New Pence book deems VP a 'shadow president'

CNN/ Newswire | 8/28/2018, 9:29 a.m.
The first major book focusing on Vice President Mike Pence during his time in the executive branch is set to ...
US Vice President Mike Pence l

By Elizabeth Landers, CNN

Washington (CNN) — The first major book focusing on Vice President Mike Pence during his time in the executive branch is set to be released Tuesday.

Penned by authors Michael D'Antonio and Peter Eisner, Shadow President: The Truth about Mike Pence purports that the vice president's rise in politics has been carefully calculated through the years. It draws contrasts between Pence and President Donald Trump, but also comparisons in their use of mass media (Pence once had a radio show in Indiana and jokes he is "Rush Limbaugh on decaf") to build profiles in separate political circles over the years.

The authors deem Pence a "replacement president," pointing to his recent trips this year to Israel and South Korea where he presided over "landmark events."

Between his political connections to the religious right and powerful fundraising groups, a Trump administration filled with many of his proteges and friends, and his statesman approach to the world stage, D'Antonio and Eisner paint Pence as a "shadow president."

Pence's office did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

Here are some takeaways from the book Shadow President: The Truth about Mike Pence:

He dreams big

Then-Rep. Pence mused about inauguration to interns. While giving Capitol Hill interns a tour of the campus during the summer of 2010, Pence remarked that in modern times since Ronald Reagan's inauguration, the presidential swearing-in took place on the West Front of the Capitol.

But Pence said his preference to be sworn in on the East Front of the Capitol because the lighting was better.

"One intern would recall that he said it was all about the light. In January, the noontime sunlight on the west-facing side of the building was just too bright," D'Antonio and Eisner wrote.

Who will save your soul?

Pence believes he can save Trump's soul: citing "one of Pence's closest aides," the authors write extensively of Pence's religious journey from growing up as a Catholic to evangelical Christianity.

One person close to Pence asserts that "the vice president actually believed he could bring Trump to Jesus, and like Jesus, he was willing to do whatever was necessary to help save Trump's soul."

Pence also attends a regular Cabinet prayer meeting presided over by Reverend Ralph Drollinger, where Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson, Sonny Perdue and more are regulars.

Trump cameo in 1990 debate

Trump came up during one of Pence's congressional bids in 1990, though Mike Pence didn't formally meet the President until many years later in 2011 when he asked for financial support as he ran for governor.

His future running mate came up during a 1990 debate when Pence faced off against Phil Sharp, an incumbent Democrat who served in Indiana's 2nd Congressional District. The future vice president's platform during the race included reductions to the federal estate tax and rollback on the capital gains tax, something that his opponent thought was a Trump-friendly proposal.