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Mike Pence…the Other Face of Trump | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Trump picks Indiana Governor Mike Pence as vice president.
REUTERS/John Sommers II

Donald Trump, the Republicans’ candidate for the U.S. presidential elections has nominated the Governor of Indiana State Mike Pence for Vice Presidency.

In fact, following Trumps announcement of Pence’s candidature, negative comments and news on Indiana’s governor have gone viral. Observers have raised many questions like “who is Mike Pence?” and “How would his conservatism cope with Trumps swinging mood?”

Mike Richard Pence was born on 7 June 1959 in Columbus City in the middle southern area of Indiana, in a conservative catholic Irish family that comprises six children who always supported the Democratic Party. However, Pence has later moved to support the Republican Party, which not only became the pillar of the conservative right-wing in the USA, but also the pillar of the evangelical fundamentalist Christianity.

Pence’s father managed a number of gas stations and his grand-father was a truck driver who moved to America from Ireland. Yet, Pence’s intellectual and religious transformation, which remarkably affected his political path, emerged in line with his university studies. According to his biography, Trumps’ VP candidate joined The Grace Catholic Church in 1995, and then has started to describe himself as a Christian, conservative, and republican figure.

He finished his middle and high school in a public institution in his city Columbus, and then joined Hanover College, which is a small sophisticated university in Indiana where he graduated with a BA in History. Moreover, he moved to Indiana’s university, Indianapolis’s campus, where he studied law and graduated in 1986.

Student at Reagan’s school

Those years were known as “Morning in America”, the slogan of President Ronald Reagan, one of the most loyal supporters of the right-wing in USA. Reagan was like Pence, from an Irish origin and started his political path as a supporter of the Democratic Party.

Pence joined Reagan’s conservative Republican organization, and established a law office in Indianapolis. He ran for membership of right-winged conservative organizations and won them. Following his religious and intellectual transformation toward Christian evangelicalism, Pence became a member of “Moral Majority” group, which is a conservative political-religious block and movement established by conservative fundamental republicans under the leadership of the Priest Jerry Falwell.

This organization is currently led by the priest’s son who also chairs the “Liberty University” in Lanchvill city in Virginia, where Donald Trump addressed a speech during the presidential primaries before Pence, who attended as the conservative governor of a conservative state.

On the other hand, both political ambition and Christian fundamentalism pushed Trump’s candidate to work in politics and run many electoral campaign before he became Indiana’s governor. He faced many losses and witnessed many victories supported by the fundamentalist right-wing, particularly in the country sides and the conservative entourages.

Political defeats

In 1988, Pence ran for Congress, but he lost his battle against the Democratic Phil Sharp, and resumed his work as a lawyer. In 1990, he ran another campaign and faced the same defeat. In 1994, he tried to broadcast a political program in Indiana and sought to imitate the American right-winged media figure Rush Limbaugh, but with a less violent and aggressive tonality.

However, observers say that Pence was grim and aggressive, and was obliged to apologize for his electoral campaign that attacked his competitor Sharp and accused him for using elections’ money to pay his wife’s car settlements.

Congress joining

Finally, in 2000, Mike Pence succeeded in joining the Congress and become one of the Republican Party’s stars. Supported by the right-wing, he won four campaigns till 2010, when he announced running for Indiana’s governance. At that time, Esquire magazine considered him as one of the top ten members of the Congress, saying that Pence succeeded in threatening the momentum of the traditional republicans.

Family life

Pence religiosity is reflected on his conservative family life, unlike the luxury and hustle that control Trumps’ life. Pence have married teacher Karen Batten in 1985, and have three children: Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey.