SOUTH BEND – We know some things about the autobiography former Vice President Mike Pence is writing. We know the title won’t be one of those suggested by the late-night TV hosts or on Twitter.

Some of those suggestions: “I Did It His Way.” “Lord of the Flies.” “Thank you, Sir. Can I Have Another?” Nor will there be, as Jimmy Fallon suggests, a chapter on “how his boss tried to murder him.”
 
We know the book, first of two Pence will write in a multi-million-dollar publishing deal, is for release in 2023, as the contest for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination gets serious. Pence, of course, already is deadly serious about seeking that nomination. The autobiography timing is part of his quest.
 
We know the book will be fiction. Wait, you say, aren’t autobiographies classified as nonfiction? Yes. And Pence’s book will compete for high ranking on the list of nonfiction bestsellers.
 
However, autobiography authors don’t always stick with the truth. Many include a lot of self-promoting fiction. So, would Pence, seeking the Republican presidential nomination, really tell the truth about the Jan. 6 insurrection, when supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, forcing Pence and his family to flee from the Senate chamber and hide?
 
Polls show Trump still is highly popular with Republican voters. Could Pence tell what he really thought when Trump denounced him as the crowd grew angrier at the vice president for not halting certification of presidential results?
 
“Hang Mike Pence!” they chanted. Could Pence tell of the danger of the violent mob? Or, so as not to upset the Trump base, would he say the chants were for hanging a portrait of Pence?
 
Others in hiding with him said Pence was furious that Trump didn’t quickly call for the insurgents to stop and didn’t check on the safety of the Pence family. Could he write about that now, when any criticism of Trump could end his presidential dreams?
 
As it is, despite all of the loyalty to Trump that Pence showed as an obedient vice president, Trump didn’t even mention him when listing future Republican leaders. And he told big GOP donors that Pence failed him in declining to join in the plot to overturn presidential election results. Will Pence write only glowing praise of Trump, seeking to get back in good graces with Trump and Trumpster voters?

Pence, if interested in facts and history, could have some important revelations in his book, including:

Never told facts about behind-the-scenes battling as the White House Coronavirus Task Force, which Pence headed, sought to get Trump to take the pandemic seriously and stop promoting strange “cures.”
 
Whether Trump, in asking Pence to throw out results from key states he lost, acted delusional, actually thinking he won, or was instead clearly arguing to change what he knew was a losing score.
 
Times when Pence was able to tone down or sidetrack drastic, dangerous actions that Trump threatened to take.
 
What he knows of Trump’s dealings with Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine.
 
But Pence isn’t interested in bombshells to send his book to the top of the bestseller lists. He’s interested in winning support to send his poll numbers to the top among contenders for the Republican nomination.
 
Pence says his book will tell the story of his life, “from serving in Congress, to the Indiana’s governor’s office, and as vice president of the United States” and that he looks forward to taking readers “on a journey from a small town in Indiana to Washington, D.C.”

We know, despite Twitter suggestions, that the famous fly of the vice presidential debate won’t write the foreword for the book. Equally unlikely is that the foreword will be written by an ungrateful former president.  

Colwell has covered Indiana politics over the past five decades for the South Bend Tribune.