Now, this may mean nothing- but VP speculation is by definition completely baseless. Here’s why Pence would be a good choice:
- Mike Pence would absolutely destroy Joe Biden in a debate. I mean, it wouldn’t even be close.
- Like John McCain, Pence cannot be painted as just another Bush lackey. He is known for opposing some of Bush’s worst mistakes- including the failed Medicaid Prescription Drug debacle. He’s also known for opposing the massive spending increases of the Bush Administration.
- The recent surge in the polls for McCain has come, in part, because of a slow return of Republicans back into the fold. Adding Pence to the ticket may speed that return of Conservatives and also blunt the potential negative impact of Bob Barr. (Look, he’s polled as high as 7% in some states)
- Two words. GAS PRICES. Mike Pence may have saved the Republicans from complete annihilation this year by organizing the GOP Energy revolt in August. The generic Congressional ballot has improved for Republicans for the first time since before 2006- largely due to to this issue.
- One unmeasured item in polls is the relative enthusiasm of the various camps. Obama’s people are highly motivated as evidenced by his ability to raise significant amounts of money, turnout large audiences, and field significant operations in states like Indiana. McCain’s army, however, is still reeling from a horrible election for Republicans in 2006. Although there is a gathering enthusiasm amongst Republicans fueled both by McCain’s recent surge and an excellent month of beating the Democrats over gas prices, more enthusiasm is needed. Pence could bring that excitement in full force.
Let’s be frank. This is the X factor in this Election. During 2004, when I would return home to Ohio and visit my church, everyone was involved in the Bush re-election effort. Because my old church folks knew I was involved in politics everyone wanted to tell me how they were volunteering. This year- nothing. Mike Pence would invigorate this crowd that is so essential to putting together the army needed to turn out our voters. We need to even the odds there. The polls may have McCain ahead, but if our people aren’t motivated it won’t be worth a hill of beans.
And, in the end, Pence is a far better choice for VP than Bayh. Bayh is too poll-tested and careful to ever be more than what he is. And that’s too bad for him. For a Democrat, he’s actually relatively palatable. He just doesn’t have the courage (his own Presidential campaign lasted one week). If he ever developed it, he’d be a force to be reckoned with.
I’m pushing for Pence.