While President Trump busies himself with alienating members of both political parties old and new, Vice President Mike Pence has quietly made himself a couple of besties: former VPs Joe Biden and Dick Cheney.
Pence speaks with Biden on the phone at least once a month, and has talked frequently with Dick Cheney, even meeting in the veep’s office, NBC News reports.
This is in stark contrast to Trump and former President Obama, who have not communicated with each other since Trump’s inauguration. Former President George W. Bush and Trump don’t speak either. (Nor do current and former first ladies Melania Trump and Michelle Obama.) Bush and Obama originally had a frosty relationship that has since thawed; today, they’re outwardly collegial in each other’s company and have even been suspected of leaning toward bromance.
Pence and Biden seem to be particularly close. A Pence aide says his boss “shares a warm relationship” with Biden, “and they’ve spoken many times, particularly on foreign affairs matters.” Pence calls Biden before each of his overseas trips to get a sense of the personalities and politics involved, and Biden chats with Pence before he makes foreign trips to see if there are any messages the current administration would like relayed. Biden then follows up with Pence to brief him on any conversations, and “diplomatically convey” any concerns foreign leaders have about Trump, NBC reports.
For his part, Cheney speaks on the phone often with Pence and has visited Pence’s West Wing office. George W. Bush’s vice president has described Pence as “somebody who’s got good experience and solid judgment and great background.” Pence has described Cheney as someone he holds “in high regard.”
But when it comes to Biden’s outreach to the Trump administration, his diplomacy stops at the boss’s doorstep. This month, Biden called Trump’s foreign policy “beyond ideological incoherence” and his Twitter habits “childish.” On Nov. 1, he told Trump, “It’s time to grow up” at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.