There's a famous moment in Jurassic Park where Dr. Alan Grant instructs on how to avoid the jaws of an oncoming Tyrannosaurus Rex: "Don't move! He can't see you if you don't move!"
Today, Vice President Mike Pence heeded that advice in a similar attempt to avoid a dinosaur with tiny hands.
The moment came during a heated meeting between Pence, President Donald Trump, incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in the Oval Office.
As often happens in Trump world, what was supposed to be a simple photo-op devolved into an impromptu debate over funding for Trump's long-promised border wall. The scene culminated in the President proclaiming to stunned Democratic leadership that he'd be "proud" to shut down the government in the name of border security (which he insisted could not be achieved without a wall).
Watch part of the heated exchange below.
'See? We get along,' Trump says moments after sparring with Democratic leaders Pelosi and Schumer… https://t.co/Ug4wYf4C3F— Reuters (@Reuters)1544553300.0
While the two Democratic leaders' and the President's verbal jousts were animated enough to instantly earn national attention, Pence is going viral for exactly the opposite reason: He was still as a statue, often shut his eyes, only moving to shift in his chair.
Mike Pence is like, “If I sit here with my eyes closed long enough, maybe I can make myself invisible, hmm”… https://t.co/B9CpkAzssi— Vinnie (@Vinnie)1544558414.0
@DeanObeidallah Mike "wallpaper with eyes" Pence. .@VP #MikePence— Mark Johnson (@Mark Johnson)1544557636.0
Many thought he could've been sleeping, or even dead.
How Mike Pence could fall asleep during the heated meeting with Trump, Pelosi and Schumer is beyond me. 😴 No stamin… https://t.co/uHQ0MEbPYy— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@Jon Cooper 🇺🇸)1544553835.0
Update: Mike Pence is sleeping https://t.co/koxJCD59vr— Quoth the Raven (@Quoth the Raven)1544549191.0
But never fear, many theories are developing as to just what was going on in Pence's mind.
Some say he was focusing on being chaste, while others insist it was ambition or fear.
Vice President Pence was not sleeping. His eyes were closed to avoid possible eye contact with a female outside the presence of Mother.— Dianne Nora (@Dianne Nora)1544557891.0
@joncoopertweets VP Pence had his eyes closed in disbelief when trump was telling lies so readily to Schumer and Na… https://t.co/pT0fVnjEo7— Thomas McCue Holleran (@Thomas McCue Holleran)1544558456.0
You guys, be fair. Mike Pence wasn’t sleeping! He was just shutting his eyes and pretending not to be there because… https://t.co/hQTjH5uE9u— Adam Best (@Adam Best)1544559883.0
What #Pence was seeing while he closed his eyes during #Pelosi schooling over #TrumpShutdown https://t.co/6xqKsopE11— Kevin Tripp (@Kevin Tripp)1544552892.0
While Pence's posture and closed eyes may have confused some, there was at least one victor in the room: Speaker Pelosi.
Throughout Trump's interruptions and taunts, Pelosi remained engaged, calm and tenacious. She even said to the President at one point:
"Please don't characterize the strength I bring to this meeting."
The Speaker appears to have quelled some doubts of the more progressive House Democrats as to whether or not she would commit to standing up to Trump.
Progressives impressed with Pelosi's negotiating skills with Trump: "She’s damn good," Rep. Pocan says. "She is tou… https://t.co/dMdg2tIoSw— Caitlin Huey-Burns (@Caitlin Huey-Burns)1544555123.0
Hopefully, Mike Pence will wake up before 2019. It's clear Trump is going to need a formidable ally if he's going to take on the Democratic House in 2020.