Tag Archives: Mike Pence

Mitch Daniels for president?

My favorite Hoosier will not run for president this cycle, but there is another potential contender from Indiana whose words and deeds deserve attention. Rich Lowry writes with approval of Gov. Mitch Daniels‘ appearance at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC.

Rather than throw out the usual red meat, Daniels delivered a serious speech about the nation’s economic outlook, the meaning of principled compromise, and the importance of building support for the party and its goals.

Lowry, editor of National Review, praises Daniels for not being a “panderer.” As a conservative who has attended CPAC in the past, I fully appreciate his willingness to substantively address real issues in a political setting full of activists.

However, two things:  hasn’t Daniels supported ethanol subsidies in a big way in Indiana? That would seem to be the definition of pandering. Secondly, from a rhetorical standpoint, can you think of any president who got the job without demonstrating a first-rate ability to pander at least once in a while?!

Daniels could make a good candidate, but he’s still got some selling to do.


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Filed under 2012 Presidential Election

Push for Pence in South Carolina

From CNN. Some state lawmakers there are promoting Mike Pence (R-Indiana) for president. Former Kansas congressman Jim Ryun came on board earlier this week, according to the article. Pence is expected to decide by month’s end whether he’ll run for president – he may run for governor of Indiana, or he could of course run for re-election to his house seat. If Pence signals his intention to enter the primary, that immediately changes things in the GOP field.

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Filed under 2012 Presidential Election, Conservative Movement

Pence watch

The Wall Street Journal notes the rising stature of Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana). He may have the ability to unite and excite the party, but will he run for president, or stay in Indiana to bid for the governorship? He intends to announce a decision early next year.

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Pence endorses flat tax

Politico reports today that Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) endorsed the flat tax in an address to the Detroit Economic Club.  This could well be a sign that Pence is indeed positioning himself for a run at the presidency. The policy enjoys the support of an activist core that could be particularly helpful in the GOP primary.

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Filed under 2012 Presidential Election

On the GOP side in 2012…

Chris Cillizza writes in The Washington Post about four potential dark horse candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. It’s early, but of course the official season started in earnest the day after the midterms. His mentions, and my comments:

Rick Santorum – Yes, Santorum might very well run, and surely wants to. I don’t think he would win, however, and he would not be the right nominee. He’s too narrowly focused on social issues, and lacks resonance with voters beyond his natural constituency.

Mike Pence – Pence could decide to run as well, and certainly if not this time then at some point in the future. It could be the year for a guy like Pence, however, if 2012 proves to be another change cycle. He could legitimately run as an outsider, while still presenting the substance and style desired in a presidential candidate by the electorate.

Scott Brown – No way. Fun to think about – if for nothing else but the novelty of the idea – but only for about one second. There’s no way he’d do it, and no way he’d win. He simply doesn’t have the experience, the network, or anything else to make that even a realistic possibility to consider.

Marco Rubio – Again, no way. He’s an attractive figure within the party and his star is rising to be sure, but it’s simply not his time, and he’s smart enough to understand that. The only caveat I’d add is that many potential GOP nominees would certainly take a look at him for the VP slot.

Personally, I still like Mitt Romney, both as my personal choice of those who have all but declared, and as the odds-on favorite to take the nomination. If Pence jumps in the field, I’d be compelled of course to take a very serious look at him. As you know, I’ve long been a fan of the Congressman from Indiana. He starts behind Romney in name ID and money, but projects a personal authenticity and warmth that could compensate for that in a race to attract the attention and support of primary voters.


Filed under 2012 Presidential Election, Republican Party

Pence in KC Star

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) writes a piece for the KC Star about President Barack Obama‘s economic policies, after the president’s trip to the Midwest.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Economy, General & Miscellaneous

CPAC Friday

Landed at BWI last night and took the light rail to my brother’s apartment near the city center. This morning we took the train to DC and then hopped on the subway to the Mariott-Woodley Park where this year’s conference is being held. For years, CPAC has meant going to the Omni Shoreham Hotel, so things felt a little different this year, but the Mariott is actually located less than a block or two away and the facilities seem well suited to the event.

Congressman Mike Pence (R-Indiana) spoke at 11am EST this morning, and I must say that he was very well received by a large crowd that filled the main conference hall for his remarks. I’m biased of course – I’ve been a huge Pence fan for several years – but in substance and style he appeared the spokesman and statesman that conservatism so desperately needs right now. He is not a man of passion, principle or pragmatism alone, but seems to combine these three traits vital to a political leader.

Pence, the House Republican Conference Chairman, delivered a message that was echoed in part by some of the day’s other speakers, but what set him apart was his  energy, humor and sense of timing. Striking an optimistic note about midterm Republican prospects, he underscored the importance of achieving not merely a partisan but a conservative congressional majority.

Several times, Pence signaled the need for movement conservatism to embrace optimism and civility in its attempts to influence society and government. He urged activists to elevate the “happy warriors” and joked that “I’m a conservative, but I’m in a good mood about it.” The remarks were tactful and gentle but very much a word of advice to avoid being consumed by unchecked or indiscriminate anger that risks undermining the Right. He also made a good-natured and light-hearted joke at the expense of Fox News, which may seem counterintuitive at CPAC but actually served as a savvy demonstration of the speaker’s realism, humility, awareness and media acumen.

Pence was the highlight for me, but the rest of the day was good. From a distance I spotted Brett Dinkins, outgoing president of the University of Missouri College Republicans; I also heard that Eric Hobbs, who I believe is doing some work for The Missouri Record, is also at the event, along with a number of other MU College Republicans (Hobbs recently completed his political science degree from MU). One student from Saint Louis University spoke on a panel today about successful campus activism.

Speaking of Missourians, John Ashcroft spoke this afternoon. The nation’s former attorney general said he rejects the notion of a trade-off between liberty and security, and defended the Bush administration’s approach and record on terrorism related issues while criticizing the current administration for its softness on the matter – specifically, granting civilian trials to terrorist operatives and generally refusing to call the greater conflict what it is. It gives me no pleasure to say this, but while I agreed with much of his comments, the speech was not as strong as it could have been. It was long on rhetoric and he seemed a bit disorganized or detached. I know he was also speaking at Missouri Lincoln Days this weekend so maybe he was more focused on that event.

I’ll leave it at that for now, but hope to be back on tomorrow with some more updates.

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Filed under Conservative Movement, General & Miscellaneous