This morning—just as news was breaking about a fire on a Russian submarine that killed 14—it was announced that Vice President Mike Pence had abruptly canceled his plans for the day.
The vice president was originally scheduled to travel to New Hampshire to take part in a planned opioid crisis event at a recovery center. Approximately 200 people had arrived for the event in Salem.
Air Force 2 was slated to land in Manchester at 11:25 a.m., but according to White House officials it never took off from Joint Base Andrews. Instead, the vice president was recalled to the White House, where he met “briefly” with the president.
Originally, the change of plans was attributed to an undisclosed “emergency.” But then the vice president’s spokeswoman, Alyssa Farah, told reporters it wasn’t an emergency, but rather a “situation” that required a “diversion.”
Immediately, the mainstream media began running in overdrive with speculation about what could be happening. Has the president fallen ill? Are we going to war with Iran? Is it Syria? Are we closer to World War III than we ever imagined?
Eventually, a senior administration official told reporters the change had nothing to do with the health of either the president or vice president. Then, the vice president’s spokeswoman added that the diversion had nothing to do with any national security matter:
“Something came up that required the vice president to remain in Washington, D.C. It’s no cause for alarm. He looks forward to rescheduling the trip to New Hampshire very soon.”
Not long thereafter, news reports emerged of an active shooter situation at the Pease Air National Guard Base in Portsmouth, N.H., about 40 miles east of Manchester. While the facility and it being on lockdown had no impact on the cancelation of the vice president’s event, it certainly added significant intrigue to what was already a bizarre situation.
Six hours into the media circus surrounding the matter—and the rest of the world’s geopolitical news slate—White House reporters were still demanding answers from the vice president’s chief of staff, Marc Short. One reporter’s account of that exchange:
Press: “Can you tell us what happened? Why cancel the New Hampshire trip?”
Short: “There will be more later.”
Press: “When later?”
Short: “Weeks from now.”
It’s entirely possible Short’s response was just cheekiness given the breathless reporting the situation has received from the mainstream media. If not, that would seem to add yet another layer of intrigue—and endless possibilities.
One of which was floated earlier this week by TruNews: President Trump intends to pick a different running mate for 2020. And while much of the speculation has surrounded former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, TruNews has previously reported that FOX News Channel host Tucker Carlson might also be a contender for the job.
And now The Spectator’s Washington Editor Curt Mills is reporting his sources say there’s a high likelihood the president is ready to pull the trigger on just such a change. In an article published Monday, he wrote:
“First, Tucker gets Trump. The duo have personal chemistry far exceeding the rapport that Pence or Haley enjoy. Haley bitterly opposed Trump during the 2016 primary and a former senior administration official has long informed me that her hiring during the transition was a ‘keep your enemies closer’ affair. In Carlson, Trump would get to anoint an heir apparent he actually likes.
“Second, Tucker gets Trumpism, and Trumpism gets Tucker. He is eminence grise of a new intellectual right befitting the Trump era, and appeals to people who have started to become disgruntled in President Trump.
“It’s been speculated before that Carlson might enter a 2024 race, but Trump might want to bring him into his fold sooner than that. Trump often complains of ideological clashes with his own officials. That’s partly why he already relies on a shadow cabinet, anchored by Carlson, as proved by last week’s called-off strikes on Iran.
“A Vice President Carlson could lay low, moreover, and empower a new generation of Trumpist conservatives from the Naval Observatory. Trump in his first term has had to appoint Bush-era officials who have no idea what drives Trump’s movement. Carlson knows Trumpworld far better.
“If Tucker jumped into the 2024 race, as has been widely discussed, excitement among the activist class would be barely containable. If he jumped into 2020, excitement would boil over.
“Third, it would work. As evidenced by his conquering of Bill O’Reilly’s time slot on Fox, Carlson is a fearsome debater and fearless operator. Far from being ‘just a talk show host,’ as he often says of himself, Carlson is becoming a political force.”
In the meantime, the speculation will continue to spin until the media are sufficiently assured they have the facts. The question now is: Will they like the answers they get?