Skip to comments.Mike Pence may leave GOP leadership (To run for IN Governor - already touring state)
Posted on 10/26/2010 7:00:49 PM PDT by TitansAFC
House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence of Indiana is considering stepping down from his post in the GOP leadership in preparation for a possible bid for president or governor in 2012.
Pence, a darling of the conservative movement, would leave the leadership job with a blunt explanation to colleagues that he cant commit to a two-year term in House leadership, a source familiar with his deliberations told POLITICO Tuesday.
Michael McDaniel, a former chairman of the Indiana Republican Party, said Pences motivations in the state have long been obvious, as hes made the rounds at Lincoln Day dinners all over the state, and has raised a good deal of money for candidates for office in Indianapolis.
You didnt have to be a genius to see he was doing Lincoln Days not really in his congressional district, McDaniel said.
Pence believes it would be inappropriate to stay at the GOP conference post the No. 3 spot in the House Republican hierarchy unless he could stay through 2012, the source said. Pence also believes that he can be a more effective conservative voice if he is free of the responsibilities that he would have in leadership of a House Republican majority.
Pence and other Republicans considering running for president have consistently told reporters that they wont focus on 2012 until the crucial 2010 midterms are past.
Pence spokesman Matt Lloyd said the Indiana congressmans sole focus remains on winning back the majority in Congress and believes that speculating about who will occupy what leadership position in the next Congress is 'looking past the playoffs and out of place.
But with Election Day a week away, prospective candidates will be forced to show their hands more fully, and the pressure on Pence to decide has already begun as have his private consultations on how best to approach his next step.
Pence was the winner of the presidential straw poll at last months Values Voter Summit, showing that hes attracted a lot of buzz within the social conservative movement.
Pence has long given signals that he is not tethered to the House. Most recently, he has rankled some Republican aides both in leadership and elsewhere with his Indiana-focused schedule, despite the fact that he has made a number of high-profile stops all over the country, including most recently in Florida, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
But his Indiana focus continues this week, just days before the critical midterm election thats likely to catapult the GOP back into the majority in the House.
On Wednesday he begins the 2010 Mike Pence Road Team Bus Tour, a three-day ramble around the Hoosier state that will have him making 15 stops for more than a dozen statehouse candidates and four congressional hopefuls Marlin Stutzman, Todd Young, Larry Buschon and Jackie Walorski. Contrast that with House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who is in Memphis; Tupelo, Miss.; Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, and several stops in the New York City area between now and Friday.
Still, Pence faces hurdles in any endeavor statewide or nationwide. Should he dip his toe in the presidential waters, hed face questions about his fiscal conservatism. Although he staked out ground as a fiscal hawk over the past few years, he took earmarks until 2008. Furthermore, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is another strong contender in the 2012 presidential race, in which case Pence would be under pressure not to get in.
We have a lot of people here encouraging Mitch Daniels to step up and do this, Im one of those people, McDaniel told POLITICO. As a former Republican state chairman, I got to know the party apparatus around the country. Were looking for someone to take a great opportunity in 2012. If not Mitch Daniels, why not Mike Pence?
After a decade in the House, Pences future has been the source of widespread speculation in recent months.
Pence, 51, is currently the No. 3 Republican in the House leadership behind Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio and Cantor. If Republicans do win the House, the post of majority whip would be available, but Pence has not expressed a strong interest in that position. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California is seen as having the inside track for the majority whip job, although Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, currently chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, could jump into that race as well.
That leaves an open question whether Pence would seek to retain the Republican Conference chairman post, which is seen as a stepping stone for up-and-coming lawmakers. If he were to step aside, it would open the door for a list of hopefuls to move up that includes Reps. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Mike Rogers of Michigan, Devin Nunes California, Peter Roskam of Illinois, Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, among others.
Pence would make an excellent Governor, and would be setting himself up for even greater things by winning this office and performing well. I hope he runs and wins.
Looks like a real, real stupid thing to announce before an election next week
Not sure if Pence is announcing this, or Politico.
Good point. My bet would be on the latter.
Pence should depose the odious Lugar in ‘12. Skillman should be the next Governor.
Correct. Mike Pence just needs some executive esperience.
As a native hoosier, that would be great. But generally presidents don’t come from the Senate, they come from governors. So, I can see his strategy. How about Skillman replace Lugar? Although reality is Lugar, like Bayh was, has the job as long as he wants it.
Have you ever listened to Beck Skillman talk?
Nails on chalkboard. Her head and heart may be right, but THAT VOICE!!!
I don’t see Pence being happy as one of a hundred silk-drawered, pontificating, blowhards.
Much more potential than that.
But I agree....Lugar is wayyyy past his expiration date as an IN Senator.
Oh, I know the usual trajectory to the WH (although thanks to Zero, jumping from the Senate is now a possibility again after a half-century). The problem, however, is that if Pence is merely to use the Governorship as a stepping-stone, he’s short-changing the people of IN (and one would prefer they be 100% devoted to dealing with state issues, not using it as a resume enhancer for a short period — and that could be validly used against him in ‘12 by the Democrats).
One forgets, too, that when you shift from federal to state, you are also having to deal with a whole different set of more parochial issues. Sometimes federal officeholders flame out once they return to the state (my ex-Governor in TN was a prime example of that, he ended up an outright fiasco).
As for Skillman, does she have the heft to take on Lugar ? We need someone with the fire to take him out. He should’ve retired back around 1988 or 1994.
Does this mean that even he is discouraged about republican leadership over the course of the next two years? Mike Pence would make a more trust worthy Majority Leader, if only....
The latter, agree.
Based on their recent performance, I trust nothing that Pollutico publishes...
Why? He is up for re-election again in 2012 for congress so what if he chooses governor instead? Gives two years to find a good conservative to run for his seat.