Is VP Pence preparing to run for president on his own?
The second most powerful person in the United States can’t disappear as magically as Waldo, but Vice President Mike Pence has been conspicuously missing from the public eye in the last few days.
President Trump and his administration continue to suffer attacks that reached a crescendo on Wednesday when the deputy attorney general appointed ex-FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead an investigation into allegations that Trump’s camp colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
While 48 percent of Americans are in favor of impeachment, Pence looked to his own political future. Pence filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, establishing the Great America Committee, a leadership political action committee. Through the PAC, Pence will be able to raise money for his political interests and make donations to down-ticket candidates.
The PAC, into which Pence can incorporate funds raised in the past, will also cover the costs of Pence’s travels on Air Force Two to campaign for Republican candidates across the nation.
Previously, officials have used party or campaign funds to cover travel costs; this is the first time a sitting VP has formed a separate political apparatus, NBC reported.
The birth of the political arm will “provide resources for the vice president to actually support candidates who are supportive of the president’s agenda,” a source told NBC.
There is no doubt that Pence has benefitted from his ties to Trump, which has landed him the vice presidential gig, but could those same ties sink his aspirations?
“Don’t read into 2020 as anything other than his running for reelection as vice president in 2020 and supporting other candidates,” a source told NBC.
Still, the timing of the PAC formation has raised some eyebrows.
Leadership PACs can accept donations from individuals up to $5,000.
Nick Ayers and Marty Obst, two of Pence’s aides, will lead the organization.
KIMBERLY M. AQUILINA @KimESTAqui
Vice President Mike Pence has been largely absent during what is a controversial week for Trump and his administration.