Monday, November 21, 2011
Expect Indiana's Governor's Race to Be Watched Nationally
The race for the Governor's Mansion has barely begun in Indiana, and there are already signs that it's going to be one to watch for people across the country.
First of all, you have the intrigue of the Republican Primary. Mike Pence is no doubt the frontrunner, but Jim Wallace could pull an upset. Pence is obviously concerned. The Indianapolis Star reported that his campaign is accepting donations from all across the country. Wallace will have to up his pace to keep up. Pence promised not to speak out on any issues until May, but he's already stuck his foot in his mouth a couple of times on taxes. He's appealing to the Tea Party base. Wallace has a different message. Pence is a lightweight with a very disappointing Congressional record. He can easily be portrayed as an outsider, and I wonder if Wallace will try to do it.
On the Democratic side, John Gregg is the big fish. He needs to continue to go about his business and raise his name recognition after having spent the last few years in Southwest Indiana with his boys. Gregg obviously is connected bringing in a big name like Bill Clinton to help him raise some money. The Star also reports that Gregg has received some donations from organized labor. We'll find out where he stands in January, campaign cash-wise.
Then, of course, there's Rupert. Reality TV star Rupert Boneham, even though he won't bring, in all likelihood enough votes to win the race, he will bring a lot of interest to the race. We've already seen this race get national tv coverage when it was announced that he was seeking the nomination.
Pence's national star will draw attention, and Rupert's national profile also will draw attention. It's up to Wallace and Gregg to turn the attention on themselves do what should be quite easy: define Mike Pence as a Washington-insider and an ambitious politician looking for the next stepping stone to the Presidency. I believe Mike Pence wants to be Governor only to be President.
The country will be watching this highly interesting race develop.