Former Vice President Mike Pence made a fleeting reference to...

Former Vice President Mike Pence made a fleeting reference to the Jan. 6 insurrection during a speech at the University Club of Chicago on June 20. Credit: AP/Terrence Antonio James

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who makes Christian faith the core of his public image, appears unlikely to reap much temporal reward for honoring his sacred constitutional oath while a hellbent mob aligned with his boss threatened to kill him.

Pence counsel Greg Jacob last week movingly told the congressional committee probing the Jan. 6 insurrection that while joining his boss in a secure location during the riot, he took out his Bible and turned to the Book of Daniel.

In Chapter 6, as Jacob testified, the prophet “Daniel has become the second in command of Babylon, a pagan nation that he completely faithfully serves. He refuses an order from the king that he cannot follow, and he does his duty — consistent with his oath to God. And I felt that that’s what had played out that day.”

The choice of readings was far from random. Going back years, friends of Pence have cited the book's theme of keeping the faith in a pagan dynasty as one way to reconcile the former Indiana congressman’s teaming up with Donald Trump, who has long been famous for moneymaking, adultery, and bearing false witness.

One could say for the sake of drama that Pence found himself in the same lion's den as the two Georgia election workers absurdly accused by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani of acting like drug dealers in a fantasized election-fraud plot. But unlike those now-heralded committee witnesses, Shaye Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman, Pence was a top elected official with a pulpit, power, and government security to protect him.

After all that has happened, and the earnest praise for Pence that followed the June 16 hearing, the GOP does not look ready to rally around him. According to a Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll conducted last month, 41% of registered Republican/independent voters said they would vote for Trump if the 2024 GOP primary were held now compared with 7% for Pence.

Neither America’s purported Daniel, nor our supposed King Darius, has declared for the next national election. But Pence has visited early-primary states, and this week, he chose the partisan over the prophetic when he appeared on Fox Business News with ex-Trump aide Larry Kudlow, who cued him to broadly attack President Joe Biden.

“Have you ever seen a president who refuses to accept blame, and I want to add to that, commits so many falsehoods?" Kudlow prodded.

"Never in my lifetime," said Pence. "I said today that there has never been a time in my life when a president was more disconnected from the American people than we see today."

In a speech at the University Club of Chicago on Monday, Pence touched on the insurrection, but only to say: "I am not going to allow that tragic day to distract attention from [the Democrats'] failed agenda …"

But it remains very unclear what a lonely Pence is "not going to allow." He hasn't emerged from the political lion's den unscathed. Unlike King Darius, Trump gives no hint of seeing the light and redeeming his miraculously saved loyal servant Pence to power. 

Some may not accept it, but Trump, in gilded exile at Mar-a-Lago, was never really a king. Even if he tried to redeem Pence, his less obedient subjects might not go for it. 

Columnist Dan Janison's opinions are his own.