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Mike Pence Failed in His Most Important Duty

David Frum

By David Frum (Original source The Atlantic)

“In the throes of Watergate, Vice President Spiro Agnew was caught up in an unrelated corruption scandal. He pleaded guilty and resigned his office on October 10, 1973.

To that point, Agnew had served as a useful insurance policy for Richard Nixon, in the manner of the joke Charles II is sometimes reputed to have made to his even more unpopular brother when the latter warned him against plots. “Never fear James; they will not kill me to make thee king.”

Agnew’s replacement—former House Minority Leader Gerald Ford—faced an agonizing personal dilemma. Republicans were monitoring him suspiciously for any sign of disloyalty to Nixon, any tendency to hasten impeachment forward to enter the presidency himself. Democrats monitored him suspiciously, too. Scandals had already consumed two Nixon attorneys general and many other high officials. Could Ford keep clean?”

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