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You need to get through each day today. We of an indepth look at the man who's been in around and behind the news. We've been bringing you all week. He's Mike Pence the vice president of the United States A witness an impeachment inquiry implicated. Mike Pence this week pence's office soon denied. The vice president was in the loop as president. Trump sought investigations in Ukraine. Pence's boss also placed a long phone call to Fox and among other things. The president told the TV hosts that Mike Pence is still still his choice for vice president in twenty twenty but that raises a deeper question. How did Mike Pence get on that ticket and wants his road forward now? Here's our colleague. Rachel Martin Mike Pence is living in his own world. At least one that is separate from the political crisis that has engulfed the man. He works for to tweets say at all Wednesday afternoon. The vice president's twitter feeds showed a photo of him visiting with school kids in Wisconsin the caption so awesome meeting some amazing easing young Americans at roughly the same time. President Trump tweeted this quote. I want nothing I want. Nothing I want no quid pro quo. He continues can use this. witch-hunt must end now so bad for our country up until now vice president pence has managed to keep his name out of the center of the impeachment inquiry until ambassador. Gordon Sahlins public testimony. When he described a conversation he had with the vice president? In Warsaw. Ahead of Pence's meeting with Ukraine's leader. I mentioned the vice president pence before the meetings with the Ukrainians that I had concerns that the delay in aid had become tied to the issue of investigations. This was the first time during impeachment. Hearing that a witness connected Mike Pence to a possible quid. Pro Quo. It forced the vice president to respond areas on a local news affiliate in Wisconsin W. Elias N. I made no comments my meeting with presidents Alinsky concerning any investigations or tying investigations to US aid into Ukraine. And I have no recollection of any discussion with embassador saw before that meeting. So how did Mike Pence end up here. Who is the man that now finds himself defending the president? He serves through an impeachment inquiry and defending himself. If you really want to understand him read his college thesis. Nineteen eighty eighty is fascinating the religious expressions of Abraham Lincoln. I fell over. It was incredible. Tom Lubyanka covered pence as a reporter in Indiana. Hanna is recent. Biography is titled Piety and Power. Mike Pence in the taking of the White House. Lubyanka got a copy of pence's thesis from Hanover College in Indiana it's all all about Abraham Lincoln's ambivalence towards organized religion his own agnostic schism and how that played to his own political apparel in his career and this is senior Mike Pence as citizens what he's twenty one years old senior in college and I'm reading this and I'm like this isn't about Eva Lincoln. This this is about Mike Pence. You can see him reasoning through the political calculus with the faith calculus. It is stunning stunning. Because it shows how from an early age Mike Pence understood how politics and religion worked together a while the barrel to know that saving my soul to listen to the radio. Eighty this as his. We'll give you one more chance. Say Feel so good gotta get up and dance. What you're hearing right now was the soundtrack to Mike Pence's salvation? They shot. He grew up in a conservative Catholic family. Sort of just going through the motions of faith and then he went to a music festival in Kentucky. What you're hearing now is music from one one of the bands that perform there? And this is where Mike Pence says he found. Jesus I heard gloss a great singing in a heard. Lots of wonderful preaching and Saturday night's sitting in a light rain I I walked down and not not out of anything other than my heart really finally broke with the deep deep realization. That what had happened on the cross in some infinitesimal way happened for me and I gave my life and made a personal decision. That trustees I this is a turning point in pence's religious evolution. His political career though was less linear he ran for Congress twice in nineteen eighty the eight and nine hundred ninety. He loses both times then he decides to try his hand at something else. Give me a shout open. Friday on the Mike Pence show a daily talk. DOC radio show. I am always jazzed because we have an opportunity to play catch up with you the listeners of this broadcast on topics that we covered over the course of that. We journalist Tom. Lubyanka says the radio show was about more than just getting pence's name out there. I think people take the wrong lesson from that when they say that. Oh he built his name. I D. That's what you need to win. I think you're missing the bigger point. which is this is where he gets his antenna from and his political antenna point him to the kinds of cultural and social issues that revved up a religious religious audience and then you remember that senior thesis about Abraham Lincoln and how he learned to use religion as a political tool? And you start to understand how Mike Pence starts to to find his political niche. The problem here was a discomfort with adultery. And does that trouble anybody else. Give me a call us at eight hundred six. Oh three reminder adultery no longer a big deal in Indiana and in America pence finally wins that Congressional seat in the year. Two thousand then in two thousand thirteen eighteen. He becomes the governor of Indiana. Lo Bianco says it was not a good fit. He didn't like being governor as a manager he was not good at it and this is where he got himself into the trouble in the net time he was detached and he spent too much time fundraising for his own. long-term presidential goals and not enough time being in the job. Robin living the role of governor. Which is why? Lo Bianco says the battle over controversial religious. Liberty Law in Indiana caught pence off guard. The religious just freedom restoration act led some national companies to boycott the state. Here's pence with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on March twenty ninth two thousand fifteen. Yes or no now. If a florist in Indiana refuses to serve a gay couple at their wedding is that legal. Now in Indiana George this is this. This is where this debate has gone with misinformation. And it's just a question sir. Yes Oh well he really wants done by at all. This is Jim Aderholt. He was pence's chief of staff back back then. Aderholt says after that law was amended pence met directly with members of the LGBT community. He began to meet and establish relationships with folks. Could you just weren't regularly in office. And and maybe they should have been more regular in our office so he did a lot of talking but Mike Pence never changed his mind about the core issues issues that are often used as a litmus test in conservative circles he still believes marriage should happen only between a man and a woman and that abortion is wrong. He likes to say conservative. But I'm not angry about it. He loves talking to people that disagree with them at listening. And you'll never hear him so unkind word you'll never hear them react in a way. That's unkind. I'm but that does stand. In contrast to the style of the president of the United States with whom he serves but again his purposes vice president is to would be a partner and to provide godly counsel to be prayerful and to give him the best council candidate and to also be ready. And God forbid something were to happen. And he's he's a very loyal person and he understands that everyone's flawed and in different ways and he's very forgiving of those flaws and vice presidential candidate. Mike Pence was was even able to forgive this. And when you star they let you do it. You can do anything whatever you want to do. Anything this this is what Jim Aderholt said about the access. Hollywood tape policed it up and of course not but at the same time. He's a very loyal person and he wasn't going anywhere I mean that's that he'd made a pledge. You made a promise and he was going to keep that promise. Did it make sense to you as someone who knew him. Well that he that he joined the ticket. It'd make complete sense to me because then governor Mike Pence and currently vice president pence these public services a calling and when that invitation came him for him to be considered he prayed about it and he thought about and talked a lot of people but really in his heart. He said whatever happens happens there. If that's how I am to be used used that's how I can best help our country. I'm willing to do that. He sees it as a calling. I'm a little bit nervous right now. In the United States of America wow thank you for honoring us. A couple of months. After the inauguration vice president pence appeared on stage with David Hughes the lead pastor of Church by the glades and Evangelical Mega Church in South Florida and without mentioning Donald Trump's name pastor hughes makes it clear that some of pence's most loyal supporters were still coming to grips with the vicious gop primary and pence's new partnership with Donald J trump. And I thought you did a brilliant job having having respectful discourse with people who politically had different points of views. What how would you guide us? How can the church help bring unity to a country? Hundred were convictions are so polarized. You get the sense when you watch this. Exchange that pence is hearing between the lines. It's as if he knows the words the name not spoken spoken and he just says it out loud again. The question is how can this church help bring unity to the country. And this is how Mike Pence answers I well I I honestly think that number one very humbled by your by your comments and it's just the greatest privilege of my life to vice president to president. Donald Trauma. Mike Pence knows why he was put on the ticket in the first place. He knows how important moments like. This are to keeping the evangelical vote in trump's column. This is the calling. This is the work you know for me. It's it's it what the president really personifies Asana Faez. Is I think the the pathway forward here he's got he's got broad shoulders but he's got a big heart. I tell people sometimes you know. He's he's bigger in life. You know always memorable charismatic. And then there's me it's like I guess. He wanted to balance the ticket. You know pence goes on some talking points about how Donald Trump will be a unifier and then he walks through the door. That's been opened in this conversation. And he separates prates himself from the man who works for you know for me for my house at all. It all really does come down to just wanting to treat others the way you want to be treated. It's a small reminder that yes he has been called to serve and he will but he is not Donald J trump. He is Michael Richard Pence a man with his own ambitions ambitions and if he can move past the impeachment inquiry if he can defend this president but keep his distance he could find his own path to the White House. The Vice President keeps a Bible liable verse on the Mantle of his home. It's Jeremiah Chapter Twenty nine verse. Eleven and it reads for. I know the plans I have for you plans to prosper you and not to harm mm-hmm you plans to give you hope and a future but as the impeachment inquiry draws pence further inside the calling for him now the work is to just survived present a special report from up first from. NPR News. You you can get the latest on the impeachment inquiry and so much more on the radio at NPR's all things considered and weekend edition and also on this podcast where there is now a special Saturday Saturday edition of a first with Rachel. Martin I'm Steve INSKEEP.