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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 12/ 9/2010

Why Mike Pence will run in 2012

By Jennifer Rubin

George Will today aptly details why Mike Pence, a stalwart on fiscal issues and an articulate proponent of conservative social values, would be an attractive 2012 presidential candidate. I'll go a step further than George and predict that Pence will announce early next year.

A close friend and confidante of Pence's has been telling me for several weeks that Pence is "serious." This friend makes the case that Pence is a solid conservative on the range of issues conservatives care about and is the only candidate who can "seamlessly meld" the sometimes adversarial Tea Party and establishment wings of the GOP "without too much friction." He also points to Pence's demeanor, citing a favorite phrase of the congressman's: "Just because I'm a conservative doesn't mean I have to be a bad mood about it."

Even more telling, Gary Bauer, the influential social conservative leader who heads the group American Values and is on the boards of Christians United for Israel and the Emergency Committee for Israel, gave me his take this morning: "There is no doubt that Rep. Pence has solid support among values voters. They like his unapologetic and confident defense of the Judeo- Christian world view." But Bauer says Pence's appeal goes beyond social conservatives, vouching for Pence's "Reagan-like ability to bring economic, national security and social conservatives together in a winning coalition."

Pence's spokesman will only say, "He's said repeatedly that he will take the coming weeks to pray, seek counsel and discuss it with his family and make a decision after the first of the year." But that sounds like a candidate inclined to throw his hat into the ring. He did step down as House GOP Conference chairman, a necessary move to free up time for a run and transition from "man of the House" to presidential candidate. And it is not coincidental that he delivered a Reaganesque speech on the economy in Michigan last month.

There are other signs that Pence is building momentum.Bill Kristol wrote the day after the midterms: "Reports are that Mike Pence will step down as House GOP Conference Chairman, presumably to explore a presidential run. Sarah Palin recently seemed to suggest she'd be as happy supporting a strong conservative candidate as running herself; Pence may test that proposition." Translation: Pence is the excuse for Palin not to run and to prevent a collective panic attack by Palin critics who contend she'd be a disastrous candidate.

Pence plainly is making a splash in Republican circles. At this point, I'd be quite surprised if he didn't run.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 9, 2010; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  2012 campaign, Sarah Palin  
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Comments

Except that he's a member of the House which based on history says that he has no shot whatsoever.

Being from a nowhere state doesn't help much either.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 9, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Pence is a superb -- he voted against No Child Left Behind, the Prescription Drug Benefit, and TARP. If Sarah Palin is serious about wanting to support a common sense conservative candidate, she should endorse Pence. A timely endorsement by Palin would give Pence a huge boost in the primaries.

Posted by: Inagua1 | December 9, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse


The course of Obama's negotiations over the past weekend were curious. It appears that Obama ONLY negotiated with McConnel and his people. Reid, the Senate democrats, Pelosi and the House democrats appear to have been left out of the discussions and the reasoning on the democratic side. Clearly, if Obama involved the House democrats in the negotiations more, that would helped Obama later this week.

It appears that on Monday, Obama was looking to take ALL the credit for the compromise and he didn't want to share much of the credit with the Republicans -

Well that caused Obama to ALSO offend the House democrats - This week can only be described as a MELTDOWN.


Anyway.


The triangulation charge is hard to stick - because Obama is TO THE LEFT of the House democrats. Clearly Obama is out-there idealogically. Obama even gave a MARXIST INTERPRETATION of his tax cut Compromise - having already carefully worked out the billions for the rich, billions for the Middle Class and billions for the poor. Obama rattled those numbers off like he memorized them. That is MARXIST ANALYSIS plain and simple.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 9, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

lnagua:

When you drive a bus over a cliff, you really go pedal to the floor don't you!

Posted by: 54465446 | December 9, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Pence is a superb -- he voted against No Child Left Behind, the Prescription Drug Benefit, and TARP. If Sarah Palin is serious about wanting to support a common sense conservative candidate, she should endorse Pence. A timely endorsement by Palin would give Pence a huge boost in the primaries.
Posted by: Inagua1

OMG,It's Inagua,I haven't heard from you in years,since Contentions shut down Comments. It's Good to see you Blogging again. This is RCAR,we had plenty of spats in the good old days, but you must admit,that Contentions really took a swan dive when Jennifer took over Contentions as quarterback.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 9, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

RCAR,

I was disapponted when Contentions shut down comments. Do you remember how many of the Lefties wrote rude, content-free posts? The comments here are generally of a much higher quality.

We disagree about Jennifer -- she is a terrific analyst and writer who almost single-handedly put Contentions on the map.

5446,

Pence's votes againt Bush's worst fiscal excesses were brave and principled. Did you favor NCLB, prescription drug, or TARP? If so, why?

Posted by: Inagua1 | December 9, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Did you favor NCLB, prescription drug, or TARP? If so, why?


I favored none of them but for reasons,I suspect,are different from yours
(1)Children are not born equal,so some will be left behind,no matter what,so we need a strong social safety net for them
(2)Medicare should be allowed to negogiate prices with the Drug providers.
(3) Tarp was a joke,both McCain and Obama lost my support by favoring TARP,let the Banks go bankrupt like any other failed business.
Good to talk to you Inagua.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 9, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

inagua:

No to NCLB

Yes to Prescription drug, BUT it should have been paid for

Yes to TARP because I have a big bromance with Beranake

Posted by: 54465446 | December 9, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

My inclination is that the Rs will want a Tea Party type candidate, but someone who's been around around a little longer than the TP and has some gravitas. As attractive as Raul Ryan or Bobby Jindal might be, they're still a bit young to be Prez. As appealing as Chris Christie is to Rs, he's a little light on experience on the national stage (and indicates he doesn't want to run anyway).

Pence seems to me to fit the bill perfectly. A TP mentality but some experience and a good age. He's got some gravitas and "looks presidential." I'd say not a bad bet if you wanted to wager on him for next Prez. I just checked - 33/1 odds! Could be worth a flyer...

Posted by: RitchieEmmons | December 9, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Pence and a few other electable conservative candidates will throw their hats in the ring. I can't stand liberalism, but not sure if I could hold my nose and vote for Palin or Romney or Huck or Gingrich.

Posted by: johnhiggins1990 | December 9, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

As much as I appreciate Pence's straight party conservative line on the issues, he is, as the British would say, a stick. Charisma has he none. He makes Romney look dynamic by comparison. Sorry, but wonks like Kristol and Will always love these guys who talk the talk but can never walk the electoral walk. Against Obama in 2012? Come on man, get real.

Posted by: pmackinnon1 | December 10, 2010 3:48 AM | Report abuse

Pence should get in and see if Palin will get out. If she won't, he might have to get out (she'd get his voters) and back another candidate who could win. Picking a solid, principled conservative who can't win, like Palin, only makes sense if the other choice is, say, a strongly pro-abortion Republican, like Castle. But we have lots of good (or at least decent) choices this time around...

Posted by: fraudbust2011 | December 10, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully Pence and a few other electable conservative candidates will throw their hats in the ring. I can't stand liberalism, but not sure if I could hold my nose and vote for Palin or Romney or Huck or Gingrich.

Posted by: johnhiggins1990 | December 9, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

********************

Exactly. Romney, Huckabee and Gingrich need to go away. No more retreads.

Posted by: Claire11 | December 10, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

This is the age of the Internet where people from all over the nation get their information.

Being from a 'nowhere state' is no loss and maybe a gain. Most of the states are "nowhere states" and the their populations are tired of being taken for a ride by the major metropolitan population centers with their huge dependant populatiuons.

The wages of plantation politics are coming home to them.

The traditional gatekeepers of information have placed themselves in coventry with their unbridled support of the Democratic Party. More and more they are simply ignored. If and when they return to their charter of watchdog, they may gain back some credibility, but meanwhile their market share in the information world is irretrievably lost.

It will take years for the sobriquet of "lapdog media" to disapate.

It is a new world, and anything is possible. Let's make the most of it.

Posted by: garrettc1 | December 10, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, Pence is on the top of my list. I would support any of the following possible candidates: Sarah Palin, Mike Pence, Jim DeMint, Mark Rubio and Paul Ryan. As a matter of fact, if had to choose one of them, I would have difficult time picking one up but, on the positive side, whoever among them would win, it would be a victory for the American people. And I believe anyone of them would beat Obama!

Posted by: josedfarias | December 10, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

As much as I appreciate Pence's straight party conservative line on the issues, he is, as the British would say, a stick. Charisma has he none. He makes Romney look dynamic by comparison. Sorry, but wonks like Kristol and Will always love these guys who talk the talk but can never walk the electoral walk. Against Obama in 2012? Come on man, get real.

Posted by: pmackinnon1
==========================================
If pmackinnon1 has listened to Pence than he must be biased. Pence is quite an articulate and talented individual. He speaks with clarity and with convincing power. When it comes to the communication ability of the candidates, I place them in the following order: 1. Paul Ryan; 2. Mike Pence; 3. Mark Rubio; 4. Jim DeMint and 5. Sarah Palin. On the communication skill any of them would beat Obama! Why? They mean what they say and they say what they mean. That is not true of Obama. Besides, they believe on the right conservative principles Obama does not!

Posted by: josedfarias | December 10, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Those who speak of him being a representative from the House and therefore does not have a shot at winning are wrong! The greatest people beat the odds. Some of the qualities of Pence: he is a likable guy, he is an articulate guy, he does not back down on principles and he does have the ability of "winning friends and influencing people."

Posted by: josedfarias | December 10, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Pence is quite a good speaker and his credentials are solid but he is a longer shot than his cheerleaders would estimate. He would need a breakout effort in Iowa which would be tough against "Values" candidates Huck, Palin and Thune (each of whom will all raise much, much more moey than Pence will). Also, having just elected a president from the halls of Congress, folks will be looking for someone with an executive background. If Pence suceeded Daniels in IN, and built on that progress, he would be very formidable a few years down the road. He knows this and is getting the media to talk about him for that time. But not now.

Posted by: buster5 | December 10, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Buster5, thanks for your comment. But what really matters is where someone beliefs are. I think Pence will be formidable if he decides to run!

Posted by: josedfarias | December 10, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

The yellow flag on Pence is that he is "establishment" and nowhere close to being " the next in line" for the nomination. Pence may be the keep Palin out of the race go to guy. Palin, though, is uncanny in reading through the standard smoke and mirrors used to get good ole boys the nomination.

The D.C. GOP may want Romney aka Mr, RomneyCare, and all their cleverness to try and get that to happen may just get them Governor Sarah Palin, 2012 Republican Nominee for President of the United States.

Posted by: 5280sail | December 12, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

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