They ribbed each other as they reminisced about the years when the Pences’ six children lived with their parents in a series of modest houses.
There was so little to do in the way of entertainment, Gregory Pence recalled, that “we sometimes got in the car with our parents on Friday nights and followed after the fire truck.” All the boys had nicknames. “Michael’s was Bubbles, because he was chubby and funny.”“Michael’s hilarious,” his mother agreed. We’re faith-filled, and have a good sense of humor.” The family identifies as Catholic, and Mike was an altar boy.
But Gregory told me that Edward was well off, with a seat on the Chicago Stock Exchange.
“Grandfather Pence was a very hard man,” Gregory said. “He played cards and went to Las Vegas.”Fritsch went to secretarial school.
Pence is the inside man of the conservative money machine. “The Kochs were very excited about the Vice-Presidential pick,” Short told me.
Pence’s odds of becoming President are long but not prohibitive.Edward refused to provide financial support when Gregory and Mike’s father, Edward, Jr., went to college; an aunt loaned him the tuition, but he had to leave law school when he ran out of money. With a laugh, she recalled that she met her first husband “in a club—in other words, a tavern.” A Korean War veteran, Edward Pence, Jr., was in uniform that night.(He had won a Bronze Star, which the Vice-President keeps in his office.) In 1959, after leaving law school, he moved with Fritsch from Chicago to Columbus, where he sold fuel to gas stations, farms, and convenience stores.Gingrich went on, “Others have some influence, such as Jared Kushner and Gary Cohn. Pence, who declined requests for an interview, is also one of the few with whom Trump hasn’t overtly feuded.“The President considers him one of his best decisions,” Tony Fabrizio, a pollster for Trump, told me. “You end up with an odd pair of throwbacks from fifties casting,” the former White House strategist Stephen Bannon joked, comparing them to Dean Martin, the bad boy of the Rat Pack, and “the dad on ‘Leave It to Beaver.’ ”Trump and Pence are misaligned politically, too.Shortly after their arrival, Michael Pence, the couple’s third child, was born. I always looked forward to going back to Chicago.” But the family stayed, gradually moving into the upper middle class—Edward became part owner of an oil distributorship—and switching from the Democratic to the Republican Party.