Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is Mike Pence Running for President?

So far I have tried to stay out of commenting on the Republcian presidential race. It is three years out, and we have more important things to focus on. We need to defeat the healthcare bill, win the Virginia governor's race, and take back the house in 2010. All that said a Mike Pence candidacy could possibly shake up the race, and it seems like he is actually putting his presidential campaign in motion.

In 2008 there was an effort to draft Mike Pence to run for president. Clearly the effort failed. Over the past week I have noticed a number of things that make me wonder if Congressman Pence is running for president right now.

Mike Pence had the biggest presence of any elected official. at the 9/12 march in D.C. Young people with Mike Pence shirts were everywhere handing out cards encouraging people to sign up for e-mail updates on his campaign website, and follow him on facebook, you tube, and twitter. Why would you expend that much energy getting people all over the nation to support you in a safe congressional campaign? They also had rally signs made up declaring D.C. a "Czar Free Zone" that had Mike Pence's name on it. The only elected official I saw who sponsored signs for the rally. Congressman Pence also wrapped up the rally with one of the best speeches on what is wrong with this nation.

When I got home I checked out his campaign website. The video on his homepage is not a video for a congressional campaign. It is possibly one of the most inspiring presidential web ads I have ever seen. In it Pence is referred to as "The People's Champion" "A Voice for Millions of Americans" and "A Counter Punch to the Left." This kind of soaring rhetoric about major national issues is rarely used in congressional campaigns.

When I saw the video I felt it was pretty obvious Mike Pence is running for president.

While Congressman Pence has not yet filed the papers to form a presidential campaign committee, he has a half million dollars and rising in his congressional account for a very safe house seat, he is on every media outlet possible, and has made trips to Iowa.

This weekend at the FRC Action Conference we will probably see for sure whether Mike Pence is running for president. One of the highlights of the conference is the strawpoll. If he has an operation there to try to win the strawpoll, it should be clear that he is taking this seriously. The other interesting dynamic will be the responses the crowd has towards Pence and Huckabee. Both of them are similar in that they are dynamic speakers, unafraid to talk about their faith who appeal strongly to social conservatives. If Pence wants to make a successful bid he needs the Huckabee supporters. From his perspective either Huckabee needs to not run, or he needs to annouce early enough that he is endorsed by an overwhelming amount of social conservative groups and thereby sideline Huckabee. The dynamics between two eloquent social conservative potential presidential nominees will be interesting to watch at the FRC Conference this weekend.

Tonight I saw Gary Bauers newsletter. It focussed on Mike Pence's speech about the Joe Wilson controversy. Gary Bauer concludes the newsletter he sent out days before the FRC Conference by saying, "I urge you to keep an eye on Mike Pence in the future." If Gary is hinting at who he might support for president it will be interesting to see where other social conservative leaders begin to lean, and who they eventually endorse.

What do you think, is Mike Pence running? Would you support him if he ran? How would a Pence bid impact the race? Tomorrow I will be liveblogging from the FRC Conference. Please check back to see if there are any other developments.


Daniel Davies said...

Good posting Willie. I can't think of a better person than Mike Pence to put at the top of the GOP ticket in 2012. He definitely has my support if he runs. said...

Great post. Thanks for posting the speech, as well.

In Fullness of Grace said...

Hm... very interesting. Personally, it's far too early for me to rally behind a candidate. I have preferences, but like you, I think three years is a little early. Also, I don't know that much about Mike Pence--though I was very impressed when he spoke in D.C.

On that... do you remember when he talked about where he would take the oath of office if he ever became president? I thought that was an interesting statement then... and even more so now. :)

VASocialConservative said...

I have a mental collection of a number comments along those lines from him. When I saw the video, and his presence at the rally I was like that's it how is he not running?