Pence and the GOP presidential field

Before month's end, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) is expected to announce whether he will run for president in 2012 or for governor of his home state. Pence, 51, was first elected to Congress in 2000 and was most recently elected to a sixth term in November 2010, defeating a Democrat challenger by a margin of over a 2 to 1.

On Friday, Quin Hillyer at American Spectator wrote that the Republican presidential campaign currently hinges on Pence's decision, saying

He may be nowhere near the top of the polls among Republicans nationwide, because he does not have the name ID of possible contenders Palin, Gingrich, Romney, and Huckabee -- but whether Pence runs or doesn't run makes a huge difference as to what "space" remains, in terms of messaging and strategy, within the field.

Rep. Pence is reportedly being urged by "stalwart conservative movement leaders" to throw his hat into the presidential ring. In Hillyer's view, "nobody since Reagan has so fully supported all three pillars of the movement (financial, defense, social)." The Wall Street Journal reported that a "coalition of conservative state legislators" in South Carolina is urging Rep. Pence to run for president, pledging support for him in that state's early primary.

In yesterday's straw poll of New Hampshire Republican party committee members, which was won by Mitt Romney, Rep. Pence garnered roughly the same number of ballots as Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich, but finished behind Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Jim DeMint. The take away from that unofficial and unscientific poll, according to ABC News, is that Romney is the frontrunner in New Hampshire, "but there's plenty of room for another Republican to break through." Pence won a straw poll in September taken at Family Research Council's Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C.

Constitutional lawyer, author and radio talk-show host Mark Levin assessed the current field of contenders during his show on Friday (you can listen to an audio replay here, beginning at the 78:00 minute mark). In short, Levin sees weakness and finds nothing terribly appealing about the candidates who ran in the last Republican primary. Aside from the significant issues facing each of them, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani are unexciting and don't measure up. What's needed, according to Levin, is a solid, "articulate, confident conservative who is not going to run from his or her principles and who is relatively charismatic, because that's going to be necessary" in retail politics. Levin doesn't buy into breaking conservatives into groups, like social, fiscal, and national security. He leaves that for liberals to do.

In Newt Gingrich Levin sees a likable and extremely intelligent person who, as a candidate, would be torn into a "1,000 pieces" by the media, as occurred before. Levin thinks Gingrich could face an even tougher road this time around.

Without endorsing anyone, Levin said he wants to see a young governor or even a senator or former senator enter the race. He mentioned Rep. Pence as well as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, new Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Sarah Palin. Regarding the former governor of Alaska, Levin thinks she's done more than any other Republican politician to try to get this country back on track.
Before month's end, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) is expected to announce whether he will run for president in 2012 or for governor of his home state. Pence, 51, was first elected to Congress in 2000 and was most recently elected to a sixth term in November 2010, defeating a Democrat challenger by a margin of over a 2 to 1.

On Friday, Quin Hillyer at American Spectator wrote that the Republican presidential campaign currently hinges on Pence's decision, saying

He may be nowhere near the top of the polls among Republicans nationwide, because he does not have the name ID of possible contenders Palin, Gingrich, Romney, and Huckabee -- but whether Pence runs or doesn't run makes a huge difference as to what "space" remains, in terms of messaging and strategy, within the field.

Rep. Pence is reportedly being urged by "stalwart conservative movement leaders" to throw his hat into the presidential ring. In Hillyer's view, "nobody since Reagan has so fully supported all three pillars of the movement (financial, defense, social)." The Wall Street Journal reported that a "coalition of conservative state legislators" in South Carolina is urging Rep. Pence to run for president, pledging support for him in that state's early primary.

In yesterday's straw poll of New Hampshire Republican party committee members, which was won by Mitt Romney, Rep. Pence garnered roughly the same number of ballots as Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich, but finished behind Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Jim DeMint. The take away from that unofficial and unscientific poll, according to ABC News, is that Romney is the frontrunner in New Hampshire, "but there's plenty of room for another Republican to break through." Pence won a straw poll in September taken at Family Research Council's Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C.

Constitutional lawyer, author and radio talk-show host Mark Levin assessed the current field of contenders during his show on Friday (you can listen to an audio replay here, beginning at the 78:00 minute mark). In short, Levin sees weakness and finds nothing terribly appealing about the candidates who ran in the last Republican primary. Aside from the significant issues facing each of them, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani are unexciting and don't measure up. What's needed, according to Levin, is a solid, "articulate, confident conservative who is not going to run from his or her principles and who is relatively charismatic, because that's going to be necessary" in retail politics. Levin doesn't buy into breaking conservatives into groups, like social, fiscal, and national security. He leaves that for liberals to do.

In Newt Gingrich Levin sees a likable and extremely intelligent person who, as a candidate, would be torn into a "1,000 pieces" by the media, as occurred before. Levin thinks Gingrich could face an even tougher road this time around.

Without endorsing anyone, Levin said he wants to see a young governor or even a senator or former senator enter the race. He mentioned Rep. Pence as well as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, new Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Sarah Palin. Regarding the former governor of Alaska, Levin thinks she's done more than any other Republican politician to try to get this country back on track.

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