Pence Will Be First to Use Reagan’s Bible for Swearing-in
It’s traveling with a onetime Reagan staffer from library in California
Vice President-elect Mike Pence says it’s “humbling” to be sworn into office using President Ronald Reagan’s family Bible. Its caretaker says it took some courage to ask to use it.
“No one’s ever had the courage, I guess, until this point to make an ask for it,” John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, said Wednesday.
Pence has said that he credits Reagan for his conversion to the Republican Party after growing up in a Democratic family, and he emulates Reagan’s optimistic rhetoric.
The 40th president was sworn in twice as president and twice as governor of California on the Bible, which belonged to his mother.
“You can see in the margins of the Bible where she penciled in various comments that she had, same with comments from the president,” he said.
Heubusch said he didn’t know when the Bible caught Pence’s eye, but said the former Indiana governor “got along famously with us” when he visited the library in Simi Valley, California, during a campaign stop.
“We talked about books at the time because I actually have one coming out,” Heubusch said.
When Pence heard about Heubusch’s upcoming book “The Shroud Conspiracy,” he asked his staff to get the name of it so he could order it.
After the election, Heubusch got a phone call that Pence wanted the Bible for the inauguration.
“It’s my decision and I have to tell you, I didn’t hesitate for a moment,” he said.
Andrew Littlefair, who was one of Reagan’s first advance men at the White House after having ridden the 1980 campaign trail with him, and is now a trustee at the Reagan foundation, will take the Bible to D.C. in a special case for artifacts.
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In the library, the Bible is displayed behind bulletproof glass, and opened to 2 Chronicles 7:14.
Reagan was sworn in on the Bible opened to this passage, and Pence will be, too.
When it arrives at the Capitol, it will be locked in a safe on the Senate side and not come out until “just minutes before the swearing in,” Heubusch said.
“It’s not one we loan out like a library book, to be sure, it’s never left the Reagan museum,” he added.