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January 25, 2010
Another veteran Democrat Senator in trouble
Congressman Mike Pence (Republican-Indiana 6th district) leads long-time Democratic Senator Evan Bayh in a Rasmussen Poll released over the weekend. This is a significant development and reflective of a mood that sees even moderate politicians, such as Bayh, losing support in the wake of one year of rule by the troika of Obama, Reid and Pelosi. The import of this cannot be overstated. The GOP has been wooing Mike Pence to take on Bayh this November. . Many people may be familiar with Pence from his frequent media appearances-he is not only number three in the House leadership but is one of the more telegnic leaders of the GOP, who thinks quickly on his feet and handles the media well.
I just finished a wonderful book, Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America, on Ronald Reagan's campaign for the presidency, and learned that Pence was one of the Republican leaders who were inspired to enter politics by the rise of Reagan. He shares attributes with Reagan: the charisma, the solid conservative credentials, his ability to reach out to the grassroots. Incidentally, like Reagan, Pence honed his skills by hosting a popular radio program in Indiana before he assumed office. His ability to eclipse even a popular figure such as Bayh might also reflect the ability of Indiana under a Republican Governor, Mitch Daniels, to more than hold its own during the economic travails that have beset our nation. Daniels's success at the helm of Indiana came from hewing to the same conservative principles that Pence holds. Pence's ability to generate support from the grassroots was evident when he appeared as one of the keynote speakers during the Taxpayer March on Washington. There has been much ink spilled over the potential peril of grassroots activism when it collides with the GOP establishment. But Pence is popular within the establishment and without. Pence can bridge the divide and work well with both "parties" within the big tent of the Republican Party. His potential to tap these levels of support is high.