Around this time last year, Mike Pence pulled one of the corniest political stunts imaginable when he walked out of a 49ers-Colts game early because he wanted to take a stand against the players kneeling to protest police violence and racial injustice who were supposedly “disrespecting” the troops, flag and anthem.
Unsurprisingly, it was revealed within hours after Pence left the game that this was all a premeditated stunt—something former Niners safety Eric Reid had assumed after the game—but it was not until Friday that the total costs of letting this man publicly whine about marginalized people asking for equal treatment became known. The details of where money was spent is outlined in a report from the Huffington Post.
According to the newly released — and heavily redacted — documents, the hotel rooms for Pence’s security team totaled $64,637.88, split between nine different properties, with the heftiest bill of $25,151 at the Marriott Indianapolis Downtown. A heavily redacted document titled “LRC Air/Rail Detail Report by Project Code” with a “report period” of Oct. 7 through Oct. 9 has an amount at the bottom of $8,877.91, presumably for certain travel expenses. Temporary walkways deployed in downtown Indianapolis add another $2,368.
The dates on the documents lend further credence to the notion this was a hastily planned stunt and not, as a Pence aide claimed to CNN, an event planned “for weeks” so that the vice president could watch a ceremony honoring former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. The walkways, rented from an event company based out of Cincinnati, were ordered only the Friday before the game and a lodging addendum for the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport was signed just three days before the game.
The report estimates that at least $350,000 was spent, which included $250,000 spent on Pence’s Air Force Two flight alone. The portion about the walkway rental corroborates reports from those in the Vice President’s media pool who said they were informed Pence would leave the game early. Pence later released a statement defending his nonsensical travel plan and explaining that it’s actually not that expensive to stop in Indiana when you’re heading to California from Las Vegas. Gotta love this party of low government spending!
It shouldn’t be a surprise that our soggy president, and his elderly lego man vice president, spent six figures on a one-hour political stunt at a football game meant to rile up their racist hooting base, but the ever-present sense of hopelessness that we are in the dumbest possible timeline feels really strong after this.