After making a lot of noise before the election, Trump has now gone almost silent — and he's sending Mike Pence out to play president in his place.
Since losing the midterm elections, Trump has retreated from the public eye and has instead sent out Mike Pence to do his job at key international events.
The L.A. Times notes that Trump has gone from a frenzied pace of up to three campaign rallies in a day before the election, to sulking in a corner after it. The paper reports that Trump "has retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment, according to multiple administration sources."
One official told the Times that Trump has lashed out at aides.
"He's furious," the official said. "Most staffers are trying to avoid him."
Trump weighed down his party in the midterm election, which turned out to be a widespread repudiation of how he has conducted himself as president.
As part of his petulant retreat from the public eye. Trump has once again enlisted Mike Pence to clean up his messes for him.
Trump sent Pence to speak on Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery instead of going himself.
This compounded Trump's insult to the memory of fallen soldiers after he skipped a major World War I memorial ceremony in France.
Pence is also getting the call to represent America at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit instead of Trump. By comparison, Russia's Vladimir Putin will be there, as will other key world leaders.
Matthew P. Goodman, who coordinated Asia-Pacific strategy for Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, said sending Pence was an insult to Asian nations.
"It matters more in Asia than other regions because ‘face’ is so important," he said. " Your willingness to go out there is a sign you're committed and not going is a sign you're not."
Representing the U.S. at these international events also gives Pence an opportunity to play the part of president — a role he has already been laying the groundwork for.
Pence has been quietly courting Republican donors as part of a shadow campaign for the presidency. Pence, it seems, is preparing for the possibility that he might need to step in if Trump is forced to resign, gets indicted, or otherwise can't finish out his term before 2020.
America firmly rejected Trump and his poor leadership by flipping dozens of U.S. House seats to the Democratic Party. Trump's narcissistic reaction is to abdicate his duties, hide from the public, and lick his wounds.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.