What's the opposite of having a golden touch? Ask Mike Pence.
Hoping to establish and expand his base of political support, Vice President Mike Pence has been aggressively reaching out to GOP candidates and lending his election-year aid.
Making the odd decision to get involved in a relatively low-profile GOP primary race for the Dallas-area 5th Congressional District seat, Pence, in a move that reportedly “blindsided” the White House, endorsed Bunni Pounds, touting her as a “strong conservative” who would support the “make America great again agenda.”
The move was supposed to boost Pounds’ support among ultra-conservative voters, who often turn out for primary votes.
Pounds proudly touted the White House endorsement all spring: “I am beyond honored to be endorsed by the vice president, and I look forward to going to Congress and supporting the Trump-Pence agenda as we work to Make America Great Again.”
Then she lost in the Tuesday primary.
In the end, Pence, “charged into the race against the cautious instincts of the president’s political advisers and saw his endorsement fall flat,” the New York Times reports. The loss was embarrassing not only for Pence, but for lots of conservative players. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) also supported Pounds, as did the far-right Club for Growth.
The 5th District seat is currently held by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, who is retiring when his term ends at the end of the year. Hensarling personally endorsed Pounds to take his seat.
But Republican voters rejected all of that.
They rejected the White House endorsement and they rejected a candidate, Pounds, who has spent years working as a paid political fundraiser.
As for Pence, the stinging loss only reinforces the image of a hapless pol. This, despite the fact the vice president maintains visions of political grandeur.
“Republican officials now see Mr. Pence as seeking to exercise expansive control over a political party ostensibly helmed by Mr. Trump, tending to his own allies and interests even when the president’s instincts lean in another direction,” the Times recently reported.
If Pence endorsements don’t work in Texas, where will they work?