Pence’s schedule hints at gubernatorial, not presidential, run

posted at 10:12 am on January 4, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Is the Pence for President boomlet over?  Howey Politics Indiana got a peek at the Indiana Congressman’s schedule and says it never got started.  Mike Pence has filled his schedule for the next several weeks with appearances throughout Indiana, not Iowa or New Hampshire, meaning that either Pence has decided that Indiana’s late primary will be the key to a presidential nomination, or he’s running for Governor:

U.S. Rep. Mike Pence is scheduling Republican Lincoln Days Dinner all over Indiana, Howey Politics Indiana has learned. It is the best clue yet that he is preparing to launch a 2012 Indiana gubernatorial campaign, as opposed to seeking the presidency. ”He is scheduling larger counties,” a Republican source told HPI on Monday. “If he is running for President, it would be an interesting and novel strategy. We could call it the Win Indiana Strategy!” If Pence were to launch a presidential campaign, he would be more likely to spend this winter and spring in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina – the key early primary and caucus states.

The gubernatorial race is wide open at the moment.  Mitch Daniels is term-limited and cannot run for re-election, and he’s clearly aiming at the GOP nomination in 2012.  His Lieutenant Governor has publicly withdrawn from consideration due to “minor health issues,” which means that Pence would be the natural Republican frontrunner.  Evan Bayh has already announced that he won’t run for his old job, which means that the Democrats won’t have a “star power” candidate to put up against him.  It’s a perfect situation for Pence to gain a significant executive position in preparation for a presidential run in the longer-term future — perhaps 2016 or 2020.

That will disappoint Pence backers, who hoped to see a presidential run from Pence in 2012.  Realistically speaking, that would have been nearly impossible.  Pence gave up his leadership position in the House this year, apparently planning to free up his time to make the gubernatorial run.  Only one President has won election from the House, and that was James Garfield more than 130 years ago.  Doing that as a backbencher would be even more difficult, especially after four years of having a man with no executive experience run the White House with disastrous results.  Republicans will want to offer proven executive competence as a remedy to the incompetence of Barack Obama, which means either a governor or (as a long shot) perhaps a high-profile private-sector leader along the lines of Herman Cain.

For Pence, though, this is a smart move and sets him up later for bigger platforms.  Pence will need a successful term under his belt to join a deepening GOP bench for the outer years, and a big win to succeed Daniels would help both men — Daniels now, and Pence in the future.


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It’s still a shame. In my view nobody could unite the party quite like Pence could. Maybe Thune could, but for far different reasons (he is neither pleasing nor upsetting).

Indy82 on January 4, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Darn, but understand

cmsinaz on January 4, 2011 at 10:17 AM

I hope this is true – no one should run for POTUS with zero executive experience.

Pence is a good man – but lacks that important executive experience.

jake-the-goose on January 4, 2011 at 10:18 AM

If we can’t have a Presidential run, I am just fine with him picking up where Daniels left off as governor.

search4truth on January 4, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Ok then, get some exec experience, prove yourself and come back in 2016 or 2020.

Bishop on January 4, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Still keeping the dream alive because the pickings get slim after Pence. After Thune, there’s no real electable fusionist left. Thune better get motivated to run!

TimTebowSavesAmerica on January 4, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Ok then, get some exec experience, prove yourself and come back in 2016 or 2020.

Bishop on January 4, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Hopefully 2020. I don’t think I could stomach another 4 years of the Bamster.

Doughboy on January 4, 2011 at 10:26 AM

That’s what I’ve been saying for weeks.

powerpro on January 4, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Good. I’m cautious about making predictions like this, but I’m pretty sure Pence will be practically a shoo-in for Governor.

Mitch Daniels is term-limited and cannot run for re-election, and he’s clearly aiming at the GOP nomination in 2012.

Okay, seriously – where are people getting this? Did I miss a press release or something? Because Daniels has said for years that’s he’s not interested in the presidency. Not that people can’t change their minds, but I live in (and work for) Indiana and I haven’t heard a thing about Daniels making a 2012 run.

lonesome_pine on January 4, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Hmm, conservative bowing out. You know who this helps?

WisRich on January 4, 2011 at 10:28 AM

As I said yesterday:

I live here in Indiana. Pence isn’t running. 0% chance.

Governor Mitch Daniels is term limited. He’s done in 2012.

Lt. Governor Becky Skillman has announced she’s not running for Governor when Daniels’ term ends.

Democrat Evan Bayh has announced he’s not running either.

The path is wide open for Pence for the Governorship. The Dems don’t have a candidate that has any real possibility of defeating him.

In January 2013, we’ll be swearing in Governor Mike Pence (R-IN), not President Mike Pence (R-USA).

Chris of Rights on January 3, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Chris of Rights on January 4, 2011 at 10:28 AM

I’m liking me some Herman Cain… A Washington outsider is very appealing.

Pence is smart to wait.

parteagirl on January 4, 2011 at 10:33 AM

After Thune, there’s no real electable fusionist left.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on January 4, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Dare I ask — what or who is a fusionist? Are we looking for someone who will throw an H bomb (rhetorically speaking, of course) at the socialists?

jwolf on January 4, 2011 at 10:34 AM

At this point, I think BUSINESS experience trumps political executive experience.

parteagirl on January 4, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Hmm, conservative bowing out. You know who this helps?

Yup, Christine O’Palin.

rickyricardo on January 4, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Great news! He should easily win the governorship and, if he’s as good as people seem to think, will make a superb governor and gain the necessary executive experience to make a solid run for the White House.

Kirin on January 4, 2011 at 10:40 AM

I’m a huge fan of Pence and really really hope he runs for governor for two reasons, the first being I want him more experienced for the Oval Office job and 2nd because he’s a natural to continue & enhance what Mitch Daniels has accomplished.

We’ve got our problems here in Indiana, but by and large the policies of Mitch Daniels (and Mike Pence next) have put us in far better shape that most of this bankrupt nation.

Tim Zank on January 4, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Speaking of people running for President, I don’t know if anyone has posted this yet, but trump is running for President as a r!

http://www.newsmax.com/RonaldKessler/donald-trump-president-barack/2011/01/03/id/381676
L

letget on January 4, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Yup, Christine O’Palin.
rickyricardo on January 4, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Don’t give up hope, your man Crist might yet throw his hat in the ring for 2012. Keep the faith brother, keep the faith.

Bishop on January 4, 2011 at 10:44 AM

jwolf on January 4, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Fusionism was started by Bill Buckley and adopted by Reagan. It’s the union of fiscal, social and national security conservatives. Before Reagan, this wasn’t the case for the GOP since Ford, Nixon were liberals. Giuliani and Huckabee would not be fusionists because they tell a good part of the base to take a hike. Romney tried this as his strategy, but we all know mittins has no real core.

Tim Zank on January 4, 2011 at 10:41 AM

A fiscal liberal will NOT be the GOP nominee in 2012.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on January 4, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Pence’s speech to Hillsdale College titled “The Presidency and the Constitution” does suggest that he is paving a road to the presidency. The question is when will he do it?

http://www.hillsdale.edu/hctools/ImprimisTool/archives/2010_10_Imprimis.pdf

ted c on January 4, 2011 at 10:54 AM

It’s the union of fiscal, social and national security conservatives.

In other words the same Moral Majority retreads who time has passed.

You can create all the fancy buzzwords like “fusionism” to try and put lipstick on an old pig, but that “fiscal, social and national security conservatives” coalition is dead and gone.

It’s the 21st century not 1980. Independents hold the keys to the promised land and only a coalition of Republicans, indies and Reagan Democrats can defeat Obama.

Keep trying to relive the 1980′s however if have nothing else to do.

rickyricardo on January 4, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Personally I hope he runs for governor. I think the country wants Presidential candidates with executive experience. We’re seeing what happens when an inexperienced minor legislator tries to run things.

Iblis on January 4, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Pence’s speech to Hillsdale College titled “The Presidency and the Constitution” does suggest that he is paving a road to the presidency. The question is when will he do it?

http://www.hillsdale.edu/hctools/ImprimisTool/archives/2010_10_Imprimis.pdf

ted c on January 4, 2011 at 10:54 AM

I hope so but it should be for 2020. If he ran for 2016 he would only have served 1/2 a term before starting is campaign and would be accused of qui…oh wait…that’s right…Democrats and GOP insiders need not worry.

Carry on.

WisRich on January 4, 2011 at 11:07 AM

is = his

WisRich on January 4, 2011 at 11:07 AM

rickyricardo on January 4, 2011 at 11:02 AM

We agree on some things, but this is not one of them. The country is becoming more tolerant of gays (though not a substantial amount, see CA/ME ballot votea) and more diverse, but the country is also much more pro-life than in the 70/80/90s. Even in mass culture, the trend is in the pro-life direction. For the GOP, we need social conservatives, otherwise we would not be competitive in OH, PA, MO and MI.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on January 4, 2011 at 11:08 AM

It’s the 21st century not 1980. Independents hold the keys to the promised land and only a coalition of Republicans, indies and Reagan Democrats can defeat Obama.

Keep trying to relive the 1980′s however if have nothing else to do.

rickyricardo on January 4, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it a coalition of Republicans, indies, and Reagan Democrats that elected Reagan in 1980 and 1984? So much for not trying to relive the 1980s…

steebo77 on January 4, 2011 at 11:09 AM

“No American should face a tax increase in January…not one.”
- Mike Pence

Join Mike Pence and oppose a tax increase.

Says the banner ad at the top of the page paid for by the Mike Pence Committee. I’m sorry, but isn’t this a little late? Does his PAC know that they’re still paying to run outdated ads?

steebo77 on January 4, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Here’s why I love HotAir- Come for the snarky, pointed allahpundit hooks, stay for the Cap’n Ed reasoned analysis.

Good post.

Oh, and I can’t wait to vote for Pence as Governor. Indiana is fortunate to have had Daniels’ competent leadership during the recent economic difficulties, and if Pence runs, wins and lives up to his conservative billing we should be able to weather additional storms.

cs89 on January 4, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it a coalition of Republicans, indies, and Reagan Democrats that elected Reagan in 1980 and 1984? So much for not trying to relive the 1980s…

Independents are not Christian conservatives and are more socially liberal than ever.

Abortion is a wedge issue and will not attract anyone new to vote Republican than already does.

rickyricardo on January 4, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Great move. He’ll get exec experience and we get to observe to see if his actions live up to his rhetoric.

obladioblada on January 4, 2011 at 11:29 AM

What about Lugar?

Who will run against Lugar?

Will anyone have the courage to take on the aging RINO functional moron?

Lugar does more damage to the state and the rest of the nation from the US Senate than any Democrat could ever do as Governor.

novaculus on January 4, 2011 at 11:32 AM

We need good Governors in the States to stand up to the federal government and demonstrate that the federal government is to work to the benefit of the signers of the Constitution… while We the People invoke it, it is our States that sign on to it. While I have problems seeing Pence in the Presidential race, if he can continue the work started by Daniels, then that is to the good. Plus that gets him valuable executive experience on the governmental side… you never know how broke the system is until you get to see more than one side of it.

And do remember, candidates don’t have to be on the trail until NOV 2011… just don’t waver if you are a candidate, like Thompson did last time around, that got real old real fast.

ajacksonian on January 4, 2011 at 12:26 PM

If we can’t have a Presidential run, I am just fine with him picking up where Daniels left off as governor.

search4truth on January 4, 2011 at 10:20 AM

I expect him to exceed Daniel’s record without raising taxes like Daniels did.
BTW, novaculus, I am hoping that Stutzman will serve two years in Congress, then run against that geriatric depends-wetter, Lugar.

Extrafishy on January 4, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Extrafishy, the real problem is that Lugar is so heavily entrenched in the state party apparatus that he is a virtual shoo-in if he runs. Hell, the governor used to work for him. It is hard to see how anyone beats him in the primary if he decides to run again.

It would take the star-power of Pence to have a shot, and it would rip the party apart, and for what? To run for a freshman Senator slot, low man on the totem pole and tied to it for six years? I like Stutzman but if he wants to have a future in the state Republican party he better not primary old Dick.

novaculus on January 4, 2011 at 1:46 PM

I would be happy to support Pence for president whether now or later. A chief executive with genuine conservative principles compared to a callow, demagogic Marxist? Come on, there’s no comparison of course.

However, Pence will probably be an even better president later rather than sooner, if A) he becomes a governor first and B) he revises and improves his currently questionable stand on illegal immigration.

Edouard on January 4, 2011 at 3:46 PM

It’s the 21st century not 1980. Independents hold the keys to the promised land and only a coalition of Republicans, indies and Reagan Democrats can defeat Obama.

Keep trying to relive the 1980′s however if have nothing else to do.

rickyricardo on January 4, 2011 at 11:02 AM

So what we need in 2012 is … John McCain!!!

It amazes me how often people think the way to get a Republican president is to appeal to the left. It never works.

The country is conservative. It’s Washington that’s liberal.

There Goes The Neighborhood on January 5, 2011 at 12:01 AM