Something strange is going on in Washington, D.C.
That’s not really news, though. After all, strange things have to happen in a city built on greed, power, lies, and (almost always unattractive) people trading influence for sex.
But D.C. intrigue hit an unusually mysterious level Wednesday when seemingly out of nowhere, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley tweeted out her “complete support” for Vice President Mike Pence.
A kind sentiment to be sure. And doubtless welcomed by the vice president.
Haley’s tweet, however, stuck out for two reasons. First, it was extremely deliberate and pointed. Second, no one knows exactly why it was deliberate nor what it was pointed at.
The Hill reported Haley’s tweet was “an attempt to knock down unspecified ‘false rumors’ about [Pence’s] place on the 2020 Republican ticket.”
But exactly what those rumors are and where they came from was apparently beyond The Hill’s journalistic powers.
One potential trigger for the supposed rumors The Hill mentioned came Sunday when President Donald Trump responded to a question about changing the 2020 GOP ticket.
According to The Hill, Trump said, “I think Mike Pence has been an outstanding VP… I think that he’s been incredible in terms of the love that a lot of people — especially if you look at the evangelicals and so many others, they really have a great respect for our vice president. And so do I. And so do, I think, most people.”
Just two months ago Trump said during “Meet the Press” that Pence would be his 2020 running mate “100 percent.”
Enough of the false rumors. Vice President Pence has been a dear friend of mine for years. He has been a loyal and trustworthy VP to the President. He has my complete support. ❤️🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/waPyQjC8Eb
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) August 21, 2019
So why did Nikki Haley feel the need to tweet “Enough of the false rumors. Vice President Pence has been a dear friend of mine for years. He has been a loyal and trustworthy VP to the President. He has my complete support”?
My guess is that she has heard rumors beginning to swirl that a potential change could be afoot — a change that would leave Pence out in the cold.
And how might those rumors have started? They could certainly have been born of the smoke-filled, backroom machinations of some D.C. swamp sows. Or they could stem from that question Trump got Sunday. Or both.
Regardless, what’s happening now is almost certainly a psy-op. The point to questioning a party ticket’s integrity is to sow doubt in the public mind and force the party to respond. And in responding, the party validates those doubts and gets sidetracked from communicating more important, positive messages about the candidates and negative messages about the opposition.
Nobody in D.C. thinks Pence is in danger of being removed from (or leaving) the 2020 ticket, but raising the specter is a way to sow discord.
In the end, Haley’s right (even though she probably inadvertently helped legitimize the psy-op). Pence is a loyal, trustworthy VP, but he’s more than that. Pence is incorruptible, and Trump needs that.
Where Trump at times has embraced bawdy behavior, Pence has embodied self-controlled Christian character. Trump curses, Pence doesn’t. Trump flies off the handle. Pence is always 100 percent in control.
Pence is the perfect counterbalance to Trump (especially given the importance of evangelical votes to the ticket), which is why he’s so important — and why Democrats and the establishment media would be more than willing to rumor-monger, hoping against hope that they might be able to get rid of him.
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