Is Pence's schedule a tip on political future?
January 4th, 2011
04:07 PM ET
12 years ago

Is Pence's schedule a tip on political future?

Washington (CNN) - Call it reading the tea leaves, but until Republican Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana announces whether he'll make a bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, or whether he'll run for governor in his home state, it's all we can do.

So here's the latest. Sources in Indiana confirm to CNN that Pence is scheduling to attend Lincoln Day dinners across his home state next month. The story was first reported Monday in Howey Politics Indiana.

But Pence will attend an event that's likely to draw possible Republican White House hopefuls: An Illinois Republican Party dinner in Chicago in honor of the late President Ronald Reagan, which is being held on Feb. 5, the day before the centennial anniversary of Reagan's birth. Pence may also speak later in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference in the nation's capitol, another cattle call for possible presidential candidates.

"There are a lot of Indiana Republicans that wish for the political equivalent of the one-handed economist but for now Pence continues to examine the different political options in both of his hands," Ed Feigenbaum, editor of Indiana Legislative Insight, a weekly Indiana political newsletter, told CNN.

Feigenbaum adds that it's unlikely Pence would announce any decision before next Wednesday because he would not want to steal the thunder from current Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, who delivers his state of the state address next Tuesday night.

A spokesman for Pence says the congressman will have an announcement early this year regarding his political future.

Daniels is term limited, and Lt. Gov. Beckly Skillman announced late last month that she would not make a bid for the state's top job, increasing speculation that Pence would run for Indiana governor.

The Republican congressman from Indiana's 6th Congressional District easily won re-election in November, beating his Democratic challenger by a more than a two to one margin. The third ranking House Republican then announced that he would step down at the end of the year from his leadership role as Republican Conference Chairman, sparking more speculation that Pence might be gearing up for a White House bid or a run for Indiana governor.

While Pence polls in the low single digits in most national surveys on a hypothetical 2012 GOP nomination match-up, he did create a lot of buzz by winning the presidential straw poll at the Values Voter Summit in September.

As for Daniels, a favorite among many fiscal conservatives, he's the focus of speculation that he might launch a bid for the GOP nomination.

Daniels has stopped short of denying a bid for the White House and Monday told the Terre Haute Tribune Start that "there has now been so much of it, you can't ignore it,"

When asked about future plans by CNN as he walked into a meeting this afternoon, Pence said "my little family has made no decisions yet." When pressed he repeated, "my little family has made no decisions about our future yet."

A spokesman from Pence's office later released a quote from the Representative, saying "I have always taken opportunities to speak at Republican events in Indiana and around the country and I will continue to do so."

- CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report
–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2012 • Mike Pence
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I wonder if Mike will tell all his conservative cronies that he voted against the Bush bailout, even though he voted for it. He is a good story teller with a vivid imagination.

    January 4, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Dave

    Let's see: he has a choice of screwing up the state of Indiana or the United States. I say stick it to Indiana (being from Illinois).

    January 4, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Ask it again and maybe we'll find out who really even cares in the first place. Pence can go choke on an insurance CEO, no kneepads allowed.

    January 4, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I hope Mike tells them about repealing health reform and replacing it with Boner Care. Every will get a bag o Cheetos and a racy movie.

    January 4, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. PalmReader

    The suspense of whether Pence will ... or will not ... announce his presidential candidacy is right up there with Sarah Palin in the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, snort, gurgle, snort, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz factor.

    January 4, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. malcolm in St Louis

    He is too far from mainstream to be a serious presidential candidate. He might win some state primaries but eventually he has to appeal to a broader base than his record will allow.

    Only a hoosier state can accept him, so he should go for Governor. it is not easy managing and making decisions.

    January 4, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. sane citizen

    I'm so sick already of the Goppers and their "who's gonna run in 2012" scam! You all better understand that you were elected to CREATE JOBS because that's all we heard you screeching at the President and the Democrats for the last two years! I can't WAIT until 2012 because we Democrats will NOT stay home this time and all of you Goppers better take heed. You're 15 minutes of fame are ticking away . . . tick tock . . .tick tock . . . .where are the JOBS???

    January 4, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. LeeCMH

    The article mentions buzz caused by winning the Values Voter Summit. This is a convention sponsored by the hate group, Family Research Council (FRC) headed by Tony Perkins. Among the FRC founders, George Alan Rekers made famous when photographed with a boy prostitute at the airport.

    January 4, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. LeeCMH

    The article mentions buzz caused by winning the Values Voter Summit. This is a convention sponsored by the hate group, Family Research Council (FRC) headed by Tony Perkins. Among the FRC founders, is George Alan Rekers who was made famous when photographed with the "boy" carrying his luggage at the airport.

    January 4, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Happy that we are having more open government which is unusual with Republicans. Why didn't the Democrats try to make Congress more open when they were in power?"

    A superfluous and redundant livestream of something that will already be on tv is "more open"?

    January 4, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "You all better understand that you were elected to CREATE JOBS because that's all we heard you screeching at the President and the Democrats for the last two years! "

    Well, lucky for them, Obama and the Dems' policies and actions, while they didn't increase emlpoyment, helped stop the bleeding and the recent data and expert opinions coming out suggest that the recession is finally turning the corner for real this time and we will see some small growth throughout 2011. No doubt the GOP will claim that they are solely responsible for all of it because they extended tax cuts that existed before, during and after the recession which somehow, magically, in their pixie-dust-addled ideologue reaganomics-daydreaming tinfoil hat covered "minds" simultaneoulsy had the effects of (1) being the single largest contributing factor to the massive national debt and deficit and therefore a massive contributor to the recession (but of course not blamable or admitted as such) and (2) turning the recession around and creating all the new jobs in 2011 despite never having done so before nor during the recession.

    January 4, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. johnRJ08

    Pence is a pompous dope. Anybody who contributes to his political campaign may as well burn their money.

    January 4, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |