that would allow private individuals and companies to discriminate against LGBT people on "religious freedom" grounds. However, after hundreds of businesses pointed out the economic impact of such a bill, he quietly backed down, tail tucked between his legs.
Despite bearing an eerie resemblance to a James Bond villain Pence is incredibly boring ("Born to be Mild"), which is why walking infomercial Donald Trump chose him as his VP, in order to make Trump's mad ramblings more palatable to fundie Republicans. However, if he continues to rub the Republican establishment the wrong way, he may eventually come to regret not choosing a VP who's less acceptable to the far right. Pence is also completely crazy and thinks Jesus wanted him to be a politician. He wants the line between religion and politics completely erased. Furthermore, he's an outright Cheney fan, "I frankly hold Dick Cheney in very high regard in his role as vice president."
He was born, raised, and educated in Indiana. Born into an Irish Catholic and Democratic family, Pence and his family idolized the first Irish Catholic president, John F. Kennedy. He converted to Evangelical Protestantism during his college years and became a Republican. 
He studied law at Indiana University in Indianapolis and briefly worked in private practice before moving to the more content-free life of a think-tank whore and right-wing talk radio presenter in the 1990s. In the latter capacity, he reportedly styled himself "Rush Limbaugh on decaf", indicating his comparative dullness in comparison to the rabid shock jock, although in retrospect maybe he knew something about Limbaugh's drug problems too.
He unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 1988 and 1990; in the latter race he was widely criticised for finding unusual uses for campaign funding, including mortgage payments on his house and entrance fees for golf tournaments. He finally succeeded in entering the House of Representatives in 2000. In 2006, he lost badly to John Boehner in the election for House minority leader, but he became Republican Conference Chairman in 2009, which is nearly as good.
While in Congress, he served on committees concerned with agriculture, the judiciary, small business, and foreign relations; he introduced 90 bills of which zero became law. He also proposed a constitutionally-enshrined government spending limit and spoke in favor of the gold standard. He voted for the Iraq War and Patriot Act, and supported immigration restrictions, campaign finance liberalisation, every free trade treaty there was, and partial privatisation of Social Security.
He was the only candidate in the 2012 Republican primary for governor of Indiana, and polled 49.6% in the general election to defeat Democratic candidate John Gregg; this was a sharp fall from the vote for his predecessor Mitch Daniels but still enough to keep the Republicans in power.
Trump VP pick
During his first CNN interview with Trump, Pence's initial answer on waterboarding was a pretty creative cop-out, we'll give him that. "I don't think we should ever tell our enemy what our tactics are." Trump rather patronizingly said that Pence was "entitled to a mistake"—voting for the Iraq War, one of the most common sticks he uses to beat Hillary with. That isn't even discussing the frickin' GOLD CHAIRS they were sitting in. Yes GOLD CHAIRS that looked just like Saddam's or Putin's or Assad's or… Just an all-around disaster of an interview. Notably, perhaps forshadowing what would happen later, he was not the first choice-John Kasich turned down the job because he was staunchly anti-Trump.
“”When the conversation turned to gay rights, Trump motioned toward Pence and joked, “Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!”
Pence converted from Catholicism (and from being a Democrat) in the 1990s, and became an evangelical Christian. He is a creationist (pro-"intelligent design") and opposes evolution, and has used the "just one of many theories" gambit. Though he doesn't like to talk about his religion, his political career has been marked by the social conservatism characteristic of evangelical Christianity, and he has associated with dominionists. He may also have argued in favor of taxpayer funded conversion therapy, although his wording was a bit ambiguous.
As a radio show host, Pence was known for his range of… interesting opinions on a wide variety of topics, to put it lightly. In 1999, Pence argued in an op-ed that the Disney film Mulan was liberal, feminazi propaganda:
Just spent a memorable Father's Day, like so many other all American Hoosier dads, with my kids at the new Disney film entitled, "Mulan". […] Despite her delicate features and voice, Disney expects us to believe that Mulan's ingenuity and courage were enough to carry her to military success on an equal basis with her cloddish cohorts. Obviously, this is Walt Disney's attempt to add childhood expectation to the cultural debate over the role of women in the military. I suspect that some mischievous liberal at Disney assumes that Mulan's story will cause a quiet change in the next generation's attitude about women in combat and they just might be right. (Just think about how often we think of Bambi every time the subject of deer hunting comes into the mainstream media debate.) […]
The hard truth of our experiment with gender integration is that is has been an almost complete disaster for the military and for many of the individual women involved. […] Housing, in close quarters, young men and women (in some cases married to non-military personnel) at the height of their physical and sexual potential is the height of stupidity. It is instructive that even in the Disney film, young Ms. Mulan falls in love with her superior officer! Me thinks the politically correct Disney types completely missed the irony of this part of the story. They likely added it because it added realism with which the viewer could identify with the characters. You see, now stay with me on this, many young men find many young women to be attractive sexually. Many young women find many young men to be attractive sexually. Put them together, in close quarters, for long periods of time, and things will get interesting. Just like they eventually did for young Mulan. Moral of story: women in military, bad idea.
If he really hated the movie that much, just sticking to the valid criticism that it was the typically cheesy Disney fakelore would have sufficed. The fact that actual ancient Chinese history had several real famous female warriors, Pence freely ignores. It also doesn't seem to have occurred to him that many young men find each other attractive, with or without openly admitting it, and that this has never brought the army tumbling down. Unless maybe it did occur to him and people were right to call his statements alluding to conversion therapy dog whistles.
Decades after there is any scientific doubt that tobacco smoking kills, and denialists are hard to find, Pence claimed in 2000, "Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn't kill."
Homophobia and Transphobia
Besides already drafting a religious freedom act during his time as the governor of Indiana, he was in favor of the North Carolina HB2 bill that would give the right to discriminate transgender people in North Carolina. He was also the one responsible for Trump signing the transgender ban in the United States military in July 2017.
Views on science
Like most fundamentalists and creationists, Pence is anti-science. He wanted to replace science classes with teaching the bible instead.
The Fall Guy
“”Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our constitution, giving states a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!
|—Donald Trump throws Pence under the bus amidst the 2021 U.S. Capitol riot, at 2:24pm on 6 January 2021|
Pence's unfailing support for Donald Trump has cost him dearly. After years of securing evangelical support for Trump, he was unceremoniously thrown under the bus for failing to selectively overturn the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election when presiding over the certification of the electoral college results on 6 January 2021. Trump, seeing his last chance at remaining in power slip away, egged on the protestors in a speech on that day, mentioning Pence no less than 13 times. Shortly thereafter, a mob of insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol, and many of the rioters were prepared to execute Pence for failing to stand up for their doomed cause. After this debacle, Pence, now disgraced and shunned by the Republican Party, retired to an isolated cabin in Indiana to contemplate his misguided deal with the devil and assume his new role as a martyr for Trumpism.
This was Trump's way of shifting the blame as he had promised the mob that he would win, but had failed to do so. A scapegoat was required, and for Trump, there's no problem that this was his most loyal aide.
- Hogan, Patrick (July 14, 2016). "Here are some of the weirdest columns Mike Pence wrote in the '90s". Fusion.
- Mike Pence Fly Remix
- The Kamala Harris "There's a Fly on Your Head" remix by Alan Cross (October 9, 2020) A Journal of Musical Things.
- Mike Pence Tweets
- Spodak, Cassie (August 5, 2016). "11-year-old puts Pence on the spot with Trump question". CNN Politics.
- Tani, Maxwell (September 18, 2016). "Mike Pence: I'd model my vice presidency after Dick Cheney". Business Insider.
- Mahler, Johnathan; Johnson, Dirk (July 20, 2016).
- "Mike Pence's Journey: Catholic Democrat to Evangelical Republican".The New York Times.
- Mike Pence used campaign funds to pay his mortgage — and it cost him an election By Rosalind S. Helderman et al. (July 15, 2016) The Washington Post.
- Joyce, Andrew (September 28, 2016). "Mike Pence believes in climate change (don't tell Trump!)". Fusion.
- Eric Bradner and Tal Kopan, "Trump: I'd declare war on ISIS, send 'very few' troops", CNN (Updated 7/17/16 at 7:59 PM ET).
- Savransky, Rebbecca, "Trump: Pence entitled to make mistakes, Hillary's not", The Hill (7/17/16 at 7:01 pm).
- Mayer, "The Dangers of President Pence", New Yorker (16 October 2017, 5:00 AM).
- My deepest-held conviction, @VP, is USA is being ruined by fake-Christian pharisees like you… @BettyBowers (4:06 AM - 13 May 2018) Twitter.
- Mike Pence’s religion by Craig Fehrman
- Mike Pence, creationist
- ProgressiveChangeNews (August 4, 2016). "Mike Pence Fighting Evolution". YouTube.
- Pence's support for conversion therapy not a settled matter
- "The Mike Pence Show" op-ed (1999), unearthed by BuzzFeed on July 17, 2016.
- Who’s worse for the nation — Trump or Pence? by Richard Cohen (August 7 at 7:35 PM) The Washington Post.
- Condoms, More Than 10,000 Years Old, Are Too “Modern” for Mike Pence by Nora Caplan-Bricker (July 22 2016 12:49 PM) Slate.
- In a Trump-free election, Pence might not seem so mainstream: The governor's long career in the public eye contains its share of controversy by Madeline Conway and Brent Griffiths (10/04/2016 01:32 PM EDT) Politico.
- "Smoking Doesn't Kill" And Other Great Old Op-Eds From Mike Pence by Andrew Kaczynski (March 31, 2015, at 10:38 a.m.) BuzzFeed News.
-  Pence supports North Carolina's right to discriminate, DailyKos
-  Pence secretly drafted Trump's latest transgender military ban, ThinkProgress
- Sidney Blumenthal, The martyrdom of Mike Pence. The Guardian, 7 February 2021.