Let’s set politics aside for a moment, and consider what a show of disrespect our country’s vice president and his security detail showed one of Pure Michigan’s most treasured spots.

Vice President Mike Pence and his team traveled in an unprecedented motorcade from Mackinac Island’s tiny airport to the Grand Hotel last weekend. By doing so, Pence thumbed his nose at the island’s tradition of not permitting motor vehicles.

We liken it to the disrespect one would show by stepping into a Japanese house and refusing to remove his muddy boots.

So, a horse-drawn carriage ride isn’t good enough for Pence? It was for President Gerald Ford during an island visit in 1975, and several other presidents before him.

The Secret Service will say it is necessary in 2019 because security has to be tighter. While times have certainly changed, we’re still talking about a short jaunt down a road on little Mackinac Island in northern Michigan. We think a Secret Service team can manage adequate protection for that without the need for a squad of unlawful vehicles.

The island’s prohibition of motor vehicles dates back to 1898, when there were very few such contraptions in the entire country. Today, snowmobiles and vital emergency vehicles and service trucks are the only motorized transportation allowed on Mackinac Island.

The vice president and former Indiana governor was on the island to deliver Saturday’s keynote address at the Republican Leadership Conference, in which he talked about the president’s record and the U.S. Senate candidacy of John James, a Detroit-area businessman.

That political trip cost taxpayers – you and me – a hefty sum to transport those eight government vehicles via Shepler’s Ferry to the island for the ill-advised 1-mile ride.

Shepler’s Ferry has suffered some backlash for its role in all of this. The ferry service’s owner called it “an honor” to transport the vice president’s motorcade to the island, according to a report in The Detroit News.

“We follow island policy, we respect local government and tradition, and we most definitely have the same passion for Mackinac Island as our guests,” Shepler’s Ferry tweeted Monday.

OK, so it was a business decision.

To be fair, Pence’s entourage wasn’t the only one to have motor vehicles on the island last weekend. The ferry service transported several others, mostly TV station remote vans, to the island and back.

But they’re not running for re-election next year.

The Trump ticket (presumably with Pence on it) has made no bones about needing Michigan’s vote next November. Do they not know that this Mackinac Island faux pas can’t possibly help their cause?

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board. What do you think? Email us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com.

(6) comments

Susan Robertson

In 1986 the world Conference on Large Lakes was held on Mackinac Island. Vice President George Bush and leaders from around the world attended this gathering. Ambassadors, Legislators, policy makers, et al. The place was crawling with security agents, secret service, and protocol chiefs. NOBODY BROUGHT A CAR.

leaders from around the world, Russians, Japanese, Swedies, Chinese, ambassadors, digniataries


Although you have ignored the facts about the motor vehicles permitted on the Island, including Hollywood movie vehicles, it is truly unfortunate that you apparently don't see the difference between the challenges of protecting President Trump's Vice President and protecting the Vice-President 30+ years ago, like the craziness of violent Leftists (see Antifa) in 2019.

If you want to return to the politics of 1986 I agree with you wholeheartedly!


So, in its professional journalistic standards, a Michigan city Clerk being charged by the State Attorney General with multiple felonies related to charges of altering absentee ballots, including forgery does not warrant a mention by the Editorial Board of the Grand Haven Tribune but The Vice President of the United States bringing motor vehicles onto Mackinac Island has them clutching their pearls amidst the vapours. How typical.

Let’s see – The U.S. Secret Service, which is the premier law enforcement that has been protecting the President and Vice President since the Civil War, determines motorized vehicles are required on Mackinac Island for his protection as they are everywhere else in the country and the editors are scandalized. Notwithstanding that the Secret Service carries out its protective responsibilities in coordination with State and local law enforcement. Did the editors look into that before penning a diatribe against the Vice President?

And equating the Secret Service bringing vehicles onto the Island with the Mainstream Media doing the same is an indictment of the self-importance the media, including the Tribune, assigns to itself!

And how “Pure” is Mackinac Island with respect to motorized vehicles, especially those used by First Responders for Protective roles? Well, Mackinac Island has itself a nice big Fire Truck; it has snowplows; it has an ambulance and it issues special use permits for heavy construction and transport vehicles. Oh, almost forgot – Mackinac allowed cars on the Island so Hollywood could film ‘Somewhere In Time’ with Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, and Christopher Plummer. Of course, snowmobiles are o.k. too.

I guess the Tribune feels it has to show solidarity with their Leftwing brethren in the media by taking a cheap shot at our Vice President.

If the Editors are looking for real examples of Nose Thumbing and disrespect, they should review how Hillary and the Democrats treated Michigan in the 2016 Election – Politico has a thorough story of why Michigan elected President Trump. . . .


Vlad, any chance the Tribune could tell the WHOLE story? Pence visited the Boy Scouts.........https://www.wzzm13.com/article/news/local/spring-lake/local-scouts-mike-pence/69-252b3f4b-5912-4247-9b48-6409d2da122d

Also, did Sheplers really need to be bashed here? Is that where we are at in this country where the media bashes a business for helping out the VP?


Of course Sheplers needed to be bashed - they are a hated corporation that provides necessary services to Michiganders and Mackinac Island, using 'fossil' fuels in the process.

Better they use AMTRAK or the transportation Elizabeth Warren's fake ancestor's used to cross the lake, or vessels powered by solar, wind, or nuclear. (Of course, had they been environmentally correct in getting a modern fire engine to the Island, the Grand Hotel would be kindling and their tourist dollars would be the same).

But Greta would be pleased for a minute.


So you all are experts on executive protection? The media fuels irrational hatred for the current administration that has led to several cases of actual violence but they should just take the chance to honor a quaint tradition? Your call shows your bias.

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