Mike Pence – So Many Choices, So Little Time

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

Indiana Congressman Mike Pence

Bookmark and Share    In the 100 member U.S. Senate, it is pretty easy to get noticed but in the 435 member House of Representatives, unless you are involved in the scandal du jour or are the Majority or Minority Leader, it is much more difficult to be distinguished from the rest of the pack. Yet Republican Mike Pence of Indiana is different. He is one of those up and coming politicos who does stand out.

For a Congressman, he has begun to develop a national following that is reminiscent to that of Jack Kemp’s when he began to corner the market on fiscal conservatism and sealed it with the passage of his record breaking Kemp-Roth tax cuts that helped spur America on into record growth and prosperity.

Although Pence still has a long way to go before he can be called a Kemp-like figure, his loyal following continues to grow much the same way Kemp’s did. It is a growing group of fiscal and movement conservatives who are flocking to Mike Pence’s anti-Washington insider, anti-liberal message of limited government, lower tax and conservative social issues.

Part of his strength is the optimism of his conservative message. Pence has described himself as a conservative who is not in a bad mood about it. Yet Pence still never fails to hold liberalism and its practitioners accountable for their acts. That mix of hard core conservative politician and easy going gentleman has helped Pence become an increasingly powerful voice in Conservative circles. Evidence of this has been demonstrated in the increasing demand for him to appear on the campaign stump for other candidates, especially throughout his home state of Indiana. But Pence has also been in demand outside of Indiana and requests for him to speak to new audiences throughout the nation are, like Pence, on the rise.

So far, in September alone, he will be the marquis draw for campaign events and fundraisers for at least 7 different congressional candidates in 4 different states. In addition to that, Pence’s popularity and organizational abilities has allowed him to raise more for the National Republican Congressional Committee than any other single Republican Representative. To date, Pence’s total contribution to the NRCC is in excess of $1 million. Not bad for someone who is also raising money for his own congressional reelection bid.

Pence’s growing influence both politically and financially, has opened up many doors for him. Many are touting him as a future candidate for Governor of Indiana. Some, including myself, see Pence as preparing for an eventual run for Minority Leader or Speaker of the House.

In 2008, Pence ran for the House Republican leadership, challenging Minority Leader John Boehner. He fell short, but with an influx of young guns changing the makeup of Congress in 2010, the fiery Pence, who raised lots of money to help elect those new members, could have a shot at beating Boehner next time around.

But the Governor’s mansion and the Speaker’ Office are not the only two possible future options for Mike Pence. Many people mention him as potential resident of the White House in 2012. While this possibility is alive, to fulfill it, Pence would have to give up his congressional seat and given the incredible crop of talented and well financed potential Republican presidential candidates, that option is just barely alive. Still, if Pence chose to run, he would be a spoiler in early caucuses and primaries because he would be sure to take a handful of votes away from other conservative candidates, an event that would help potential moderate candidates like Tim Pawlenty, pull ahead of a competitive and divided conservative pack.

Like many others though, when it comes to 2012, Pence is more likely someone you will see on the short list for Vice President, not a candidate for President. But in my humble opinion, if Pence is offered the number two spot, he will turn it down and instead pursue the all powerful position of Speaker of the House.

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