Mike Pence is Running for Governor

Today, Mike Pence has officially announced to supporters that he will be running for Governor. Pence held a conference call, sent out an email and released a video at a newly designed www.mikepence.com.   A formal announcement will be held June 11th in Columbus.

Speculation that Congressman Pence would run for Governor has been going on for nearly a year since Pence decided not to run for U.S. Senate against Evan Bayh. This was before now Sen. Coats got in the race and then Sen. Bayh got out of the race.  The Congressman spent last fall out on the stump, helping all the close Congressional races and building his team.

The announcement was supposed to be on Monday but was postponed due to the death of Osama bin Laden.  And, of course, there was the issue of premature announcement  yesterday when a pre-timed email was sent out by the campaign saying “Mike for Indiana” with blank text.  We are sure someone got into some big trouble for that one.

So where does this leave the race for Governor? 

First, it leaves us waiting for an opponent.  We do not believe there will be a viable primary challenger to Mike Pence.  On the Democrat side, it seems to be looking like John Gregg for Governor with Joe Donnelly opting for the U.S. Senate race.

Second, it leaves the race as a bit of a toss-up/leans Pence. Indiana is a Republican state but John Gregg is a conservative Democrat from the South and could potentially pose a threat.  The real question for us is if Mike Pence can find a message that works for the General Election.  While his strong, conservative stances on social issues have played well in conservative crowds nationally and here in Indiana, they may not be winning issues in a general election.  President Obama will be on the ticket so that could be a challenge– unless Mitch Daniels is the Republican nominee and that would greatly benefit Indiana Republicans. 

Let the games begin!

Great Night for America, Osama bin Laden Killed

Across the country and the world, Americans celebrated a great victory as President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been located and killed earlier in the day. The operation,  taking just 40 minutes and with no American casualties, was the result of over 6 weeks of preparation and a true testament to the strength of our military capability.

While celebrations broke out in front of the White House and at Times Square in New York City, some in the political world began speculating on the implications. There is no doubt that these events will certainly have an effect on policy and politics, we won’t be discussing them on this blog.  There is a time and place for everything–and we don’t believe this is it. 

Now is a time for celebration, remembrance of those who have died, gratitude to those who have served our country, and caution as we see how these events impact the War on Terror.

Obama Announces Re-Election Campaign, National Problems Be Damned

This morning, an email was sent out to announce President Obama’s re-election campaign.  You can read it at the bottom of this post.  We aren’t surprised by the method of the announcement as the President tries to maintain a grassrootsy feeling campaign through an email and a video focused on activists.  We are surprised by the timing.

Last week, President Obama announced U.S. air strikes in Libya and polling shows only 47% of Americans thought it was the right decision.  For the record, we do think it was the right decision and we are not attacking it.  That said, we do see the valid argument from 50% of Americans that do not believe the U.S. has a clear goal in Libya and perhaps that should get worked out sooner than later.

Then we have the looming budget shutdown that will occur this Friday if a deal is not cut between Republicans and Democrats in Congress fighting it out over spending cuts.  There were talks over the weekend but the bottom line is the proposed bill needs to be filed by Tuesday night for a Friday vote since bills now need to be posted for 72-hours prior to a vote.  Presidential leadership could be helpful.

We are not going to say that sending an email and approving a video are things that would keep the President from attending to these matters.  He has plenty of lackeys to deal with such things. 

What we will say is that there are a lot of important issues and it does not send the right message that the President is spending any time focusing on a campaign that does not need to begin quite yet. We get it.  They want to get moving and get their grassroots teams moving.  But let’s face it, they did not need to announce this week for that to happen.  Organizing for America is up and running since it never shut down.  They could easily begin building the ground game and announce at a later date.  The Republicans aren’t breathing down their neck just yet and no one serious is going to challenge him in a primary.

From a team that we admit is generally political savvy particularly on messaging, the 2012 team seems to be starting off as amateur hour.

Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign.

We’re doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you — with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build.

So even though I’m focused on the job you elected me to do, and the race may not reach full speed for a year or more, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today.

We’ve always known that lasting change wouldn’t come quickly or easily. It never does. But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we’ve made — and make more — we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest.

As we take this step, I’d like to share a video that features some folks like you who are helping to lead the way on this journey. Please take a moment to watch:


In the coming days, supporters like you will begin forging a new organization that we’ll build together in cities and towns across the country. And I’ll need you to help shape our plan as we create a campaign that’s farther reaching, more focused, and more innovative than anything we’ve built before.

We’ll start by doing something unprecedented: coordinating millions of one-on-one conversations between supporters across every single state, reconnecting old friends, inspiring new ones to join the cause, and readying ourselves for next year’s fight.

This will be my final campaign, at least as a candidate. But the cause of making a lasting difference for our families, our communities, and our country has never been about one person. And it will succeed only if we work together.

There will be much more to come as the race unfolds. Today, simply let us know you’re in to help us begin, and then spread the word:

http://my.barackobama.com/2012

Thank you,

Barack

Friday Wrap-Up: Kennedy-Daley Fundraiser, Mourdock County Chair Count and Indiana Union Fights

Here are a few interesting tidbits as you move into the weekend.  It is beautiful outside and we don’t plan to be blogging much.  Go outside and play.  We’ll see you on Monday.

Kennedy to Hold Chicago Fundraiser Hosted by Mayor Daley

Over on Capitol Watchblog, our friend Abdul mentioned he has heard Melina Kennedy will be holding a fundraiser in Chicago soon with outgoing Chicago Mayor Daley hosting the event. Is she serious?  Mayor Daley represents years of political corruption and so do his dollars.  We are frankly surprised by this move.  She should know better than this and should not accept these tainted political contributions.

Current Mourdock County Chair Count

Word on the street is that Mourdock’s County Chair endorsement list is now over 70 county chairmen.  The true test of the rumors will be the announcement on Tuesday morning.  The real question is what counties are supporting Mourdock.  We’ll be watching closely to see where the larger counties land.  

Obama and Parker Weigh In on Collective Bargaining

Governor Mitch Daniels and the Indiana Legislature have caught the attention of President Obama and his political action committee, Organizing for America.  They sent out a call to action to their Indiana email list urging their supporters to contact legislators and advocate against the bill.  A few hours later, we got an email from Indiana Democratic Chair Dan Parker that echoed the themes of the earlier email–including a link to contribute to the State Democrat Party.

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