From Democrat villain to hero, Mike Pence takes star turn with House Jan. 6 committee

Every villain story additionally wants a hero, and Democrats investigating final yr’s assault on the U.S. Capitol have discovered a very unlikely one: former Vice President Mike Pence.

Members of the House Jan. 6 committee say Mr. Pence, in refusing to bow to President Trump’s demand to overturn the election, did nothing lower than save American democracy.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, chair of the panel, stated the nation was “lucky” to have Mr. Pence in place that day. Rep. Pete Aguilar stated the vice chairman braved Mr. Trump’s ire and “did the correct factor.”

For a celebration that had little good to say about Mr. Pence for 20 years, getting the Superman therapy for standing up to Mr. Trump, Democrats’ reward is hanging.

“He is the enemy of their enemy and subsequently he’s their good friend, which suggests every little thing else is forgotten till he runs for political workplace by which case he’ll develop into the enemy once more, and nobody loves him,” stated Steve Mitchell, a GOP strategist. 

It’s robust to think about Democrats’ reward helps Mr. Pence, who has designs on the GOP’s presidential nod in 2024.

Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic strategist, stated the payoff for Mr. Pence shall be historic — not political.

“There isn’t any middle anymore in politics so it’s laborious to envision Democrats standing up and saying Mike Pence ought to be the following president and it’s laborious to see Republicans on the far-right say he ought to be president,” Mr. Sheinkopf stated. “He shall be endlessly remembered as somebody who had the braveness to get up at a time of nice violence and when his life was in peril.”

“The Trumpers,” he stated, “are by no means going to change their opinion and can threaten his life in all probability ought to he run for president.”

According to the committee, Mr. Pence hid in a parking storage to keep away from the mob of Trump supporters that invaded the Capitol, disrupting the counting of electoral votes. At one level Mr. Pence was inside a number of dozen toes of crossing paths with the rampaging demonstrators.

It’s not clear what Mr. Pence thinks of his star turn. He has not been referred to as to testify. He has as a substitute been targeted on strengthening the bond between conventional conservative pondering and the Make America Great Again motion. 

On Thursday, he was in Ohio elevating cash on behalf of Gov. Mike Dewine and Rep. Steve Chabot, who’s working in a aggressive re-election race.

“Mike Pence has been a constitutional conservative for greater than three a long time, so whereas it doesn’t harm for individuals to acknowledge braveness it doesn’t matter what occasion, it’s additionally good to see Democrats come round to the thought of upholding the Constitution,” stated Pence spokesman Devin O’Malley

An Economist/YouGov ballot taken June 11-14, earlier than the Thursday listening to that celebrated Mr. Pence, discovered his total approval score underwater, with 49% of adults holding an unfavorable view, in contrast to simply 38% who noticed him favorably.

Among Republicans, 64% had a optimistic view, however amongst Democrats it was lower than 25%, suggesting occasion leaders’ reward in latest weeks had but to sink in.

Not too way back, Democrats lampooned Mr. Pence as an anachronist, chuckling about his coverage of by no means consuming alone with a girl who isn’t his spouse, and his revelation that he feels uncomfortable about attending occasions the place alcohol is served until his spouse is there.

Mr. Pence is the newest determine from the Trump period to turn from heel to hero.

Others embrace former FBI Director James B. Comey, who in 2016 tripped up Hillary Clinton’s presidential run with revelations about her use of a secret electronic mail server to ship categorised materials. Calls to fireplace him rapidly modified to calls for that he be stored in any respect prices after Mr. Comey turned his investigative consideration to Mr. Trump.

Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former private lawyer, additionally ended up as a star witness for Democrats throughout an earlier set of anti-Trump hearings.

He stated he broke the legislation on a number of events and lied about it as a result of Mr. Trump advised him to achieve this.

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