web analytics

Mike Pence — So Help Me God

love desk luxury freedom
Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com


In So Help Me God by Mike Pence, we get an unfiltered candid look at the former Vice President from one of his greatest critics — himself. This page offers some of the information found on the book’s Amazon page. At the bottom of this document is the review and commentary I posted to Amazon.

Amazon Book Description

Loyalty is a Vice President’s first duty; but there is a greater one—to God and the Constitution.

Mike Pence spent more hours in the Oval Office than any of his predecessors. On the surface, the affable evangelical Christian from a gas-station-owning family in Indiana wouldn’t seem to have much in common with a brash real estate mogul from New York. But the unlikely duo formed a tight bond. Pence was at Donald Trump’s side when he enacted historic tax relief, when he decided to take more assertive stances toward China and North Korea, and when he appointed three Supreme Court justices. But the relationship broke down after the 2020 election. On January 6, 2021, as the president pressured him to overturn the election, a mob erected a gallows on Capitol Hill and its members chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” as they rampaged through the halls of Congress. The vice president refused to leave the Capitol, and once the riot was quelled, he reconvened Congress to complete the work of a peaceful transfer of power.

So Help Me God is the chronicle of the events and people who forged Mike Pence’s character and led him to that historic moment. His father, a Korean War combat veteran, was a formidable influence, but so was the Indiana history professor who inspired his devotion to the Constitution. And it was in college and law school that he embraced his Christian faith and met the love of his life, Karen—the two pillars that support him every day. You will read how his early political career was full of missteps that humbled him and how, as a talk radio host, Pence found his voice and the path that led him to Congress, the governor’s office in Indiana, and back to Washington as vice president.

This is the inside story of the Trump administration by its second highest official—what he said to the president and how he was tested. The relationship begins in Indiana, when Pence sees how Trump connects with working-class voters. After the election, the vice president comes to appreciate how Trump maintains that connection through unvarnished tweets and how his unorthodox style led to historic breakthroughs, from tax cuts to trade deals, from establishing the United States Space Force to the first new peace agreement in the Middle East in more than twenty-five years. This is the most robust defense of the Trump record of anyone who served in the administration.

But it is also about the private moments when Pence pushed back forcefully, how he navigated through the Mueller investigation, his damage control after Charlottesville, and his work on healing racial rifts after the murder of George Floyd. Pence was at the forefront when “history showed up” in the form of a devastating pandemic, and he provides a detailed account of leading the task force that circumvented bureaucracies to slow the disease in its tracks. Yes, it sometimes involved brokering peace between a president with an itchy Twitter finger and an agitated New York governor, but above all, it meant giving states and America’s eager entrepreneurs the power to come up with the solutions we needed. The result was the fastest development of life-saving vaccines in history.

In So Help Me God, Pence shows how the faith that he embraced as a young man guided his every decision. It is a faith that guided him on that historic day and that keeps him happily at peace, ready to accept the next challenge.

Amazon Featured Reviews

“Every serious memoir to emerge from the last administration has revealed the existence of, in essence, two Donald Trumps. One is funny, perceptive, charming and has an instinctive rapport with ordinary people. This Trump loves his family and country and fiercely guards the interests of those close to him. The other Trump is erratic, vengeful, detached from principle, deeply narcissistic and capable of shocking acts of betrayal. Most people see one or the other, generally according to their politics, but both are the complicated reality that is Donald J. Trump. Former Vice President Mike Pence’s memoir captures both iterations of the man better than any previous book.” — The Wall Street Journal

“The blunt facts of [Pence’s] bravery in remaining at the Capitol and his insistence that Congress reconvene that very evening to complete its work speak for themselves… his honorable conduct during a dark and dangerous day for the nation makes for more compelling stump-speech material than most politicians can muster… Remarkable.” — The Washington Post

“Intimate. It does offer a truly distinctive window into the Trump phenomenon, from unlikely election winner to unwilling election loser, recounting conversations and deliberations to which he alone was privy… Pence acted so admirably on January 6. Not only did he stand up to the mafioso tactics of Trump and his henchmen… but Pence also refused to leave the Capitol that day, defying his own Secret Service detail and insisting that the work of Congress to certify the election results be completed in the face of bloodshed and death. Pence deserves the gratitude of every American for his courage and conviction in that moment.” — The Atlantic

Review and Commentary

[What follows is the review and commentary I posted to Amazon.]

INTRODUCTION — There’s a lot to say about this book, but I’ve summarized my overall view of it in the headline of this review: well-written, interesting, relevant, and important. I’ll list a few comments below, organized alphabetically by topic.

FAITH — The frequent quoting of scriptures and references to Jesus, God, and faith, are woven throughout the book. For anyone who has lived a similar daily life of prayer and Christian mindfulness, this will seem completely normal. For non-religious readers, this may seem unusual. Even for people who consider themselves Christians, it may seem excessive. It could be interpreted as proselytizing or an attempt to appear to be very pious. It could help some readers to have this explained in the introduction. Some of the reviews on Amazon suggest people are not familiar with this kind of attentiveness to scripture and prayer. Since there are millions of people of Christian faith (and other religions) who live a similar conservative life of daily observance, it’s helpful to have this book available as an introduction to what that life is like.

JOURNALISM — I’m old enough to remember a time when reporters and journalists would provide an objective description of events. There is still some unbiased reporting today, but it’s less common. In this book, Pence is like a journalist in that he covers a mix of unflattering life events and weaknesses, as well as some high points. Rather than a retouched Instagram-worthy portrayal of his life, he shares the entire picture. Seemingly mundane events and more exciting ones. When combined, these accounts give us a good context and backdrop to the unfolding story of the book.

POLITICS — The book stands on its own as an interesting life story. Given the remarkable political developments we’ve witnessed in recent years, it’s unavoidable for this book not to be interpreted with a political lens. Pence was quiet for a long time after his life was threatened by an angry mob in January of 2021. When recently interviewed about the incident, he explained that he found the incident “disappointing” or something to that effect. This understated and reserved response seems consistent with his overall personality. Pence clearly doesn’t want to say anything disparaging about the party or provide fodder to be used later.

REVIEWS — I was curious to read reviews of this book to learn how others were responding and see if people would use the reviews as a way to criticize Pence in retaliation for what they perceived to be a lack of loyalty to the President. The criticisms of the book seem unwarranted. Amazon offers a free preview which is about 67 pages (12%) of the 560-page book. This takes the reader well into the 6th chapter of the book. Most of the criticisms of the book are from people who seemingly didn’t take any time to read the free preview. One reviewer complained about the binding and gave the entire 560-page book a negative 1-star review. In this case, “You can’t judge a book by the binding.” Another 1-star review was from someone critical of Pence’s recent television interview. The person expected Pence to go on record with a statement that would inevitably be used as a soundbite in 2024 in Democratic Party political ads. How can anyone expect Pence to badmouth the former President when Obama, Bush, and other former presidents have been similarly reserved in voicing criticism? It’s contrary to the kind of diplomacy expected from former heads of state.

CONCLUSION — I don’t know how much room I have here to share impressions of the book. I’d suggest you download or view the online free sample. It will give you a good sense of what to expect. At the time of posting this review (26 Nov 2022), I am starting on Chapter Seven. Upon completing the book, I’ll come back and make any needed changes to this review. Like Pence, the Midwest is my home, but I’ve also lived many years in the Washington, D.C. area. I went to college at about the same time he did. Much of the life experiences he describes are familiar and similar to my own. So, for me, the book is probably more relatable. I’m curious to see how the Republican Party evolves in the next two years and this book seems like an important trailhead landmark. I will probably refer back to it. Thanks for reading this review. Feel free to post any comments or questions and I’ll try to reply.

Political Commentary

Not included in the Amazon review above is an additional comment about the political significance of the book.

In November 2024, there will essentially be a coin toss between two presidential candidates. If we knew the outcome ahead of time, politics would not be a preoccupation of many, and there would not be late night election watching parties.

Early voting for 2024 began this month, November 2022, in the form of people responding on social media to Pence’s book and interviews, as well as what other Party leaders are saying [see “GOP Leadership Report 2022“].

Pundits and strategists are trying to predict what direction the Party is moving toward. It’s like trying to guess the flow of a herd of buffalo or murmuration of birds. Will the party suddenly shift back to supporting militant nationalist extremists, or will there be a shift to something that resembles the party’s former principles?

The Democratic Party and Republican Party are both beginning to shape the vision and messaging for their respective parties leading up to the 2024 election. That will be influenced by those who join the conversation early. For example, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton recently joined Jon Stewart for a discussion on today’s political landscape.

The eventual presidential nominee and running mate of each party is being shaped now. Two years from now, on Election Day, you will not have a choice other than the candidates offered by the two ruling parties. So, it makes sense to speak up and have some influence now on the election two years from now.

There is not yet a discernible fork in the road for the Democratic Party. Whatever evolves will mostly be a matter of degrees on issues like school lunches, libraries, healthcare, education access, and stopping global warming. Will we be carbon neutral by 2030 or will it be 2050. Those kinds of things.

There definitely is a fork in the road for the Republican Party. Some older generation leaders in the Party are slowly and delicately trying to correct course. Others who prefer militant nationalism, declare anyone who opposes them to be RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) even if they are multigenerational Party loyalists. The newcomers to the party claim to be the true and only Party representatives, and seem to be willing to resort to violence and threats to forcefully take control of the Party.

So, this is the internal struggle that will be taking place over the next two years. Those who want to nudge the Party toward statesmanship and diplomacy, should speak now or forever hold their peace.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com