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The Trump Sidekicks Rehab Tour

Mike Pompeo and Mike Pence flank Donald Trump
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Tina Nguyen
January 31, 2022

It’s been nearly three months since Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia, and I swear by everything holy that his surprise election win has had an aphrodisiac effect on all the old normie Republicans who had previously bent the knee to Donald Trump. Prior to the Youngkin election, Trump-style politics was such an overwhelming presence in the G.O.P. that the political futures of Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis, and Mike Pompeo, among others, seemed to exist only in some parallel universe where Trump was barely a factor. But after a year of full-fledged Trump deplatforming, a handful of second-tier opportunists are quietly burnishing their resumes in anticipation of the moment that the former president steps aside… or potentially falters.