• It will be announced that Pence is the vice presidential running mate of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, and Indiana politics will be turned inside out.
In this strangest of political cycles, such a potential barely meets the “mildly surprising” standards. And given the complete unpredictability of this campaign so far, you’d think the pundit class would hesitate to keep giving the odds on something. But they’re right in there on this one, saying there is a “95 percent change” that Pence will get the nod.
At the risk of sounding like knee-jerk cheerleaders for the favorite-son candidate, we think Pence would be a good choice because he complements Trump in so many ways. He will balance Trump’s flamboyance with his quiet and even-tempered thoughtfulness. He has all the political experience Trump lacks, bringing both executive and legislative experience to the ticket. He has impeccable conservative credentials that would immediately add to Trump’s support from that bloc of the GOP.
If Pence leaves the gubernatorial ballot, there will be turmoil in Hoosier politics. The GOP leadership favors as Pence’s replacement on the ballot Eric Holcomb, currently the governor’s running mate. The field of potential replacements also includes such well-respected lawmakers as Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, state House Speaker Brian Bosma and Reps. Susan Brooks and Todd Rokita.
The governor’s race would be up for grabs, no matter who got the nod. Recent polling shows Pence and Gregg running neck and neck, and there’s no reason to think that any Pence replacement would do any better than that.
One thing Pence must be thinking about is what a rough playing field presidential politics can be for a little-known conservative from flyover country. Dan Quayle could tell him a thing or two about the unfairness of relentless negativity unleashed by the national press corps.
But Pence is tough and gives as good as he gets. He would be more than a match for whomever Hillary Clinton chooses as a running mate.