- - Tuesday, December 5, 2017


To the titans of wisdom, morality and politics (as a bunch of little guys of press and tube think of themselves), Mike Pence is a puzzlement. They just can’t get a handle on the man.

No one has accused him of parading through the White House in the nude, no young woman has said he patted her bottom or rubbed up against her in an elevator, or put a roving hand on her thigh as they sat together in church, singing hymns. Washington’s wise guys could understand that, but Mike Pence goes to church for worship. He spends much of his free time, such as it may be, working in soup kitchens or hanging out with his first and only wife. How weird is that?

Indeed, the rap on the veep for a long time was that he refused to hang out with any woman not his wife, Karen, to whom he has been married for 32 years. Who could admire a man like that? The Pence Rule was derided as a knock-off of the famous Billy Graham Rule. The evangelist, now closing in on the century mark, wouldn’t be alone with a woman not his wife unless his wife was there, too.

Mocking Messrs. Graham and Pence was great fun until a succession of famous men of stage, screen and radio demonstrated why they should have had such a rule, and faithfully obeyed it. The Harvey Weinstein Rule, tweaked by the Charlie Rose — “Never keep your clothes on when women are present” — is usually risky business. The John Conyers amendment to the rule — “Slipping a roving hand under a lady’s skirt to stroke her thigh while in church is permissible only during the singing of a hymn” — is rarely a good idea, either.

Mr. Pence has further demonstrated a gift for being in the right place at a wrong time. When Egypt submitted a troublesome resolution to the United Nations and it drew Mike Flynn and Jared Kushner to a wrong place to fix it, Mr. Pence was at a particularly fortunate right place, spooning out soup at a homeless shelter back home in Indiana. He was back home in Indiana again at his son’s wedding when President Obama imposed sanctions on Russia for meddling in the 2016 election, luring Mike Flynn into contacts with Russians and then lying about it to the FBI.

“It’s remarkable, as close as [Mr. Pence] was to the transition, as close as he was to the president,” William Jeffress, a Washington lawyer who defended Scooter Libby in the Valerie Plame CIA scandal and a man who knows Washington’s ways, tells Politico that “what’s come out so far very little puts him in key places at key times.”

This frustrates certain Democrats and their enablers in the mainstream media to no end. No one is as good as he looks, or as Mr. Pence, an evangelical Christian, would agree, all men are sinners and have come short of the glory of God. But some come shorter than others. Why can’t Mike Pence find a scandal to get into?

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