Mike Pence Assesses the Republican Presidential Field

Bookmark and Share Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana was one of those perceived early contenders for the Republican presidential nomination who chose not to run for President and to instead contemplate a run for Governor of the Hoosier State.

Pence is considered a Jack Kemp-like figure. He is a socially conservative, deficit hawk and as one of the few solid members of the House of Representatives who is both a fiscal and social conservative, to be considered as a serious potential presidential candidate. So when Mike Pence opted out of the presidential race, he left a significant portion of the Republican base searching for a candidate, especially movement conservatives. So it is great interest that people would like to know who may endorse for the Republican presidential nomination.

In an interview on Forbes Mallory Factor, Congressman did not endorse anyone but he did state that there were a number of great conservatives running or considering to run and that his hope is to see the field winnowed out and then endorse a candidate who will “embrace a strong defense, limited government, traditional moral values without apology.”

Pence was then asked to give his opinions on everyone from Herman Cain to Donald Trump. Below are some of the assessments he offered. For all of Pence’s critiques of the candidates and potential candidates, see the video link following this post.

Romney; “Mitt Romney is an enormously talented. He served as a Governor, has practical experience, successful in business and I think has a great deal of quality and character that ought to attract the attention of the American people.”

Tim Pawlenty; “I think Tim Pawlenty again, like Mitt Romney, has been a successful governor. He’s got a Midwestern demeanor that I find appealing, he could be conservative but not confrontationally, and I am impressed by his commitment to moral values in his personal life and in his public positions.”

Ron Paul; “a powerful and strident voice for limited government and I have great respect for him.”

Haley Barbour; “Haley Barbour has demonstrated great leadership as a Governor, as a Party leader. He’s an unapologetic conservative and an enormously affable and impressive man.”

Rick Santorum; “Rick Santorum is an accomplished former legislator who strong commitment to family values certainly makes him an important voice in the debate.”

Mitch Daniels; “I think Mitch Daniels is the best Governor in America. He took a moribund state government in Indiana and in six short years, and transformed us into a state that has a Triple A bond rating, one of the few states in America that has a surplus. He did that by making hard choices. And I think that wherever life leads Mitch Daniels, if public service is a part of that, the people will be well served.”

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Surprising Results in Evangelical Poll

The Barna Group is perhaps the most respected Christian Evangelical research group. That makes their recent poll findings particularly startling when it comes to who Christians might support in 2012.

Perhaps not the results you expected

In a poll of Catholic and Protestant Christians, the candidates with the highest negatives were Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. This is especially surprising considering the incredible support these two have put behind traditional family values.

Newt’s unfavorable ratings in the mid 40’s very likely relate to his nagging marital infidelity issues from 16 years ago. While most political bases find such things to be easily forgivable, the Christian base is not so forgiving nor will they defend Newt’s actions. This could make a Christian grass roots support base difficult to build.

Palin’s highest negatives are even more surprising. When it comes to Evangelical Christians, most pundits would consider Palin to have that category wrapped up going into this race. However, this poll is reminiscient of the Family Research Counsel’s straw poll that put Palin behind Romney, Huckabee and Newt Gingrich in a straw poll won by non-contender Mike Pence.

This is not a mainstream media poll and it was not reported by mainstream media. Perhaps the message to Sarah Palin coming from Christians is that whether they agree with her or not, they don’t want her to run. At any rate, without the Christian vote, she does not have a prayer.

Perhaps what I found most surprising was the favorable rating for Mitt Romney. I don’t think anyone was shocked to see Huckabee do well in a poll of Christians. Romney on the other hand struggled to get Evangelicals to vote for him in 2008 due to his liberal history and Mormonism.

My suspicion is that many Christians have resigned themselves to the possibility that they will not be voting for their favorite candidate in 2012, but instead will be voting for the best candidate who can defeat Barack Obama. When this poll is viewed in that light, it makes sense that front runner Mitt Romney would get high ratings; as would Huckabee who Christians love but acknowledge will likely not even run.

George Barna suggests that no matter who the Republican candidate in 2012 might be, they will be “bloody and half-poor” coming out of the primary.

 

 

What do you think? Are you a Christian or values voter? Leave a comment and tell us if you are planning on voting for the candidate who most represents your values, or a candidate who is not Barack Obama but can beat him.

Will 2012 Ruin 2016?

In 1996, after Democrat President Bill Clinton had embarked on a regime so liberal that he swept Newt Gingrich and Republicans into power in 1994, it seemed for Republicans that it was Bob Dole’s time. However, with Republicans being frowned upon for shutting down the government and Clinton getting credit for reigning in spending, Bob Dole’s clear path became more and more difficult. It didn’t help that a third party candidate was stealing GOP votes or that Dole showed the charisma and enthusiasm of Fred Thompson at 3 in the afternoon.

In 2012 things may not be so different.

Noemie Emery writes in the Washington Examiner that the class of 2012 for Republican candidates may be the weak link in the GOP ascendancy. CPAC showed just how deep a divide exists between the different brands of Republicanism. None of the current field is an across the board favorite, and as I mentioned last week even Mitt Romney scares some conservatives.

Contrasted with the candidates who could be prominent in 2016, the 2012 class seems dull and divisive. As Emery points out, 2016 could see figures who have emerged as highly popular among conservatives and have already proven themselves as leaders. She mentions Marco Rubio. I would add Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Rick Scott, Chris Christie, Allen West, Mike Pence, Jim DeMint, and Paul Ryan to that list.

Each of these politicians have become rock stars among the conservatives in their constituency and are starting to build national respect.

As wide as the 2012 field appears right now, it may end up being the year of lost potential. Many candidates who could have injected the young vibrancy of the conservative resurgence into 2012 have made other commitments. Mike Pence will likely run for governor of Indiana. Chris Christie is staying put in New Jersey. The candidate who best embodies the conservative values that swept into Congress in 2010 also happens to be one of the most divisive among conservatives in Sarah Palin.

So what about Emery’s suggestion that Republicans would be better off losing in 2012? Honestly I don’t think we can afford to lose in 2012. And when I say we can’t afford it, I don’t just mean the Republican party.

 

Thanks to a friend who posted the Emery article at u4prez.com

2012 GOP Contenders Battle For The Christian Vote

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As the clock ticks down to the beginning the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 one thing has become apparent — Iowa has become the number one stop on the list of potential candidates and it’s large base of evangelical conservative voters has become the prize.

History has shown that the Christian wing of the GOP has been an important group for those seeking a primary victory not only in Iowa, but throughout the country. Recent polling has also shown that the early favorites are the candidates that have garnered much of the support of the evangelicals. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won in Iowa in 2008, leads the polling there again largely backed by his Christian following. Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican VP candidate, has also polled near the top as of late and also holds a large following of conservatives who identify themselves as evangelicals. Former MA Governor Mitt Romney, although of the Mormon faith, has been at or near the top of almost every poll due in part to voters who see him as a religious candidate.

A few of the lesser known potential candidates have been on the trail giving speeches intended to define their social conservative/religious stances as well. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty recently spoke at a lecture series in Iowa put on by the socially-conservative group Family Leader and referred to himself as a “devout, but approachable, Christian,” in a speech in which he touted his opposition to abortion rights, same-sex marriage and the recent repeal of the military’s DADT policy.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, an avid pro-lifer, has also been traveling frequently to Iowa and is well known for his faith and socially-conservative stances such as opposition to same-sex marriage and pro-family value positions. Santorum recently named a team to head his PAC in Iowa, a signal to some that his announcement is merely a formality.

A recent CNN poll that can be seen in a recent post right here on White House 2012 shows that Mike Huckabee has a small lead over Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney with 21%, 19% and 18% respectively. If Huckabee decides to keep his lucrative media ventures and stay out of the race, the evangelical voters that follow him will be up for grabs. If the CNN poll is anywhere near accurate that could bode well for Palin who should be able to pick up a few of them if she herself decides to give up television and the speech circuit for a presidential bid. If Palin doesn’t run either, with the decision by Mike Pence to sit out already in the bag, the large and powerful Christian wing of the GOP could be up for grabs potentially propelling a lesser known candidate to the forefront in Iowa and the national scene as well.

Time will only tell who is in and who is out but one thing is for certain: The courtship for Iowa’s socially-conservative Christians has begun.

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Mike Pence’s Email Announcement to Supporters

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Below is the email in which Congressman Mike Pence announced to his supporters that he will not be a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012Friends and Supporters,

Over the past few months, my family and I have been grateful for the encouragement we have received to consider other opportunities to serve our state and our nation in the years ahead.

We have been especially humbled by the confidence and support of those who believe we should pursue the presidency, but after much deliberation and prayer, we believe our calling is closer to home.

The highest office I will ever hold is husband and father. As a family, we feel led to devote this time in our lives to continuing to serve the people of Indiana in some way.

In the choice between seeking national office and serving Indiana in some capacity, we choose Indiana. We will not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

In every major decision in my life, I have learned to follow my heart, and my heart is in Indiana. Karen and I love this state: the highways and byways, the small towns and courthouse squares, the big cities and corn fields. We love the strong and good people of this state and feel a debt of gratitude to those who have sustained our work with their steadfast support and prayers.

After years of falling behind, Indiana is on the verge of an era of growth and opportunity like no other time in my life. Those of us who serve Indiana in Congress and in the Statehouse have a unique opportunity to advance the interests of Hoosiers. As Governor Daniels has rightly observed, there is important work to be done in Indianapolis and Washington, and it’s time to focus on the task at hand.

In the months ahead, as we attend to our duties in Congress, we will also be traveling across the state to listen and learn about how Hoosiers think we might best contribute in the years ahead. After taking time to listen to Hoosiers, we will make a decision later this year about what role we will seek to play.

Public service requires humility, patience and discipline to pursue what matters most. To save this nation, men and women of integrity and insistent conservative vision must step forward and serve where they can make the most difference. While we may have been able to seek the presidency, we believe our best opportunity to continue to serve the conservative values that brought us to public life is right here in Indiana.

For now, permit us to simply say “thank you.” In the wake of such encouragement, we have often thought to ask, “who am I, Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?”

Thanks to all those who took time to offer earnest counsel and advice.

Thanks to all who took time to express encouragement from across the state and across the country. And thank you for the prayers of so many faithful friends.Indiana can lead the nation back to fiscal responsibility, reform and strong families.

As we achieve an even better Indiana for our children and grandchildren, we will continue to be a model for a better and stronger America.

Sincerely,

Mike Pence

Columbus, Indiana
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Mike Pence Not Running for President

Bookmark and Share Indiana Congressman Mike Pence is said to be making his announcement regarding a run for President or maybe for Governor of Indiana instead, on Thursday. But today Roll Call reports that the influential conservative Representative is not likely to run for President.

Jerry Alexander, Pences former Political Director told Roll Call

Theres a 100 percent chance that hes not going to announce a run for president,.

The Indianapolis Star is said to be posting Pences decision after 7 p.m. Eastern time.

The decision to not run for President would more than likely mean that Mike Pence will in fact seek to replace outgoing Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels who is term limited. This would follow the logic behind a schedule for the Congressman that has him attending 9 different Lincoln Day dinners for Indiana Republican county organizations.

A decision by Pence to not run for President will mark one of the first moves by a major potential player in the Republican field and have a likely impact on the decisions of several others who are considering a bid for the Republican Presidential nomination. The now unlikely presidential candidacy of Mike Pence also leaves a segment of social conservatives now having to look elsewhere for a champion of values. One of the most interesting questions will be what the supporters of Mike Pence will do.

A recent draft Pence movement by the Americas President Committee, could now shift their support elsewhere. Who that would be is still unclear.

UPDATE:

The Star posted the news early with a letter Pence and his wife Karen sent to supporters.

In the choice between seeking national office and serving Indiana in some capacity, we choose Indiana, Pence wrote. We will not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

Pence said he would decide his next step later this year.

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Pence Out?

Mike Pence may be announcing his plans for 2012 tomorrow. At least that’s what his family believes according to the National Journal. Rumors flying around the internet are that he will not run, and will instead consider running for Indiana governor. Stay tuned…

Republican Presidential Contenders React To President Obama’s State of the Union Address

Bookmark and Share Under an atmosphere that frowned upon the slightest hint of disagreement much more than in State of the Unions gone by, many potential Republican candidates for President had reactions to the Presidents address whichshowed that they were not timid in their desire to make clearwhere theyparted ways withthe President.

The often abrasive John Bolton who threatens to run for President for the purpose of focusing the nations attention on to international threats to our security Tweeted;

With no foreign policy victory of his own & many failures, bizarre that Obama would take credit for restoring America’s leadership in world.

Leading conservative deficit hawk, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint sent out a Tweet stating;

Our debt crisis demands spending cuts, not a freeze. When a car speeds toward a cliff, you hit the brakes, not cruise control.

Indiana Congressman Mike Pence sent out the following the email that described the Presidents speech as frustrating. In it he also sent a post SOTU interview he did with PBS.

Dear Fellow American, In last night’s State of the Union address,




President Obama called on Americans to take control of our destiny and take responsibility for the deficit.
He outlined plans to increase American competitiveness through education, infrastructure and innovation. And he encouraged members of Congress to put their differences aside and work together to restore this country to prosperity and greatness.So how does President Obama plan to achieve this transformation? More spending!

You and I both know that more spending and more borrowing is not the answer to get the economy moving. To hear the President call for more of the same stimulus spending that failed to turn our economy around for the last two years was very frustrating. That’s why I hope you will stand with me as I call on our leaders to give the American people a new direction.

Sincerely,

Mike Pence
Member of Congress

On his Free and Strong America PAC web site, Mitt Romney had the following statement posted;

President Obama knows where he wants to go, but he has no idea how to get there. Under President Obama’s economic leadership, more Americans have lost their jobs than any time in modern history. The on-the-job economic education of the President has cost American families almost a trillion dollars in failed stimulus schemes and, unfortunately, he’s still failing the course. Rhetoric, however soaring, does not put pay checks in pay envelopes at the end of the week. You can’t build a high speed rail system fast enough to outrun the President’s misguided regulations, higher taxes or lack of focus on jobs. Hopefully he is learning. American families are depending on him.”

South Dakota Senator John Thune issues a press release in which he decalred:

“After presiding over a staggering 21 percent spending increase during his first two years in office, the President’s proposal to simply keep spending at its current level for the next five years is too little, too late. In just two years, the government has grown at 10 times the rate of inflation.

“The president called for new spending, although he repeatedly called it investment,’ but this is nothing more than increased Washington spending in the style of the failed stimulus. With a $14 trillion national debt that is growing at a trillion dollars every year, we should reverse the out of control spending we’ve witnessed the past two years and begin to save taxpayer dollars.”

Herman Cain issued a statement that described the state of the nation as“fragile” and claimed that when the President spoke of “investment” we heard “spending” and when he spoke of job creation, we heard “but not in the private sector”. http://on.fb.me/gXSmwL

Ron Paul was unimpressed and in an interview seen below, said that he really didn’t hear anything he liked. He stated that he heard nothing regarding any real new cuts but did hear about more government programs.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told theNBC’s Today Show that there were “some good things” in the speech, but the president missed an opportunity “to take the deficit more seriously.” Obama “showed no leadership on that,” .

Freshman Florida Senator Marco Rubio told reporters “I had hoped to hear the president outline real solutions to fundamentally tackle our national debt crisis and help clear the way for urgently needed job creation,” “Instead, we heard him talk about more ‘investment,’ which is what most Floridians I know would simply call more government spending.”

Michele Bachman provided her Tea Party response to the State of the Union which was addressed here in a previous White House 2012 post. While it had plenty of visual props and offered some compelling factual comparisons, her performance lacked the poise and effectiveness of Paul Ryan’s official Republican response to the State of the Union address. That speech which can be seen here, was quite effective and offered a convicncing rationale for the challenges that they will present to Democrats as he and his fellow Republicans try to approach fiscal responsibility in ways that differ from the President and his Party.

In general, Republicans all heard the same things in President Obama’s State of the Union. They heard little that would dramatically tackle our national debt, curb government overreach and spending and very little in the way of inititatives that would help improve the near term condition of employment and the stagnant economy.

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Conservatives “Amp It Up” in Draft Mike Pence for President Movement

Bookmark and Share In an email to supporters of Indiana Congressman Mike Pence, Ralph Benko, the coordinator of the Americas President Committee, tells Pences fans to amp it up and demand that Mike Pence run for President.

The email goes on to point out how momentum for the draft Pence effort is building and gaining prominent supporters. It reads;

Conservative leaders and icons like former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and conservative icons such as Richard Viguerie, Brent Bozell and Morton Blackwell are not just joining with Rep. Ryun and me. They are using their influence to rally others to the Mike Pence cause.

Benko also reminds people to sign up with the draft effort at http://theconservativechampion.org and to join the efforts Facebook page.

Pence faces a tough decision that will force him to give up his safe seat in the House of Representatives at the end of 2012. He can either decalre himself a candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor of Indiana, to replace outgoing Governor Mitch Daniels, or he can throw himself in to the presidential sweepstakes.

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Mike Pence Comes Closer to a Decision on a run for President

Bookmark and Share Indiana Rep. Mike Pence spent time addressing the Indiana state legislature and in his remarks he offered some hints about a run for Governor of Indiana. But he also gave those who would like to see him run for President, some hope.

The Congressman stated Were certainly hearing encouragement from our friends here at the Statehouse in various ways,” He added “I’ve heard as many people encourage us to consider coming home to Indiana as I have people who pulled me alongside and said, ‘Keep the national campaign in mind.

Reporting for the Indy Star, Mary Beth Schneider writes:

Those who expect Pence, R-Columbus, to run for governor may have been heartened by his statement to lawmakers that “the states hold the promise of the future.”

Those who are pushing him instead to run for the White House in 2012 may focus in on his call for a “new federalism” — which sounded like a budding presidential slogan.

As for which race Pence is actually running in he stated “I certainly know where I’m leaning, but I haven’t made any decision.”

That decision is suppose to come by the end of this month. It would certainly provide him with the time he needs to catch up to others who have already privately made their decision. If Pence decides to run for President, he will be the first to do so officially.. A strategy that could work to his benefit.

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America’s President Committee Launches A Draft Mike Pence Campaign

Bookmark and Share Back in September, White House 2012 posted a piece on Mike Pence which mentioned that Mike Pence has a Jack Kemp-like following. Well today, that following declared that Mike Pence extraordinarily exemplifies the optimistic, pro-growth, pro-job creation Reagan-Kemp wing of the GOP and subsequently launched the America’s President Committee, an entity designed to mount a draft effort to encourage Pence to run for President.

Ralph Benko

Leading the charge is self described populist conservative, Ralph Benko, a former deputy counsel to President Ronald Reagan. Benko is also a columnist for Townhall.com and a senior advisor to the American Principles Project and a principal of the public affairs firm, Capital City Partners, LLC. He is also a member of the TEA Party Patriots

In a Monday morning statement, Benko declares;

Grass-roots conservatives, Republicans, the tea party and populists are looking for a man or woman of principle who can champion and unite the newly energized and engaged citizenry,

He adds;

Mike Pence is the best choice to lead us into a new era of peace and prosperity.”

One of the first most notable names to join the draft Pence effort is former Kansas Congressman Jim Ryan. He plans on helping the campaign to collect signatures.

Pence is planning a run for something other than reelection to the House of Representatives in 2012. After the GOP took control of the House in the 2010 midterms, he gave up his leadership role in the important House Republican policy committee. Pence stated that other endeavors would preclude him from being able to devote the amount of time that such a leadership position demands. Many suspect that those other endeavors are either a run for Governor of Indiana or for President.

If Pence were to give up his safe House seat for one or the other, giving it up for the Governors mansion would be a much

Mike Pence

safer bet than a run for President. Pence lacks some of the name ID of other potential candidates and would have a tough time gaining traction. At least at first. He would also have a tough time if Indianas outgoing Governor, Mitch Daniels, decided to run.

But with the Republican field currently wide open, Pence cant be written off if he did decide to run for the Republican presidential nomination. He does have an active support system within the GOPs conservative base and an ability to articulate a positive conservative message that will resonate. At the moment, Pence is benefiting from what is a late start of the campaign for the Republican nomination. Many big names are putting off an official decision until April. Potential candidates like Mitt Romney feel that his January 3rd, campaign kickoff in 2007, was too early for the 2008 elections and caused him to peak too early. Others like Mitch Daniels are waiting for the end of their state legislative sessions before they make a decision. And still others are waiting to hear what other names like Sarah Palin are doing.

For my part, I have been waiting for the draft movements to begin. There has already been a large number of such groups for candidates like Herman Cain, Sarah Palin and many others. But to date, the America’s President Committee effort for Mike Pence is one of the highest profile draft efforts to date.

But believe me, there will be more to come for many other names.

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Speculation Over Pence’s Potential Presidetial Campaign Picks Up

Bookmark and Share With Republicans emboldened by some of their largest gains ever in state legislative races and the House of Representatives, the field of those considering and planning a run for the Republican presidential nomination is growing everyday. Even greater than the growing field of actual Republican contenders is the field of pundits predicting and speculating about some who are not really giving the 2012 presidential election serious consideration. Somewhere in between these two categories lies Indiana Congressman Mike Pence.

With popular Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels entering his final year in office, Mike Pence is largely seen as his most likely Republican successors. After Republicans took back control of the House, Pence did indeed forego a leadership role in the new Congress because of other tasks which he stated would preclude him from devoting the amount of time that such leadership roles deserve. This has been taken to mean that he will be campaigning. But for what?

Among movement conservatives, Pence proves to be popular. In September of 2010, he won a straw poll of those in attendance at the annual Values Voters Summit, defeating even Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin. And at home, Indiana polls show Pence to be just as popular. But the question becomes which area of popularity can the Congressman parlay into an election victory?

In a field of hard hitting presidential contenders with the likes of Mitt Romney, Haley Barbour and Sarah Palin, people who can draw crowds and big bucks, Pence is likely to have quite a difficult time being assured of the Republican presidential nomination and then the presidency. But at home in Indiana, he has an inside track for his Partys gubernatorial nomination and a great chance of defeating any of the weak Democrat challengers he is likely to face.

If Pence runs for either President or Governor, he will have to give up his seat in the House at the end of this term and so the question then becomes, which bet is worth giving up his safe congressional seat for?

Pence recently scheduled a slew of events for himself to headline at in Indiana. This sent pundits on to the gubernatorial storyline. But now Pence is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at an invitation-only conservative Awakening Conference in the ever important early primary state of South Carolina, turning the storyline back to a possible presidential bid.

In the end, expect Mike Pence to allow the speculation about a run for President to increase. Pence will accept each and every invitation that will help build him up as a potential Commander-In-Chief. Why not?

The more stature he gains a possible president, the more palatable it will be for Indiana voters to find him fit to govern their state. Add to that the fact that incumbent Presidents are reelected much more often then not and what you have is a smart politician who is looking to the future by preparing to become the Governor of Indiana and waiting for the speculation about 2016 to begin after the next presidential election, when pundits start reminiscing about all the talk their was regarding incumbent Governor Pences aborted presidential race in 2012.

In the meantime, while most the talk about Pences intentions will be guesswork, there will be no need for guesswork when it comes to what he will be doing during the course of his next year and half in the House of Representatives. There Pence will be a strong and vocal deficit hawk who will willingly stand up to the House Republican leadership and oppose them whenever he can move to the right of them and prove his strong independent streak to the voters of Indiana.

Unless the declared field of Republican candidates proves to be devoid of any of the big name suspects and unless Mike Pence is under the misconception that he can out-fund and out-campaign them, it is unlikely for Pence to run for President. He may play the speculation out for all that its worth and go as far as announcing an exploratory committee and utilizing a 501-4C, but not so far as making a presidential candidacy official. As far as this writer for White House 2012 is concerned, the only question to come out of Indiana in regards to the 2012 presidential cycle, is if outgoing Governor Mitch Daniels is running for President, not Mike Pence.

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Pence Pits a Sure Thing for Governor, Against a Not So Sure Bid for President

Bookmark and Share In the Washington Whispers section of U.S. News and World Report, columnist Paul Bedard posted a piece entitled GOP Rep. Pence Is Part Reagan, Part Kennedy. In it he uses two statements to establish the title of his post. Growing up, Congressman Pence recalls being inspired by JFK but as an adult Pence believes that Ronald Reagan was the last president in his lifetime who accounts for a truly good model for a traditional American presidency.

Congressman Mike Pence

But more telling than Bedards appealing title, are Mike Pences own words discussing his future.

In the column, Pence claims that many have been encouraging him to run for Governor of Indiana. But he added Weve also gotten more than a little bit of encouragement to consider running for president. It would seem that the Congressman is trying to suggest that there is more of a popular outcry for him to run President, than there is for him to replace Governor Mitch Daniels who is term limited and prohibited from running for reelection in 2012.

It is hard to draw a conclusion about Pences future based on these statements, but a run for the Republican presidential nomination is possible and if youre a fan of Mike Pence, his emphasis on the encouragement he has received to run for President, than you might say this helps leans toward a Pence presidential candidacy being more likely than less likely. However Pence states that he will make his decision in the Spring.

That decision is probably going to be based on who is actually going to be running for President.

Everyone knows that frontrunner Mitt Romney is running, and its pretty apparent that Romney is not one of those whom Pence would base his decision on. The three whom will most likely have the biggest effect on his decision to run for President are Haley Barbour, Newt Gingrich, and most of all, Sarah Palin.

With these three names out of the picture, Pence will have a good shot at giving people like Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and even Mike Huckabee a run for their money. With those three names or any significant combination of them out, Pence could lock up a substantial segment of the social and fiscal conservative base, a base which will be critical in the early contests of Iowa, new Hampshire, South Carolina and even Florida.

But even if Mike Pence had a clear road to locking up the conservative base vote, history is still against him. Not since 1880 and James Garfield, has a Member of the House of Representatives gone straight from the House, to e White House. But to make the hill Pence would have to climb to get to the Oval Office even steeper is another name to consider in the GOP race for President——Mitch Daniels. As the popular two term Governor of Indiana, if Daniels does run for President, he could stymie some of Pences steam, especially in his own home state of Indiana.

All things considered, I believe Mike Pence is more likely to run for Governor of Indiana and replace Daniels, instead of going up against Daniels or figures like Palin, Barbour or Gingrich. With the House of Representatives as his only springboard, competing against those names for money and the Republican base, will make a run for Governor by Pence, a much safer bet. But still, Pence undoubtedly has White House fever which makes me believe that while Pences mind is made up, its the decisions of others which can change his own mind.

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To Run or Not To Run? That is the Question

Bookmark and Share Now that the midterm elections have ended and the results indicate that Republican are back off the ropes, the jockeying for position between Republicans who want to run for President in 2012 has begun in earnest and a crowded field it will be.

While Tim Pawlenty, the soon to be former Governor of Minnesota will be releasing his own book in January of 2011 and using the excuse of book tour as reason to traverse the nation, he currently has paid staffers on the ground, organizing things for him in New Hampshire. So he’s running.

Even though no one is talking about it, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is crisscrossing America on a shoe string budget and he is running.

Despite the fact that the G.O.P. took the majority in the House, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence gave up an influential leadership post that is just to die for if you’re looking for power. Yet Mike Pence made it clear that he will be too busy to take on a leadership responsibility in the new House. What will he busy with? His campaign for President.

Mitt Romney stays away from the question and when he can’t avoid it, he answers “it’s too early to talk about the next presidential election”. But as his PAC, Free and Strong America, raises more money than any other candidate’s PAC, Romney most certainly is running. Further evidence of this is Romeny’s attempts to retool his image and give the impression that he understands middle class America.  Hence the shopping trips to Wal-Mart, that he often casually mentions in his speeches. And then there are all those excursions that takes while  flying everywhere in coach instead of first class. With his money, why else would anyone want to be sitting cramped with us folks, when they can be eating full course dinners and sipping champagne in first class?

As I said, he’s running.

The day after the midterm elections, former Senator Rick Santorum traveled to New Hampshire to attend their storied Politics and Eggs breakfast where he stated “We have some real choices to make, and of course, New Hampshire has a disproportionate say in that choice, that’s why I’m here.”

He’s running.

Santorum is not the only one to trek on up to the Granite State. To date between 9 potential candidates, there has been a total of 32 visits there.

Haley Barbour – 3 trips, 3 days
Newt Gingrich – 2 trips, 2 days
Gary Johnson -3 trips, 8 days
George Pataki – 3 trips, 3 days
Tim Pawlenty – 5 trips, 5 days
Mike Pence – 1 trip, 1 day
David Petraeus – 1 trip, 1 day
Mitt Romney – 8 trips, 9 days
Rick Santorum – 6 trips, 6 days

What I find most interesting so far, is who hasn’t been to New Hampshire.

Sarah Palin has been allover the map, but she has not made any grand entrance into the home of the Live Free or Die residents. But the fact that Sarah hasn’t been there, does nott tell us anything. It could either mean that she has no plans to run or that she is in fact considering it but does’nt want to let on by making the hints that such a trip would make.

Other notably absent, often mentioned names include Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Daniels and Huckabee could be playing the same game that Palin may be playing and Huckabee may truly be undecided. After a hardened criminal that Huckabee had given clemency, went and slaughtered several Washington State police officers, his momentum may have come to a standstill.

No matter what, at this point in time, although people like Mitt Romney have dedicated the last two years of their life to running in 2012, no one has given up to do so then Mike Pence. He could have had maintained a truly powerful leadership position as Republican Chairman, especially being in the majority come 2011 but as he stated when he declined to run again for the job. Now that we have restored a Republican majority to the House of Representatives and I have fulfilled my commitment to the Republican Conference, my family and I have begun to look to the future. That future is a run for President, something that will be all the more difficult if the popular Governor from his state, Mitch Daniels, also decides to run. But perhaps Mike Pence knows something that we do not, which is that although Mitch Daniels has never said never to the presidency, he might just not being doing it in 2012.

One thing is for sure though, and that is that the race is on, the positioning has begun and in no time at all the first punches in the Republican presidential primary will soon be thrown.

In the mean time, as relayed by TalkingPointMemo.com, a collection of polls by the Democrat polling service Public Policy Polling released the following breakdown of the shaping potential field of Republican contenders in several states.

Early 2012 Presidential Polls, State by State

No matter how scientific PPP may claim these polls to be, the only thing they do right now is give a good indication of who has more name recognition. But they are still poor examples of national sentiment. Besides PPP did not even mention mention people like Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and former Pennsylvania Rick Santorum in their survey. Still, some of these polls do show the construction of base of support for some that is directly related to the foundation that their previous 2012 campaigns built and which has made some voters loyal to one candidate or another, not merely because of name ID, but for what they stand for. Such is the case in Nevada, Florida, New Hampshire and Connecticut with Mitt Romney and with Huckabee in the Southern states. Nevertheless, these results do give us a cloudy glimpse of the picture and the tough task ahead of some more than others.

In the meantime, everyone is watching closely, how the Republicans lead in the House of Representatives and how the larger size Republican minority in the Senate works with them. Potential Republican presidential contenders are hoping that they lead as they promised and offer America less spending, less government and more freedom. If not they may have to work much harder than they want on polishing up their outsider image and run more like a TEA Party candidate than a Republican candidate. For now it looks like we are on track to pushing the agenda we ran on.  If that is the case, expect a crowded field of candidates who will be trying to lay claim to the conservative revival that put House Republicans back into power.

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Presidential Politics: Platitudes, Pleasantries, and Positioning

Bookmark and ShareRonald Reagan once uttered what has become known as the eleventh commandment in Republican politics ….. “Thou shall not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” The concept is one that Republicans love to adhere to during general elections but not so much during primaries. But if the things continue going the way they have been going lately, a definite trend of pleasantries will dominate the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Or will it?

Like sharks smelling blood in the water, Republicans are circling in on approval wounded President Obama. His current weaknesses have emboldened many who might not have had the willingness to jump into the presidential waters yet, to now take the leap, or at least consider it. That situation has helped fuel a growing list of people considering a run. From incumbent Governors like Barbour and Daniels to former Governors like Palin and Pataki and a cross section of well known names ranging from Newt Gingrich to Donald Trump. All have refused to deny the possibility of their candidacy and in many cases, declared that they are actively preparing for it.

So far, none of the aspirants have spoken ill of any potential rivals. In fact, lately it has been just the opposite. Especially when it comes to a particular candidate . Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, himself an admitted possible candidate, publicly urged Mitch Daniels to run for the job of President based upon what he perceives as Daniels’ possession of qualities lacking in Washington, specifically as it pertains to the handling of Indiana’s budget and economy are.

Pence and Daniels

Now another possible candidate, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has come out to give his approval of Daniels’ presidency.

While in Fort Wayne, Indiana where he delivered the keynote speech to the Allen County Republican Party Bean Dinner fundraiser, in a pre-speech interview, Huck stated;

“Mitch Daniels has done, I think an exemplary job as a leader, manager and governor of the state,”.

He added “I tend to think governors make good presidents because they’ve actually managed a microcosm of the federal government.”

But the former Governor turned Fox News host, made it clear that Daniels was not the only man in Indiana doing a great job. After commending Daniels, he said;

On the other hand, Mike Pence is one of my favorite members of Congress, one of my heroes, and I love the guy. I think he is the most articulate, conviction-based and principled member of Congress. If we had 434 like him in the House, there wouldn’t be an uprising among the voters right now.”

Of the two he added;

“I would be delighted if either or both of them get in it because I think it just raises the level of the debate to solid conservative, responsible fiscal management,”.

That’s mighty high praise, especially coming from people who might be running against you in a campaign. Of course it could be that both Huckabee and Gingrich have come to know that they will not run and so they are just trying to get in on the good side of a hot commodity. Other schools of thought are that the two of them are trying to do all they can to chip away at the frontrunner status of Mitt Romney and Sarah Palinby boosting the image of another.

Either way, for Daniels, the groundwork for a definite theme is being made for any campaign he may be thinking of waging. Almost everyone agrees that Mitch Daniels is ahead of the pack when it comes to leadership on budgetary matters and all the issues connected to it, the issues of most importance these days.

Which could account for another reason for the glowing endorsements of Daniels and even Rep. Mike Pence. Gingrich and Huckabee, both good ol’ Southern boys, might be thinking that if they head the G.O.P. ticket, with Mitch Daniels as their running mate, they could go for an electoral strategy that locks up the South and the Midwest while leaving the typically blue coasts of the country to the Democrats.

Whatever the reasoning for the praise of Daniels and Pence, one thing is for sure. The Republican field for the presidential nomination will be a crowded one. Huckabee believes it will start out with 20 candidates and dwindle down to a truly completive field of 8 by January of 2012.

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Early Polling Puts the Pressure on Romney for 2012

Bookmark and Share   Even though most states have not even begun to vote in the 2010 midterm elections, the anticipated Republican tsunami that is at the moment undeniable, has many preparing for the new political landscape that we will be operating in post November 2, 2010. I foresee the G.O.P. taking control of the Senate with 51 seats and winning a whopping 62 seats in the House, a gain that would give Republicans the most seats it has had in the House since 1946.

This Republican rejuvenation has made it hard to contain speculation about 2012 and the presidential election which will begin on November 3rd, 2010.

One entity which is not hiding any early interest in the Republican race for President is Gallup, a veteran polling agency of 70 years.

In their most recent poll of the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Gallup selected 12 leading Republicans whom are seriously considering a run for president and in many cases have already stomped in New Hampshire and Iowa, the states with first in the nation presidential primary and caucus.

The question Gallup asked was;

Next I’m going to read a list of people who may be running in the republican primaries for President in the 2012 election. After I read all the names, please tell me which of those candidates you would be most likely to support for the Republican nomination for President in 2012, or if you would support someone else. ( The names were given in random order)

The results were as follows:

  •  
    • Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney                19%
    • Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin                                     16%
    • Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee                       12%
    • Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich                        9%
    • Texas Congressman Ron Paul                                                      7%
    • Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty                                           3%
    • Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour                                         3%
    • Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum                       2%
    • South Dakota Senator John Thune                                              2%
    • Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels                                                  2%
    • Indiana Congressman Mike Pence                                               1%
    • Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson                        1%

A total of 11% of respondents had no opinion, 7% stated none of them, 4% gave a mix of different names, 1% said any or all of them, and another 1 % volunteered the name of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Gallup also broke these down reults down even and offered the following interesting analysis;

“Romney and Palin are the top choices of both conservative and moderate or liberal Republicans, and in fact their support is similar among both groups. Of the top five candidates, Huckabee receives support that is most divided along ideological lines; he gets significantly more support among conservative Republicans.”

Support for Top Five Potential 2012 Republican Nomination Candidates, by Political Ideology

“Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, likely fares better among conservative Republicans because the group tends to be more religious. Among Republicans who say religion is important in their lives, Huckabee (14%) is essentially tied with Romney (17%) and Palin (16%).”

Candidates Get More Support in Home Regions

“Typically, support for presidential nomination candidates varies geographically, with candidates generally faring best in their home regions. This appears to be the case with most of the current group of GOP contenders, as Palin’s support is highest in the West, and Huckabee gets somewhat higher support in the South. Romney shows particular strength in both the East, where he was governor of Massachusetts, and the West, where he served as chief executive of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic games.”

Support for Top Five Potential 2012 Republican Nomination Candidates, by Region

These results are only a snapshoyt of current thinking and that  thinking is surely going to change over the course of two years.  But the current picture offers a glimpse of who has the most to lose and who has the most to gain as the primary process unfolds.  Clearly, Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin have captured the imaginations of more Republicans than any others, yet Huckabee, Gingrich and Paul have substantial enough support to make Palin’s and Romney’s frontrunner status very flimsy.

Perhaps most telling are Tim Pawlenty’s numbers. 

As a popular Midwest Governor who received national attention when he came close to be John McCain’s pick for Vice President, you would expect him to be much further ahead of the bottom of the pack than he actually is.  This is especially true when you consider that he is openly pursing the GOP nomination much more aggressively than many of the other names on the list.  With only 3% of Republicans uttering his name as their choice, it would seem that Pawlenty probably has a lot more work to do if he expects to catch on, especially as the rest of the field swings into gear.  So far, it would seem that Tim hasn’t been getting as a big a bang for his buck as he should.

But these numbers do not put as much pressure on Pawlenty as they do for Romeny and Palin.  Pawlenty has little room to slide but a lot of room for advancement.  But Palin and Romney are the ones that are faced with insuring that they remain on the top of the hill…………a position that will be tough to hold for long as the rest of the field starts trying to take their place at the top.

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Pence Pounces at Family Research Council’s Values Summit

Mike Pence, member of the United States House ...

Indiana Congressman Mike Pence

Bookmark and ShareThe family Reasearch Councils. annual Values Voters Summit isa gathering of social conservatives dedicated to combating the erosion of family values and this weekend it’s warrior’s have spoken. In a straw taken by the FRC, Values Voters distinguished Indiana Congressman Mike Pencefrom a pack of prominent politicos, even beating out the darling of the group, Mike Huckabee.

Until now Mike Pence has been largely known outside of Indiana mainly forhis fiscal conservatism, but at this year’s Values Voters Summit, he proved that social conservatism and fiscal conservatism are going hand in hand.

In his speech (see video of that speech below)at the summit this past week, Pence pointed out that:

“we must recognize that our current crisis is not only economic and political but moral in nature”

And apparently they ate it up as their straw pollput him ahead of the packwith 24% of the vote, followed by:

  • Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (22%)
  • Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (13%)
  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (10%)
  • Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (7%)
  • Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (5%)
  • Sen. Jim DeMint R-S.C. (5%)
  • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (2%)
  • Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (2%)
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (2%)
  • Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. (2%)
  • Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell – 1 percent
  • Former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio (1%)
  • Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (1%A)
  • Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (1%)
  • Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas (1%)
  • Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (less than 1%)

At the front of the pack were the usual suspects, such as Palin, Romney and Gingrich and even theone time favorite of the group, former Governor of Arkansas and Baptist Minsiter , Mike Huckabee.

The results produced two surprises. The first was Huckabee’s second place showing and the second surprise was that Huckabee was edged out not by a more prominent figure like Jim DeMint or Sarah Palin but by a lonely member of the House.

It had previously been pointed out in White House 2012 that on fiscal matters Pence has a loyal Jack Kemp-like following, he is also popular among Christian fundamentalists but now it is clear that Pence has used the times to marry the two together in what can be a most powerful coalition as we move into 2012 and beyond.

Until now, so-called values voters were the key to Mike Huckabee’s success. The loyal Christian fundamentalists whom make up a large part of the Iowa caucus,vote were the ones largely responsible for his underdog victory in 2008. But it would now seem that the support Huckabee received back then was fueled more by a sense of protest against the Republican frontrunners of the time than by great enthusiasm for Huckabee. And now, Huckabee’s support from those same voters has been eclipsed by a Congressman from Indiana,and furthermore will surely be further splintered by a field that will have far more values candidates in 2012 than in ’08. Candidates like Romney will have a better chance to appeal to them and people like Palin, Marco Rubio and Haley Barbour and now evidently Mike Pence, will chip away and splinter that voting bloc.

The results of the Values Voters Summit straw poll does not necessarily prove that Pence is poised to become President in 2012. Far from it, but Mike Pence has been spending the last two years pointedly raising his national profile and it would seemthat it is paying off. And while there is much speculation that Mike Pence is inline for statewideoffice in Indiana, he has made no move to set up a run to replace popular Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and never shown interest in running for the vacancy in the U.S Senate that was created by Evan Bayh‘s retirement. In fact all indications are that he is more interested in national office than state office.

As a result, for what its worth, the Voters Values Summit shows that if Pence could raise substantial enough money to compete against people like Gingrich, Palin, Romney and Barbour, he could be quite viable. And given the fact that Pence has clearly been trying to make sure that he uses his position in Congress to establish more of a national voice for himself than a statewide voice, the possibility of a Pence presidential candidacy is quite likely. But at the moment he is looking more and more like a name that is sure to be found on the eventual Republican presidential nominees short list for Vice President.

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