US Vice President Mike Pence and the woman he calls ‘Mother’ — that’s his wife Karen — will visit Sydney next week as part of a whirlwind Asia/Pacific visit.
Pence is scheduled to fly out of Washington DC on Air Force Two tomorrow with his wife and two daughters, Charlotte and Audrey.
They will fly directly into the high-stakes stand-off between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with their first stop being the South Korean capital Seoul.
From there the party will head to Tokyo on April 18, Jakarta on April 20 and Sydney on Saturday April 22.
Mr Pence will meet with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, and members of the US and Australian militaries.
Bishop invited Pence to visit Australia “as soon as possible” back in February, several weeks after the infamous fiery phone call between Trump and Turnbull over a refugee resettlement program, which Trump described as “the worst deal ever”.
Bishop’s invitation to Pence was seen by some commentators as a deft political manoeuvre, obviating the need for an invitation to be made to the President himself, which could be politically more fraught.
Pence’s visit will be the first time a US Vice President has come to Australia before a President in nearly 30 years.
Last month the Washington Post revealed that Pence won’t dine with women or be alone in a room with them unless his wife is there.
Karen Pence was described as her husband’s “prayer warrior, gut check and shield” in the story. The article also revealed that she once had a special phone installed in her husband’s Washington office that only she had the number for.
After the Post story was published, a 2002 Rolling Stone feature on Pence was unearthed, revealing that the then Indiana governor referred to his wife as “Mother”.
“Pence shouted to his wife, Karen, his closest adviser, at the other end of the table: ‘Mother, mother, who prepared our meal this evening?’” the 2002 feature recounted.
Pence’s meeting with Bill Shorten could be delicate, as the Opposition Leader has made no secret of his distaste for Donald Trump’s views, referring to them as “barking mad”.
SOURCE: newsnow worldnews