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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Pence Takes a Powder

So all the pleading from national conservatives didn’t matter: Rep. Mike Pence announced today that he would not run for president in 2012. He is now universally expected to run for governor of Indiana, where he will begin as a strong favorite against a so-far-invisible field.
In terms of the presidential field, it’s now denied the one plausible candidate who could have met a strict limus test of right-wing orthodoxy, since Pence voted against No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, TARP, and the recent tax cut deal.
More to the point, his decision should speed up the game of musical chairs over who will try to occupy the True Conservative position in the nominating process. John (Empty Suit) Thune and Haley (Boss Hawg) Barbour probably don’t qualify, so look for signals from Huckabee, Palin, and Bachmann. It’s very unlikely that the Right will allow Newt Gingrich or Tim Pawlenty to become their champion by default.

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