Friday, May 6, 2011
Shocking News: Washington Mike To Run for Governor
In a dramatic and completely surprising move, Mike Pence announced yesterday that he was running for Governor. Did you detect the sarcasm? Sadly, “Washington Mike” decided to do the deed from Washington, D.C. instead of Indiana. That’s a move that shouldn’t sit well with Hoosiers.
We currently have a Governor that gladly refuses to live in the Governor’s Mansion. So, Hoosiers pay for the Governor to have security at a place where he doesn’t live and only occasionally holds events as well as his home on Geist Reservoir. Now, we have a guy that wants to replace him that has spent more time out of state these last 12 years than in it.
Seems to me that this is bad staging for Pence. Pence should have made the announcement in an Indiana cornfield surrounded by farmers. At least, that’s the kind of Mike Pence we’ve seen portrayed in ads for these past many years. Perhaps he should have been wearing a blue dress shirt with his sleeves rolled up. It would have been better stagecraft. Instead, he announced it by video in Washington in a sweater.
This is a ready-made campaign issue for the Democrats potentially running for the seat. The two chief candidates you hear trying to gain support, Vi Simpson and John Gregg, are both entrenched in the Hoosier State. In fact, this could be the campaign. If Gregg and Simpson can portray “Washington Mike” as an outsider, I think they can make some populist inroads.
Taking Gregg for example, his views are closer to Pence’s than Simpson’s. Gregg can use his Hoosier wit and charm, and I guarantee he will. Simpson will use her expert knowledge of Hoosier issues while there will be a learning curve for Pence having not served in state government before.
Personally, I think this will be an interesting race, and if Pence does stupid things like announcing his campaign outside the state again, it will only feed the possibilities. Pence is the frontrunner, but he’s not unbeatable.