Penceless

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 27 2011 5:00 PM

Penceless

UPDATE: And here it is . No gubernatorial announcement just yet.

It looks increasingly likely that Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., won't run for president in 2012, and that he'll tell the Indianapolis Star that he's running for governor instead. Jim Geraghty credits the RGA's sales pitch:

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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I’m told that Mike Pence was the first candidate recruitment call that Texas Gov. Rick Perry made as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and that RGA Vice Chairman Bob McDonnell and Executive Director Phil Cox had a follow-up meeting with Pence yesterday in Washington.

That's it, though? The RGA saw no easy path to victory in Indiana ? And it was only a year ago that Pence passed on a Senate run , explaining that he wanted to stay in the House.

I am not going to leave my post when the fate of the House hangs in the balance. My place is here, in that fight, with the brave men and women who will be winning that victory for the American people.

I also am staying because I believe we will win back the majority in the House of Representatives in 2010, and I am excited to be a part of it. While the opportunity to serve in the United States Senate is significant, I believe the best chance this nation has to restore fiscal discipline, common sense and common values to Washington, D.C., is for conservatives to retake the House in 2010. When we win back the House, we will make history and we will have the power to stop the big government plans of this administration and to steer our nation to a more secure, free and prosperous future.

Job over, I guess, and future secured. Pence was the surprise winner of the 2010 presidential straw poll at the Values Voter Summit, with no more campaigning than his PAC leaving small fliers on everyone's seat. A few South Carolina legislators had come out for him. There was an opening , if not a clear one, for Pence in the presidential race. But it won't happen.

Pence is relatively young -- he turns 52 this year -- and I'd guess he shows up on the Great Mentioner's list in 2016 and 2020. When you look at the Republicans who'll be seasoned enough for credible 2016 runs, though -- Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, Susana Martinez, Scott Walker -- it's hard to see how he stays high up there.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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