Could Mike Pence Be the Republican Nominee in 2012?

Who will be the Republican candidate for president in 2012? Sarah Palin recently said after a trip to Iowa that she would run “if nobody else stepped up” with solutions to our problems. But even though she is extremely popular among Republicans, more Americans—almost half of Americans, in fact—view her unfavorably than view her favorably. And, as Greg Sargent has noted, as popular as she is with Republican primary voters, far more Americans consider a Palin endorsement a negative than a positive. Whoever wins the nomination will likely have to have more appeal to the Republican establishment in any case.


One person who might be able to appeal both to ordinary social conservatives and Washington  Republicans is Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN). Pence, a lawyer and former radio talk show host who likes to describe himself as “Rush Limbaugh on decaf,” is a the third-ranking Republican in the House. And while the five-term Congressman doesn’t have much national name recognition, he’s popular enough with social conservatives to win the “Values Voter” straw presidential poll, narrowly beating out last year’s poll winner Mike Huckabee (Sarah Palin finished fifth, after not attending the event).

Pence, who calls himself as “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order,” is one of the few members of Congress to speak at Tea Party rallies. He has been a vocal opponent of both same-sex marriage and abortions, although he did alienate many conservatives when he proposed a guest-worker program as a compromise solution to the immigration problem. He has more credibility among fiscal conservatives than many other Republicans, since he opposed both prescription-drug benefits for the elderly and the bailout of Wall Street under Bush as too expensive. He even controversially demanded that entitlement programs like Medicaid be cut to offset money spent in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. “We do not consent to runaway federal spending by either political party,” he recently told a Tea Party rally. “And we demand an end to the borrowing, spending and bailouts once and for all.”

As socially conservative as he is, Pence won’t appeal to liberals at all. His willingness to slash popular entitlement programs will turn off a lot of voters. But he may be able to appeal to a broad range of conservatives—and win just enough independent voters to have a chance in 2012.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

The dos and don’ts of helping a drug-addicted person recover

How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.

Videos
  • Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
  • Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
  • As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
Keep reading Show less

4 anti-scientific beliefs and their damaging consequences

The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.

Moon Landing Apollo
popular
  • Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
  • Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
  • All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less