As per this article, one big consideration for Mike Pence in deciding whether to run for president is whether the money would be available. It seems to me that if Dick Armey, Morton Blackwell, Brent Bozell and Jim Ryun can’t help raise enough money, nobody can. Obviously, those are some big guns to have on one’s side. For the past year I have had other big-name conservative leaders tell me they, too, would like to see Pence run. And Pence has been working the vineyards long enough that he has many friends in all the major activist groups, so even if his nationwide name ID is fairly low, his ID with the workers and leaders and financiers is very high — as is the level of goodwill for him. He also easily passes the intellectual seriousness quotient, with George Will providing the political equivalent of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on that front. The Wall Street Journal likes Pence, too. With all that going for him, it seems unimaginable that he would’t be able to raise the necessary money.
What remains is how “called” Pence feels to try to make the leap in 2012. Some would argue that it is a call to duty. The 2012 presidential election is, in many ways, the whole ball of wax. I have written before that I almost always reject the quadrennial trope that THIS election, or THIS one, or THIS one, is the most important in our lifetimes. I have rejected it every time since 1980. But in this case, I do think it is the most important election since 1980. Barack Obama has put this nation on a precipice. He is no Bill Clinton, triangulating and trying to maintain his “viability within the system.” Obama is playing for keeps. His agenda is the biggest departure from American norms in 80 years. And he has made scary headway. Health care, banks, car companies, college education, and other industries all have been brought unde the government thumb as never before. With four more years to consolidate his actions, and add to them, and to appoint judges who will uphold them, and to further seed the bureaucracy with lefties and have them abuse their authority, Obama could do damage from which this nation never recovers. This is no time for moving up the ladder (via the Indiana governorship) just because conventional wisdom says that is how a House member can eventually become president. Really, is Pence’s heart with national issues, or state-level ones? Or, put it this way: Are his biggest WORRIES about the future of Indiana, which already is well governed, or with the future of the nation? And does he see anybody else who might run for president who he thinks both really “gets it” philosophically and who is at least as well positioned to actually win the whole shebang as he is? Pence is a conservative who, because he is a gentleman, is known for stirring rhetoric but NOT for tearing down opponents. He just doesn’t turn people off. He’ll get a listen from independents because of his style, whereas other conservatives are more polarizing in tone. Does Pence think other full-spectrum conservatives can beat Obama? Does he think there are others with the media experience he has as a successful former radio talk-show host — Ronald Reagan proved how great a communications training ground that daily radio work can be — or does he worry that nobody else knows how to cut through the fog of the establishment media?
Those who argue that a House member can’t make the leap to president are stuck in the past. Modern media allows people to become household names overnight. It allows campaigns to be organized far more easily, with people sitting in their own living rooms all communicating with each other instantaneously. How much have things changed? Well, just 20 years ago it would have been all but unimaginable for leading presidential or vice presidential candidates to be black or a woman, or to hail from lightly populated states like Idaho-via-Alaska, like Hawaii, like Delaware or Wyoming, or to be born in the Panama Canal Zone. Only one senator since 1920 had been elected president, and he (JFK) probably stole it. Nobody since Lincoln had so little experience in federal office or executive positions. Yet Barack Obama blew away both of those “barriers.” The truth is, the old barriers do not exist.
The remaining question is, does Mike Pence feel ready for the job? Is he personally confident he can serve this country well in the Oval Office? He would need to feel a call to service, not a call to ego. But when leading figures are openly urging somebody to run for office, it is clear that there’s something at work other than self-driven ambition. It certainly doesn’t look like ego. It looks like a draft.
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