1 Year Ago Today, Paul Ryan Announced He Would Not Run for President

  Bookmark and Share  What a difference a year makes.

About a year ago the G.O.P. seemed to be in an endless and desperate search for a presidential nominee that had many wondering if Republicans would ever be able to find someone they could enthusiastically get behind.   The political world was still a buzz over Michele Bachmann’s victory in the Ames Straw Poll  which resulted in Tim Pawlenty ending his candidacy and withdrawing from the race.  We were also talking about the potential of Texas Governor Rick Perry who announced his candidthe presidential the day before Pawlenty dropped out of it.

Yet many Republicans were still holding out for someone else to surprise us with their candidacy and win us over.  The media’s talking points were that Bachmann was too nuts, Santorum and Cain were too dangerous,  Romney would not be able to overcome his creation of Romneycare, Newt Gingrich was too extreme and undisciplined, Perry was to closely associated to George W. Bush, and the others were just not known or liked enough to be in serious contention.  So many Republicans were looking for a White Knight.  We had urged people like John  Thune and Mike Pence to run but Thune decided to forego the race and Pence decided to run for Governor of Indiana.   Some were urging names like Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, and Chris Christie to come forward and save the day.  Others, including myself, were urging House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to run.

Then suddenly exactly one year ago today, Congressman Ryan released the following statement;

“I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation. While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party’s nomination for President. I remain hopeful that our party will nominate a candidate committed to a pro-growth agenda of reform that restores the promise and prosperity of our exceptional nation. I remain grateful to those I serve in Southern Wisconsin for the unique opportunity to advance this effort in Congress.”

Just days before this announcement, word was out that Ryan had been giving a run for President some serious consideration and many fiscal conservatives were buoyed by the prospects.  In one post entitled ” Heavy Hitters Urge Paul Ryan to Run for President“, White House 2012 detailed the high praise being offered for Paul Ryan’s potential candidacy from such political luminaries as Mitch Daniels,  Jeb Bush, Bill Bennett and Scott Walker.  And in that same post I wrote;

“If Paul Ryan were to be our Republican presidential nominee, he will begin a national dialogue that will consist of tough truths and sellable solutions, not bumper sticker slogans and hapless hyperbole. If Paul Ryan runs, the question will not be is he ready to do the job, the question will be is America ready for Paul Ryan. We already know that the guy who currently has the job was not ready for it. But I know Paul Ryan is.”

On this day a year ago, Paul Ryan released an announcement that put an end to all the speculation.  He would not be a candidate for President.  But a year later even though Ryan is not not running for President, his vice presidential candidacy is doing exactly what I indicated his presidential candidacy would do.  He has changed the narrative of this election by getting us away from the dialogue of distractions perpetuated by the left and President Obama, and thanks to his expertise, and credibility on matters of fiscal responsibility, Paul Ryan has gotten us to talk instead about those sellable solutions on the economy that he is now promoting on the campaign trail quite well.

In just one year the road to the White House has seen more twists and turns than  England’s famous Longleat Hedge Maze.  Names like Huntsman, Gingrich, and Bachman have become faded footnotes of a nomination contest that few remember with great detail.  Few recall the promise of the Perry candidacy that petered out within a moment of his momentary memory lapse.  Faded memories of the derailment of the Cain train over unproven sexual harassment charges have left most Americans asking “Herman who?”  And the past’s surpise surge of Santorum which was rolled back by the consolidation of support for the slow but steady momentum of the Romney campaign has people now wondering if the nomination contest was ever really close.  Now, one year ago to the day that Paul Ryan declared he would not be a candidate for President, Mitt Romney has taken that momentum he had in the primaries and increased its pace by getting Paul Ryan to run for Vice President.

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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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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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Santorum’s Social Conservative Stance Could Bring Him The Iowa Victory

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As candidates continue to make stops in the early caucus state of Iowa making speeches at local GOP events and signing books, one thing is apparent – Iowa is an important step for a Presidential contender. More specifically for a Republican presidential hopeful, Iowa’s high percentage of evangelical Christian social conservative voters (60% of caucus voters identify as such). They drove Mike Huckabee to victory in the 2008 caucuses and even Pat Robertson garnered a 2nd place Iowa finish in 1988. As he begins what appears to many to be a run for the 2012 Republican nomination, Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is banking on his strong social conservative background to propel him to victory in the Hawkeye state.

While Huckabee remains the favorite once again in Iowa, Santorum’s past history on social issues shows that he has the ability to draw many of those evangelical Christian voters especially with Indiana Congressman Mike Pence announcing that he will not enter the 2012 fray. As Santorum himself has said, “Never underestimate the power of social issues.”

In 1994, when Santorum was a second-term Pennsylvania congressman seeking a U.S. Senate seat, he took on then President Bill Clinton’s proposed assault gun ban and rode Pennsylvania’s legion of deer hunters, who saw the legislation as an assault on civil liberties, to victory. Only 36, Santorum won by 87,000 votes becoming the first conservative elected to the Senate from Pennsylvania since 1952. Santorum had one of the Senate’s most conservative voting records and was floor manager of the most important legislation of the 1990s and one of the most highly contested social issues: Welfare reform.

Santorum and his wife have a large family of seven children, the youngest of which, Bella, is severely disabled with Trisomy 18, a condition caused by a chromosomal defect that prevents more than 90 percent of its victims from reaching their first birthdays. Being a staunch pro-life advocate the former Senator is dedicated to trying to reform today’s abortion culture that he see’s as being ever to willing to treat lives such as Bella’s as disposable.

There aren’t many candidates willing to touch the abortion issue but Rick Santorum has shown he isn’t going to shy away from the social issues that he feels are important to the future of the country and it may make him THE sleeper candidate heading into the Iowa caucuses where social conservatives decide the outcome.

While most candidates are focused on the countries economic ailments, many social conservative voters may be feeling neglected. Heading into Iowa, Rick Santorum has a good chance of filling the void. With Mike Pence out and Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin having to make tough decisions to leave lucrative television jobs, Rick Santorum may very well sneak up on America, starting in Iowa.

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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…

Huckabee To Sit Out Early Debates

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Former Arkansas Governor and 2008 GOP Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says he won’t join early Presidential debates scheduled for the spring. “I don’t want to get suckered into taking on the schedule because it’s what the media wants us to do,” Huckabee said Friday during a talk at The King’s College in New York. His comments were originally reported by the Christian Post

Politico and NBC have scheduled a debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California for this spring and Fox News has partnered with the South Carolina GOP to plan a debate scheduled for May 5. “You want to schedule a debate for March or May, knock yourselves out,” Huckabee said. “If I’m not there, you can still have it. But I’m not going to be there.”

During his appearance at The King’s College, Mr. Huckabee told a student he won’t make an official announcement until “the latter part of the summer’ if at all.” “If I do choose to run, it’s not going to be until much, much later in the process,” he said. “You have to raise so much money to sustain the infrastructure of a campaign that lasts a year-and-a-half, versus one that might last six or seven months.”

Huckabee won the Iowa GOP presidential caucuses in 2008 and ran a spirited challenge to eventual nominee John McCain. Should he enter the 2012 field, he is expected to perform well again in Iowa where he has been polling very well. After grueling, and expensive presidential primaries in 2008, many of the top Republican candidates seem content to hold off on beginning a campaign this year. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels have both said they won’t announce plans until their legislative sessions wrap up later this spring, and front-runners, like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, have been slow to tip their hats as well.

Huckabee holds a strong evangelical base, which could be diluted if candidates such as Sarah Palin, Mike Pence or Rick Santorum decide to announce a 2012 run. Those candidates also could see a huge bump in support if Huckabee decides to stay with his day job and pass on a 2012 campaign. There is still plenty of time to mount a successful campaign for the GOP nomination but in a field that is expected to be a large one, skipping the early debates could cost votes in the long run.

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Romney’s best hope: a wide field

After winning the New Hampshire straw poll and coming in first in current polling of 2012 primary hopefuls, someone might think that Mitt Romney is on his way to represent the Republican party in 2012. They could be wrong.

Mitt was a top contender in 2008. His message of fiscal conservatism and business smarts made many Republicans wish the primary had turned out differently towards the later half of 2008 when the economy was in the tank, gas prices were at $4 a gallon, and every other campaign ad had video of John McCain announcing that the economy was not his strong suit.

Now, with the economy in nearly the same condition two years later, Romney’s poll numbers shouldn’t be a shock. In fact, he has led the Republican field for much of 2010 and would beat Obama in 2012 according to more than one 2010 poll.

 

New Hampshire shows Romney has found his niche

So why would I think that Romney might not be the Republican contender in 2012? 24% of Republican support will not win in a narrow primary field. Consider Romney’s closest competition in the recent Rasmussen poll: Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich. Even his 35% in New Hampshire is ominous with other placing contenders being libertarian right winger Ron Paul, TEA Partiers Pawlenty and Palin, old school conservative Rick Santorum, TEA Party conservative constitutionalists DeMint, Bachmann, and occasional right wing radio host Herman Cain.

Although the entire field in the New Hampshire straw poll is very promising, the candidate who is perhaps closest to Romney’s brand and image would be The Donald, who got 1% of the vote.

If Family Values conservatives and the TEA Party faithful are able to coalesce around one specific candidate, it will not be Romney. In fact, in the Family Research Council straw poll earlier this year, Mike Pence won with Huckabee coming in second. Romney may have easily won in the northeast, but out in Iowa he is polling just behind Huckabee.

As the former governor of Massachusetts, fair or not, Romney has a history. He wasn’t always pro-life. He had his own version of universal healthcare that passed in Massachusetts. Romney has not helped his conservative credentials by avoiding identification with the TEA Party and keeping a low profile in the 2010 wave of conservative electoral victories.

Romney had a strong showing in New Hampshire. But what will happen in the rest of the country when the field narrows? what about when Mike Huckabee drops out of the race, or Sarah Palin? What about Ron Paul, Jim DeMint, or Mike Pence? Will Romney be the fallback choice of their supporters? Or will it be Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour or some other conservative who has inserted themselves into the current popular right wing movement in this country? 35% will only get him so far.

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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Huckabees Decision Could Weigh Heavily On The Rest Of The Field

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With his polling numbers looking good on almost every front, Former Arkansas Governor and potential 2012 Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s decision whether or not to make a run in 2012 could weigh heavily on the chances of the other potential candidates. While Huckabee insists that he’s thinking seriously about running for president again there has been little to almost no organization or movement to show that he is prepared to officially enter the field. The latest evidence: Chip Saltsman, his campaign manager in 2008 and one of his closest confidantes, has accepted a job as Chief of Staff for freshman Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN).

So what impact would a Huckabee decision to NOT run have on the remainder of the field? For a few candidates it could help boost their profiles immensely. Most polls are showing Huckabee as the front runner for the Iowa caucuses, followed closely by Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. If Huckabee decides not to run, his evangelical Christian constituency—turned off by Romney’s Mormon faith and Gingrich’s messy love life—would be up for grabs. And if 2012 is anything like 2008, faith will dominate much of the debate leading up to the GOP primaries leaving Palin a chance to grab a large constituency of social conservative evangelicals.

Leading the list of lesser known potential candidates who would see a great boost should Huckabee decide to sit this one out are Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum whose faith and social stances would be attractive to Huckabee’s evangelical base as well as Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who has recently promised to reverse the repeal of the DADT policy. Also among those who would benefit from a Huckabee non-candidacy would be US Rep. Mike Pence and dark horse candidate Hermann Cain, who has been compared on many fronts to Palin.

It is still very early in the process but if early polling is any indication, Mike Huckabee potentially holds the cards for those candidates looking to garner the support of the evangelical right. It appears from early indications that as Huckabee goes, so will go that constituency. For the lesser known candidates, Huckabee’s decision to run or not to run could decide if they sink or swim in a primary. Now might be the time to be bartering for a endorsement from the Huck.

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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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Date for the First Unofficial 2012 GOP Presidential Debate Set in Iowa

Bookmark and Share March 7th, 2011——-mark that date in your calendars. It is currently one of the first unofficial Republican presidential debates and it will take place in the state where the first in the nation presidential contest takes place—–Iowa.

The Faith and Freedom Coalition is one of Iowas leading grassroots conservative organizations and it is headed up by Republican National Committee member Steve Scheffler and keeping in tradition, they have sent out invitations for a March 7th forum that would be the first of its kind for the developing field of Republican presidential contenders.

So far, the group has sent invitations to:

  • Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour
  • Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
  • Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
  • Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich
  • Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
  • Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
  • Texas Rep. Ron Paul
  • Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
  • Indiana Rep. Mike Pence
  • Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum
  • South Dakota Sen. John Thune
  • South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint

But in addition to those 12, an invite is also expected to be sent to former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. Not making the cut would seem to be former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, a libertarian conservative who has been crisscrossing the country for a planned run for President for over a year now. Also not mentioned is the once often mentioned Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal who seems more and more unlikely to run in 2012.

The forum is probably not likely to receive acceptances to their invitations from the likes of Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, John Thune, and possibly even Mike Pence. People such as Daniels have made it clear that he will not make a decision about a run for President until late April, upon the end of his states legislative session. Attending the Iowa forum will not officially constitute a run for President and all the rules and restrictions that come with it, but it will go a long way in confirming each individuals intentions and some like Barbour may not want to tip their hands that early in 2011. But participation in the forum will help to confirm the intentions of those in attendance and could begin to help some candidates gain traction with the development of a strong base of support in the ever important Iowa Caucuses.

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And They’re Off

Bookmark and Share Think its too early for Republicans to start campaigning for President? Think again. Around this time in 2007, Hillary Clinton was preparing to announce her candidacy for the Democratic nomination. Senator Barack Obama was 5 weeks away from making his announcement. On February 13th of 2007, in Dearborn, Michigan, it was Mitt Romney who announced his candidacy at the Ford Museum. It was January 28th when Mike Huckabee announced his campaign intentions on Meet the Press and January 31st, Senator Joe Biden did the same. Earlier in the month of January Democrat Senator Chris Dodd made his official announcement on the 11th, while on the 20th Senator Sam Brownback made his official announcement and on the 25th, Republican Representative Duncan Hunter did so too.

So No, it is not too early to begin covering the moves of the potential candidates for President in 2012. And not just for the Republicans either.

Democrats should be looking out for challengers to President Obama.

After his unusual election night concession speech, soon to be former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold could demonstrate what he meant when he said now its on to 2012 and possibly challenge the troubled President from the left. Then there are Democrats on the right of the President who could come in to play. But the most potentially damaging of all possibilities could come from the self described progressive wing of the Party which Hillary Clinton claims the mantle of.

A challenge to President from his Party still remains unlikely though it is a remote possibility. And if President Obama fails to improve his standing and the economy a late challenge that could embarrass but not defeat him, is very possible.

But for now, the activity is on the Republican side.

As indicated by White House 2012, the potential field for the G.O.P. is a large one. And while there are three very real undeclared candidates campaigning..Romney, Pawlenty, and Gary Johnson, the former Governor of New Mexico, a dozen or more others are threatening to make their decisions in the spring. Such a relatively late start is not necessarily a bad thing. While we all knew he was running, John McCain did not make his announcement official until mid April of 2011.

Right now though, many possible candidates are waiting to see if the elephant in the room, or in her case, the Mamma Grizzly in the room, roars with her own decision to run for President. Sarah Palin has the attention of the people and the presence of personality to take away the steam that many other potential candidates would need to be successful. As such, many like John Thune and even Mike Pence are waiting to see what she does.

In all I considers there to be more than 20 very real possible candidates. They include Haley Barbour, Rick Santorum, Mike Pence, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Gary Johnson, .Tim Pawlenty, John Thune, George Pataki, Mike Huckabee, Mitch Daniels and the perennial candidate, Ron Paul. Of course not all will make an official run and others may not enter the race till maybe as late as September. In fact if none of the officla candidates get significant traction in the months following their announcement, some candidates not on y list are likely to throw their hats in to the ring. Someone like Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan could be one of those. As the incoming Chairman of the House Budget Committee, he will be one of the most important legislators in D.C. from both major Parties and if he is not hearing any of the right things on the issue of the budget from any of the declared candidates, he may just become one himself. Another name to watch for if he does not like what he is seeing and hearing is Donald Trump.

Trump probably wont go the distance but he could make the difference for people like Mitt Romney and even Tim Pawlenty.

Right now, aside from the given candidacies of both Romney and Pawlenty, the big names to look out for are Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, John Thune, and Mike Pence. Any configuration of these names entering or not entering the race will make a big difference in the end. If Daniels does not run, which is very likely, Barbour, Romeny, and Pence will benefit greatly. If Barbour does not run, Romney and Palin could have the most to gain. If all of them run, well then look for the 2012 primary season to be a long and bloody one. In the meantime, look at who is doing what in the first two months of the new year. That will tell you who is most likely running.

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