Monday, December 20, 2010
Channel 8's Jim Shella is reporting that Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman is not going to run for Governor in 2012 citing "minor health issues" that showed up in her end of the year physical.
I sincerely wish the Lieutenant Governor well. She seems like a very nice person, but, with due respect to her judgement, this comes as a big surprise and makes me think the health issues must be more than just "minor" or that those health issues might just be the "Mike Pence Flu."
After talking to people that have worked at the Statehouse, it's clear that Skillman had 2012 on her calendar as a year to run for Governor. She apparently had a long list of accomplishments posted outside her office, according to my sources, and, as late as a few days ago was saying that no matter who got into the race that she was going to think about running for the office, one way or another.
Reading the tea leaves, this tells me that Mike Pence is about ready to jump into the Republican race for Governor in 2012. That should make Democrats shiver. Pence is Mitch Daniels with a religious right agenda. He is just to the left of nutjob on the political scale.
With a very good media presence, charisma, and the ability to "speak Hoosier", Pence will be a tough opponent in 2012 if he decides to run for Governor. There's still a chance that he could run for President. A barrier to that had been that Mitch Daniels might run for President, but that now appears to be something that's getting more and more unlikely.
If Pence decides to go the presidential route, it opens up the sweepstakes on both sides. Several Democrats are positioning for a gubernatorial run after Evan Bayh's somewhat surprising plug pull on his potential candidacy last week. It's about to get interesting.
Back to the Lieutenant Governor, if what she says in her statement is truly correct, I want to wish her the best as she resolves those health issues.