The two faces of Nancy Mace were on display at House GOP's Biden news conference

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Rep. Nancy Mace is two-faced. 

And which of the South Carolina Republican’s faces you see varies depending on the time of day or the channel you’re watching.

Political vacillation has been a Mace mainstay, as my MSNBC colleague Steve Benen covered so thoroughly last year. She worked for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, then claimed his legacy had been “wiped out” in 2021 after his supporters stormed the Capitol. Then, in 2022, after Trump publicly called her a “loser” and endorsed her primary opponent ahead of the midterm elections, Mace posted a rather embarrassing video filmed outside Trump Tower in New York City, touting her ties to him. Ultimately, Mace won re-election, but she’s tried to balance out her extremism ever since. 

It’s common, these days, to find Mace on legacy media putting on the “I’m a sensible Republican act. (The fact her district may soon be redrawn to include more Black voters due to a court order may have something to do with some of this politicking lately.)

Over the years, Mace has shown a willingness to feud with Trump-loving Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and the occasional openness to criticizing House lawmakers’ most galling attempts to restrict abortion.

On the other hand, if you catch her on conservative media, you’ll likely find her making conspiratorial claims that align with some of the most extreme Republicans in Congress and online

But on rare occasions, you catch the two faces of Mace in a single response. It’s like catching “Two-Face” Harvey Dent in broad daylight. And we got an example of this Wednesday. 

Republicans on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee held a news conference on conspiratorial allegations they’ve pushed for months, claiming President Joe Biden is helming a foreign influence operation to benefit his family. Republicans hyped up the conference beforehand and suggested committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and other conservatives on the panel would be dropping bombshell evidence. 

Unsurprisingly, that evidence hasn’t been presented. Comer has vowed to reveal “six specific decisions” Biden made that were influenced by such payments. That hasn’t happened.

Instead, what viewers got was conjecture — the stuff of right-wing message boards — that failed, crucially, in proving that Biden or any member of his family broke the law.

But Mace said she’s on the case nonetheless. Watch in the clip below how she transitions seamlessly from suggesting “someone with the last name Biden” may need to “spend a little time in prison” to claiming this Republican ordeal is “not a conspiracy theory” and saying its true purpose is to see “if there are anti-corruption laws that need to be made stronger.”

Here, Mace is trying to have her conspiratorial cake and eat it, too. She’s trying to push dubious right-wing claims while presenting as a lawmaker who should be taken seriously. It’s a microcosm of the career she’s built for herself.

She’s an off-brand Ginni Thomas pushing conspiracy theories one day and a firebrand Olympia Snowe bucking her party on anti-abortion extremism the next. You never know which one you’re going to get.

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