Mike Pence was already a controversial politician before he became involved with eventual U.S. President Donald Trump. Some have championed him as a principled man of character. There've also been others who've had different descriptions of him. Such as ambitious, cold-hearted and other, harsher terms.

Views of his tenure as vice president of the United States under Trump followed a similar pattern. But by the end of the term, Pence had drawn the ire of many extreme Trumpists. And the personal relationship between the president and vice president had reportedly turned sour.

They've since gotten back on speaking terms with each other. And, as indicated by the AP, Pence seems to be trying to present himself as Trump's heir.

Apparently making plans for a 2024 presidential run

The former vice president is reportedly laying the early foundations of a presidential campaign of his own. Publicly, he's been doing things such as joining prominent organizations and discussed publishing a book. These are often the actions of a former public official who's retired from formal political life. And they can also be the actions of someone looking to launch a new campaign.

Conversations behind the scenes have included increasingly surrounded Pence's anticipated campaign launch. Words of encouragement have come from various current and former Republican officials in public.

And apparently already at least one endorsement. According to The Baltimore Sun, U.S. Representative Jim Banks has thrown his support behind a potential Pence presidential candidacy. Banks represents a district in Mike Pence's home state of Indiana.

Pence wasn't originally a Trump supporter. During the 2016 Republican presidential primary, he endorsed Texas U.S.

Senator Ted Cruz. But later on, after Trump tapped him to be vice president, his devotion became the stuff of legend. What Pence got for his often-mocked public adoration of Trump was ultimately not a return in favor. Instead, he and members of his family were nearly murdered during the U.S. Capitol riot. Rioters were particularly upset by the then-vice president not stopping certification of the 2020 presidential election result.

Something that he didn't actually have the power to do.

Not surprisingly, the rapport between Mike Pence and Donald Trump was strained at that point. It's unclear if some of Trump's most intense supporters would back a possible Pence campaign.

In a 2024 Republican primary, Pence could face a crowded field filled with other former Trump administration officials. Including Trump himself, along with other possibilities such as Mike Pompeo and Nikki Haley.

Pence is also a former governor and member of Congress

Earlier in life, Mike Pence was an active Democrat. He even volunteered for the Democratic Party chapter in Bartholomew County in central Indiana. Obviously, he later changed his party affiliation.

In 1988 and 1990, Pence ran for the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana's 2nd District. He lost both times to Democratic incumbent Philip Sharp. Eventually, he would win the seat in 2000. A re-districting would later move him to the 6th District.

During his House tenure, Mike Pence became one of its most prominent Republicans. In 2006, he was a candidate to become the Republican leader in the House. Eventually finishing as runner-up behind future House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. Pence later became the chair of the House Republican Conference. Previously, he chaired the Republican Study Committee.

In 2012, Pence was elected governor of Indiana. After a tense time in office, he was nominated for re-election in 2016.

However, he left that race after Trump chose him to be his vice president. Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb became the new Republican nominee and won the general election.

Pence's brother, Gary, is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds the seat from the 6th District, like Mike Pence did years ago.