Vice President Mike Pence was supposed to be enjoying the ultimate star-spangled night in the spotlight at the Republican National Convention Wednesday — but Hurricane Laura may rain on the GOP party.
The loyal Trump lieutenant and potential 2024 presidential hopeful was still expected to give a rousing endorsement of the president in a speech set against the backdrop of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, the patriotic inspiration for the National Anthem.
But raging Hurricane Laura is expected to make a devastating landfall as a Category 4 storm within a few hours of Pence’s speech, taking the focus of the nation away from politics just as the GOP needs voters to tune in the most.
Unlike other speakers, Pence is likely to speak directly about coronavirus and take credit along with Trump for blunting the pandemic even as the shocking death toll soars towards 180,000 Americans, insiders say.
As the face of the coronavirus task force, Pence has won relatively good marks for managing the crisis given that Trump has repeatedly made the task impossible by botching key aspects of the fight.
Governors from both parties praise him for taking a non-partisan approach, unlike Trump who consistently threatens to cut off aid to states with Democratic governors who did not thank him profusely enough.
Pence is sure to also make a key appeal to evangelical Christian conservatives, a key pillar of the Trump base. The born-again former Indiana governor is likely to speak in Biblical tones about his push to reopen churches along with schools and businesses amid the pandemic.
Second lady Karen Pence, an evangelical leader in her own right, will also speak as well as Kellyanne Conway, who managed Trump’s 2016 campaign into the final home stretch and went on to become a senior counselor to the president, coining the phrase “alternative facts” in a media appearance.
The first woman to successfully steer a White House bid, Conway is stepping away to spend more time with her family at the end of this month.
Source: NY Daily News