Mike Pence will be President of the United States should Donald Trump be impeached and subsequently removed from office — a possibility that is appearing more and more likely by the day. So what kind of President would Mike Pence be? Here’s a bit of background information about the current Vice President, and a look at what his presidency might look like.
Who Is Mike Pence
Born June 7, 1959 (age 57) in Columbus, Indiana, Mike Pence is the 48th man to hold the office of Vice President. Before accepting Donald Trump’s invitation to serve as his running mate, Pence was the 50th Governor of Indiana.
Pence was raised Catholic in a family that always voted Democrat, according to a 2016 Indianapolis Star report. However, while he was in college at Hanover College, Pence converted to Evangelical Christianity, and his politics followed suit. Pence later graduated from Indiana University Law School, then went into private practice.
It has been brought to my attention that young Mike Pence also isn’t too bad???? pic.twitter.com/RwghzGfJiA
— Ashton B. (@LilAshtronaut) April 2, 2017
In 2000, Pence was elected to U.S. House of Representatives after several failed political campaigns in the 1990s. From there he worked his way up, ultimately being elected Governor in 2012.
Pence is married to Karen Pence, with whom he has three children: Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey.
Pence’s Record As Governor Of Indiana
Pence’s term in office as Governor of Indiana was marked by strong fiscal and social conservatism. Already blessed with a $2 billion budget surplus that Pence inherited from his predecessor, Pence continued making cuts to the Hoosier State’s budget, including cutting millions from the state’s colleges and universities, and millions more from the state’s Corrections Department.
During that time, Indiana’s employment rate more-or-less mirrored the national average, according to FactCheck.org. Meanwhile, Indiana’s job growth was slightly behind the national average, while Indiana’s economy was one of the slowest-growing in the country.
Socially, Pence’s record was one of intense social conservatism. He supported voucher programs and charter schools over traditional public schools, he tried to roll back renewable energy standards, and perhaps most notoriously, signed into law a controversial “Religious Freedom” law that, by some interpretations, would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals.
Mike Pence As President: A Continuation of the Trump Presidency?
So if (when?) Mike Pence is sworn is as President, can Americans expect him to be a continuation of the Trump presidency?
Almost certainly not, says Independent writer Sean O’Grady.
The most obvious difference between Trump and Pence is that Pence is a politician. His years in law and politics have taught him how to behave like a politician: speaking and acting in measured, cautious, and conventional ways. Unlike his boss, who may yet drag the country into World War 3 with a poorly-worded tweet, Mike Pence doesn’t tweet much, and when he does, it’s usually mundane photos or pronouncements of some development in Washington.
Similarly, Trump’s entire image is that of an outsider, while Pence is a Republican insider, and unashamedly so. In fact, says O’Grady, Republicans in Washington may secretly prefer the image of a polite, soft-spoken, Midwestern family man in the Oval Office over the glamor and bombast that is Ivanka and Donald Trump.
Should Pence assume the Presidency, expect the Border Wall to be off the table, says O’Grady, as well as other, more “eccentric” ideas such as the Muslim ban. However, if Pence’s record is any indication, you can continue to expect harsh budget cuts, particularly in areas where Republicans don’t generally like spending money (the environment, for example, or education).
And if you’re wondering whether or not President Pence will take a page from Gerald Ford and pro-actively pardon his former boss for any and all crimes committed before and during his presidency, O’Grady says it’s all but certain.
So there you have Mike Pence: a fiercely conservative, fiercely loyal Republican insider who knows how to work the system. Whether or not that’s an improvement over Donald Trump, you’ll have to decide.
[Featured Image by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images]