“As voters in Indiana learn that Congressman Mike Pence was willing to shut down the government in order to deny access to preventive health care for millions of women, he will have difficulty making the case that he has the leadership skills to be governor of Indiana.
“Women voters especially are turned off by Congressman Pence’s repeated political attacks on Planned Parenthood and women’s health.
“Hoosiers, like all Americans, want their elected leaders focusing on fixing the economy and creating jobs, not pushing a partisan political agenda that takes away health care from women.”
Below, please find excerpts from a Must Read column by Brian Howey, a respected Indiana political commentator on Rep. Pence’s gubernatorial prospects:
Evansville Courier and Press: Indiana's moderate, centrist tradition may derail Pence
By Brian Howey
April 17, 2011
“There is no question that Pence commands the pro-life, evangelical Republican base, with the more mainstream party regulars getting swept up in the emotion.
“And this would all be a recipe for victory if a candidate could win the Indiana governorship with just Republican voters. But unless there is a GOP tidal wave, governors need independents (about 25 percent of voters), women and a slice from the other party….
“By late last week, Senate Democrats had opened a new front on this initial federal budget skirmish: it became a ’war on women.’ And Mike Pence was its General Grant.
“His willingness to shut down the government turns off a lot of independents, just as the Indiana House Democratic walkout did….
“Pence's electoral success has come in an overwhelming GOP district, where he has never been seriously challenged. This has allowed him to rise through the ideologically [sic] ranks, where his silver tongue of broadcast pedigree positioned him as the darling of the evangelical right.
“The danger for Pence is that throughout Hoosier history, Indiana governors have been mostly centrist, moderates. They may color outside the lines on issues like tax, education or government reform, but they mostly govern from inside the mainstream.”