WASHINGTON – Aides to Vice President Mike Pence laughed off revelations that he had conducted government business using his personal AOL email account while governor of Indiana. “Of course he got hacked,” one said. “Does AOL even have two-step authentication?”
Asked where their boss was, staffers said he was taking some downtime. A member of his communications team was jovial with reporters seeking to interview the former governor, who was widely expected to lose if he sought re-election to the seat.
Like everyone else in the administration, Pence has blundered into his current role. Unlike nearly everyone else in the administration, Pence has decades of credibility as a movement conservative, electoral experience, and an executive office on his resume. He’s also of the Paul Ryan school of conservative ideological rigidity. Official Washington believes that it will be Pence, not his boss, on the GOP ticket in 2020.
A photo of the Vice President relaxing on a beach prompted speculation that the current dust-up over his email use had chased him away from the press. “No way,” said a senior staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the situation within the administration. “He’s chilling on a beach, waiting to be president. The Attorney General of the United States lied to Congress, the inner circle in the executive is lousy with Russian spies, and the guy supposedly running the show spends most of his time shouting at CNN on the TV. Mike Pence is taking the weekend to get tanned and rested. He even got a dog so Americans will be able to relate to him.”
We reached out to the White House to respond. A source, who would only speak on the condition that he be identified as a “Senior White House Official,” insisted that everything was fine. “No, I’m doing great as President. Many people say so. I hear it all the time.”