Tea Party Fave Mike Pence to Wait Out 2012?
You may not know much about him, but speculation has run high that Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana is mulling a presidential bid. I've long considered him to be the most formidable potential presidential candidate a Democrat could face from the far-right wing of the G.O.P.
Pence is disciplined, steely-eyed, and conveys that sort of simmering but contained manly sort of anger that plays well to the Tea Party's base. He adroitly plays to the Tea Party's "fiscal conservatism" line without alienating members of the old-line religious right.
He may not be quite as smart as Barack Obama, but he's smart enough to give the professorial Democrat a run for his money.
But now, it seems, Mike Pence, despite the pleas reported by Politico of right-wing leaders, may not be throwing his hat in for 2012. At least not into the presidential ring.
Remember, I told you Pence is smart -- smart enough to know that a victory against an incumbent president, even one running against high unemployment numbers -- is a long shot, especially when your name recognition isn't all that. So, the wags tell us, Pence will run instead for governor of the Hoosier state, where, if victorious, he'll have a chance to be a chief executive, crank up his visibility, and wait out the end of a potential second Obama turn before turning his gaze back to the presidential arena.
Today, Pence is expected to announce that he won't be running for president next year, according to Roll Call, but any gubernatorial announcement will likely wait. That's because Indiana law prohibits candidates from raising money for state-level campaigns while the legislature is in session. The current session ends in April, so don't expect a former declaration until then.
In the meantime, Pence will be able to use the war chest he's filled as a congressional candidate for campaign-style appearances back in Indiana.