Former Vice President Mike Pence, known for his anti-LGBTQ+ stance, faces an uphill battle in his attempt to rebrand himself as he gears up for a presidential run that appears to be an exercise in futility.
His first challenge is to convince people that he is a relatable human being, rather than a socially conservative relic from the Reagan era. Unfortunately for Pence, this endeavor is not going well, as was to be expected.
On Wednesday, Pence posted a picture of himself ordering at Dunkin’ Donuts, the largest coffee chain franchise in the United States. In his tweet, accompanied by an American flag emoji, he mentioned hearing that New Hampshire and America run on Dunkin’ Donuts and expressed his curiosity to check it out.
While this might seem like a harmless tweet aimed at showcasing his normalcy, the problem lies in the fact that Dunkin’ Donuts is hardly an obscure New England delicacy. With over 8,500 locations across 41 states and more than 11,300 worldwide, it’s safe to assume that most Americans are well aware of Dunkin’ Donuts and have likely visited one themselves. Pence’s attempt to portray himself as an average person enjoying coffee and donuts comes across as out of touch, reminiscent of George H.W. Bush’s infamous supermarket scanner incident.
Presumably, Pence’s visit to New Hampshire, an early-voting state, was an effort to gauge Republican voters’ sentiments ahead of next year’s primaries. Despite his hopes of becoming the GOP’s nominee, polls indicate that he is significantly less popular than his former boss, Donald Trump, who currently leads the field by a considerable margin.
Pence’s place in American politics is unique, but not necessarily for the reasons he believes. He manages to be equally disliked by both the left and the right. Democrats take issue with his staunch conservatism, while Republicans are displeased with his refusal to support Trump’s attempted coup.
Ironically, Pence compromised his alleged morals to serve as Trump’s VP, only to fail in satisfying Trump’s combative base and further alienate everyone else.
Pence’s rebranding efforts began last November when he embarked on a book tour and addressed the January 6 insurrection, almost two years after the fact. Unfortunately for him, his remarks about that shameful day in American history and his book did not resonate with the public.
So how does Pence position himself now? He presents himself as a Republican who opposes everything the current party represents. According to The New York Times, he aims to be seen as a “classical conservative who can return the Republican Party to its pre-Trump roots.”
In all honesty, Pence is more likely to find someone unfamiliar with Dunkin’ Donuts than a Republican primary voter willing to cast their ballot for him.
Scroll down for more amusing reactions to Pence’s failed attempt at relatability.