Pence Exploration Into White House Bid Continues
December 16, 2014 — Ray Steele, Network Indiana — Governor Pence has said he won‘t announce a potential run for president until after the next legislative session. But he will continue to do plenty of exploring in the months ahead.
Pence spoke Tuesday to the City Club of Chicago. Last week, he met with potential Republican donors in California, and one political scientist says we can expect the governor to make more appearances like that – indeed, Pence has been doing so for months now. “You need to find out if (donors) can at least provide seed money, which makes yourself a more attractive candidate – the bigger the war chest you have going into the election,” said Mike Wolf, associate professor of political science at IPFW.
In addition to potential donors. Wolf says Pence is also feeling out political leaders in other states, especially states like Iowa, New Hampshire and in the south that have early primaries or caucuses. He says that‘s because primary voters are already part of a candidate‘s political party, making party identity irrelevant in the voting booth. “One key element is when political leaders stand up and say ‘I am for this person‘, so (Pence) is trying to reach key leaders on some of these trips.” An example of how not to explore a presidential campaign, Wolf said, was Evan Bayh. The former Senator and ex-Governor was considered an early favorite for the Democratic nomination and possibly the presidency in 2008 since he was one of the few moderate Democrats considering a run. “He went out, started to run, and soon realized he didn‘t have things lined up nearly as well as Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. He couldn‘t get a crowd and ended up having to drop out of the race.”
Should Pence run, he would have to distinguish himself from other potential social conservative candidates, such as former presidential candidate and ex-Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who just announced the formation of an exploratory committee. Other possible Republican candidates include New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.