We Know Mike Pence

I’ve written often of my twin-like similarity to the President of the United States. When it came time for my twin (Donald Trump) to choose his vice-presidential nominee, I knew he would choose Mike Pence. In fact, I knew who Mr. Trump would choose before he even knew it himself. This was only fair. I’ve known Mike Pence much longer than my twin has.

When I went to Hanover College as an 18-year-old in 1981, the college sent an entry-level guy from the admissions office to pick three of us up at the airport: me, my friend Brian, and a girl from Singapore who I had not seen before and would never see again.

The lackey they sent had graduated from Hanover the year before: a young man named Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence who would become the Vice President in 2016. Mr. Pence could not have been more gracious. We were frightened children miles from home, nervous and excited.

“Is Hanover a good school?” I asked.

“Hanover isn’t a good school,” he answered. “It’s a great school.” Maybe it was corny, but it was what I needed to hear at that moment. Had Mr. Pence said anything remotely negative (or even neutral), I would have collapsed tearfully into a fetal position right in the airport.

You’d think we would have appreciated it, but we were snarky young men. We used that “great school” line as a joke for the rest of the year. It kind of became a watchword among our group. If we got stuck in a class with a bad professor, we’d say, “Hanover isn’t a good school, it’s a great school!” We’d say it if the ice machine in the cafeteria broke and we’d say it if somebody drank too much beer and got sick. We were merciless, and it really wasn’t fair.

Now, years later, Mike Pence was going to be the Republican vice-presidential nominee. To make it up to him, I dedicated myself to watching his speech at the Republican Convention. I kind of followed through on this commitment. I tried, I really did. As it turns out, though, if you’re not in the backseat of a car away from home for the first time, Mike Pence is rather dull.

For a full explanation of the Election of 2016, please read my book.

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