Pence blasts the New York Times over his supposed 'shadow campaign'

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Published by: Robert Laurie on Monday August 07th, 2017

Someone get Mulder on the phone. ...It's all connected

If you're a progressive - and you're not Kathy Griffin - your greatest dream is to see the impeachment of President Donald Trump.  Lefties appear to be split pretty evenly into two camps: The first is just sane enough to know that this probably isn't going to happen. The second is sure that the latest phony scandal, no matter how idiotic the headline is, is evidence that "they've got him" and he's going down at any second.

This mentality (which exists to a much lesser degree on the Republican side of he aisle) has lead to a popular conspiracy threory about Vice President Mike Pence. Allegedly, he's waiting in the wings, drumming his fingers together like a Machiavellian mastermind, pushing his allies around like chess pieces, and waiting for his moment to strike. Then, he'll put all the gays into camps and establish federally-mandated single-payer cathechism classes.  ...At least that's what they believe.

On Saturday, The New York Times ran a piece about Pence which, despite admitting he'd done nothing to distance himself from Trump, outlined the VP's alleged "shadow campaign."

The vice president created his own political fund-raising committee, Great America Committee, shrugging off warnings from some high-profile Republicans that it would create speculation about his intentions. The group, set up with help from Jack Oliver, a former fund-raiser for George W. Bush, has overshadowed Mr. Trump’s own primary outside political group, America First Action, even raising more in disclosed donations.

Mr. Pence also installed Nick Ayers, a sharp-elbowed political operative, as his new chief of staff last month — a striking departure from vice presidents’ long history of elevating a government veteran to be their top staff member. Mr. Ayers had worked on many campaigns but never in the federal government. …

Mr. Pence has made no overt efforts to separate himself from the beleaguered president. He has kept up his relentless public praise and even in private is careful to bow to the president.

That appears to be the sum-total of what's driving this story so, yeah, the tinfoil hatters are on some shaky ground. 

In order to believe this, you have to believe that things are so bad within the GOP that they're all but certain Trump is doomed.  Then you have to ignore the way party politics work, the way campaign fundraising works, the way political careers work, and the historically monumental task that would be facing a sitting VP who tried to usurp his own President.

Is it possible that a someone close to Pence said "hey, what if...?"  Of course it is.  They'd be stupid not to.  However, that doesn't even remotely constitute a "shadow campaign."

The U.S. Military regularly plots scenarios in which we need to invade Canada - that doesn't mean they're prepping the tanks.

Pence fired back on Sunday, and he wasn't mincing words as he ripped the Times article:

“Today's article in the New York Times is disgraceful and offensive to me, my family, and our entire team. The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this Administration.

The American people know that I could not be more honored to be working side by side with a president who is making America great again. Whatever fake news may come our way, my entire team will continue to focus all our efforts to advance the President's agenda and see him re-elected in 2020. Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd."

So...if you were hoping to see Mike Pence plotting a coup with the Cigarette Smoking Man on the banks of the Potomac, it sounds like you're going to be disappointed.

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