Politico gets Pence just right...

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Excellent profile of Vice President Mike Pence. Summary: "mercurial" Trump rewards Pence's loyalty and humility with exceptional authority.

A couple excerpts:

His governorship in Indiana was derailed by the mishandling of religious freedom legislation, and although he was more likely than not to win reelection in 2016, his approval rating was underwater statewide.

Just right. Not RFRA itself, but the Governor's mishandling of RFRA. Sad, but true. He should have fought Tim Cook and all his filthy-lucre buddies with boldness, not giving an inch. It grieved me when he responded to the attack of the elites by telling everyone...

he didn't "believe in discrimination." Of course he does. He's a Christian! Of course he does. He's alive! Everyone living believes in discrimination, starting with Tim Cook whose life has been spent giving the preferential option to men—not women.

It is Pence whom Trump calls on first during almost every meeting. It is Pence whose opinion Trump solicits before every big decision. It is Pence who has emerged as the essential supporting actor in Trump’s presidency. And it is Pence who says the very least about it.

That last sentence. I honor the man.

Perhaps most important, Pence feels a sincere affection for Trump. He told me last fall that a turning point in their relationship was when the Republican nominee began asking him for periodic prayer sessions, and said he was especially moved when Trump called him the night of the vice presidential debate and left a voicemail saying he had just said a prayer for Pence.

This is the thing about guys like Thabiti Anyabwile and Russ Moore: the demagoguery of their attacks on President Trump and his supporters cannot admit any doubt, which is to say any sovereignty of God in raising Pence to be Trump's right-hand man and the Godly influence that brings into the White House. This is the theme throughout this profile, and Russ and Thabiti (as well as all the other Christians who have nothing but scorn for the President and never stop telling everyone who will listen of their austere moral perfectionism in not voting for him) should realize God is doing something larger in our nation than counting how many Southern Baptists did and didn't vote for President Donald Trump. "The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes" (Proverbs 21:1).

In the history of man, stranger things have happened than President Trump coming to faith and repentance. And the way they talk, I wonder if Christians parading their self-righteousness in not voting for Trump wouldn't secretly be displeased if it happened.

I've lived long enough to have voted for presidents several times, and only one time did I enjoy casting my vote. Maybe I should say, instead, that only one time was my vote for a man rather than against another man. (For those of you who have given up the Biblical male inclusive, that last "man" includes Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton.)

Pence’s marriage has made an impression on his boss; people who have spent time with them say Trump has commented approvingly, if quizzically, on how the vice president and second lady are always holding hands.

Watching the first Christians, people across the Roman Empire exclaimed, "See how they love one another!" And they couldn't believe the fidelity of Christian husbands.

Mike Pence has a very full and complex portfolio in his briefcase. And he has to carry it like there’s a bottle of nitroglycerin inside. - Ken Blackwell

Nicely put.

Pence is ambitious. But he is also humble and self-controlled and devoutly religious, drawing from his faith—and the military tradition that runs in his family—a belief in submission. Notably, Pence emphasized “orientation to authority” as a key component of leadership when addressing the U.S. Naval Academy commencement in May, telling graduates, “Follow the chain of command without exception. Submit yourselves, as the saying goes, to the authorities that have been placed above you. Trust your superiors, trust your orders, and you’ll serve and lead well.”

When the history of our times is written, the central theme will be hatred of authority. Nothing else explains the church as well as rebellion against authority, starting with the Fatherhood of God, continuing with the Lordship of Jesus Christ, moving on to the words inspired by the Holy Spirit in Sacred Writ, continuing to those God has put in authority over us to keep watch over our souls; then marriage and family life, schools, businesses, the military, and on it goes. We all hate authority, and there is Vice President Mike Pence calling us to submit to authority. As David submitted to King Saul.

Again, I honor the man.

Pence has expertly navigated the first five months without any reprimands or visits to the president’s doghouse—which is more than can be said for just about anyone else in the West Wing. But it has been a trying five months, and there are 43 to go in Trump’s first term. Based on the jittery reactions and hushed tones of the Pence associates I spoke with for this story, they are often walking on eggshells, worrying that something might be perceived as a slight to his mercurial boss. It is unsustainable, they concede, and much of the situation is beyond their control.

Ominous statement, that. And likely true. Let us pray for the peace of Inside-the-Beltway.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!