Pence will join Republican leaders for fundraiser benefiting HIS PAC… Walks political tightrope

Vice President Mike Pence will join congressional GOP leaders later this month for a fundraising reception benefiting a newly formed, Pence-overseen political action committee.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy are slated to headline a July 25 fundraiser for Pence’s Great America Committee. The event is to take place in Washington, according to an invitation, and attendees are being asked to pony up $5,000 apiece.

Mike Pence is the loyal wingman, the ever-discreet figure who rises above the Washington fray. But as the Russia scandal encroaches ever further on Donald Trump’s White House, the vice president is also walking a political tightrope.

The 58-year-old former governor of Indiana is currently the man closest to the US presidency — either as Trump’s immediate successor should his term end prematurely, or as his heir apparent in 2020 or 2024 elections, depending on how many terms Trump serves.

As the troubles of his boss grow deeper by the day, ensnared in a widening investigation into his campaign ties to Russia, experts say the 48th US vice president remains compelled to stand by his man — at least for now.

“Pence is in a very difficult position,” Joel Goldstein, an expert on the vice presidency at Saint Louis University School of Law, told AFP.

“A vice president is expected to be loyal to the president, but President Trump imposes a heavy burden on his subordinates by saying and doing things that often are hard to defend.”

The two men could hardly be more different: where Trump likes to blur ideological lines, Pence is a committed Christian conservative, as stiff and disciplined as his boss is exuberant and unpredictable.

While Trump tweets about a high-stakes health care bill, it is Pence who has been shuttling between the White House and Congress in a behind-the-scenes effort to rescue the imperiled legislation.

In Trump’s turbulent Washington, Pence is seen as the administration’s steadying force, the “ax behind the glass you’re supposed to break in case of emergency,” as The Daily Beast news website put it recently.