Former Vice President Mike Pence, seemingly in his element as he addressed a gathering of evangelical Christians in Iowa this month, was speaking of “the greatest honor of my life,” serving in “an administration that turned this country around” by rebuilding the military, securing the southern border, and unleashing “American energy.”
“But most importantly, most of all,” he said, building to a crescendo — but at the moment he was about to claim some credit for his administration’s success in overturning the right to an abortion, a booming voice came over the loudspeaker from the sound booth: “Check, check, testing, 1-2-3.”
It was a small interruption, but one that exemplified the diversions Mr. Pence continues to face as he considers a run for the Republican presidential nomination against the man who was once his greatest benefactor, but also his cruelest tormentor: Donald J. Trump.
On Thursday, however, Mr. Pence faced a much more onerous and grueling intrusion into his potential campaign, and one that he had hoped to avoid, when he was forced to testify for more than five hours before a grand jury in Washington about Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Those efforts put Mr. Pence’s life at risk on Jan. 6, 2021, as a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, chanting “Hang Mike Pence.”
Mr. Pence, the would-be candidate with unassailable religious convictions who spent four years a heartbeat away from the presidency, cannot seem to find the space to present those credentials to sympathetic Republican primary voters without interruption — and, in this case, on the biggest stage before a campaign has even begun.
After Thursday’s testimony, a highly unusual event involving two of the most prominent U.S. public officials during a nascent presidential campaign in which both are likely to run, he