To those who say conservatives should set aside social issues and stress only economic ones, Pence replies: Economic problems are urgent, but social problems remain important in a way that blurs the distinction between social and economic issues. With the fluency of a former talk radio host, he says: “You would not be able to print enough money in a thousand years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family continues to collapse.” This is, he says, “Moynihan writ large,” referring to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s preoccupation with out-of-wedlock births, which now are 41 percent of all American births.
Pence’s district borders Ohio, which provided the only president who came directly from the House (James Garfield, 1881). Fifty-one and just elected to his sixth term, Pence, outgoing Republican Conference chairman, says he has always thought six is about enough. He says he might run for governor in 2012. The Republican incumbent, Mitch Daniels, who is term-limited, might be a presidential candidate, and one such candidate might be enough from Indiana, which has provided only one president (Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1893). But if you have read this far you know why many Tea Partyers and social conservatives – essentially distinct cohorts – are urging Pence to run for president, and why, although he probably won’t, he might.