Republican Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, who many conservatives had hoped would consider a presidential run, has instead opted to run for governor of his home state.
The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette reports Pence officially announced “I’m in this race” in a morning conference call with supporters. He had long ago dismissed the notion of joining the 2012 presidential contest, and was known to be interested in taking a shot at the Indiana governor’s mansion, but those who hoped he might change his mind must now abandon those hopes.
Pence has served six terms in the House, and won re-election last November with 67% of the vote. He’s a passionate and articulate champion of the pro-life cause, and also a strong supporter of fiscal sanity, including his colleague Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget proposal. A tireless campaigner, he knows how to put his boots on the ground and get the little details right. The Journal-Gazette believes former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg is the leading Democrat candidate to oppose him, although Gregg has not formed an exploratory committee yet. He’ll have his work cut out for him.
Pence would have made a formidable presidential candidate. President Obama would have done well to emulate his simple, direct, and effective statement on the death of Osama bin Laden:
“Today will be remembered by generations of Americans as a day of justice served. I commend the U.S. Armed Forces and intelligence community for the action taken to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden. Thanks to their persistence and courage, as well as the Obama and Bush Administrations, justice was served at last. America will never forget the tragedy of September 11th, but today’s news is evidence that justice delayed can be justice served. Today we are safer than we were yesterday but we must remain vigilant, as there are still those throughout the world who seek to destroy our freedom.”