He’s more charismatic than Scott Walker, more conservative than Chris Christie and, unlike so many of the top-tier 2016 Republicans, he has actually run a state.So why isn’t Indiana Gov. Mike Pence generating the kind of buzz worthy of a top-tier candidate?
Probably because while his opponents have been show horses, he’s been a work horse. And that makes him a dark horse.
Here are five reasons why we should take Pence’s chances very seriously:
1. The résumé’ – “[A]s a former congressman and now a governor, [Pence] has garnered that hard-won ‘two-fer’ status, thus giving him a very credible résumé,” says Cheri Jacobus, a GOP strategist.
Being a governor is important for a variety of reasons, both substantive and symbolic. Before becoming a governor, “Mike Pence’s policy bandwidth consisted of tax cuts,” said one strategist. “But…when you’re a governor, you’re actually in charge of running things.”
Of course, merely being a governor isn’t enough. You have to have governed effectively, and that’s just what he’s done. “Pence comes from a state that is a success story. It’s actually gaining industrial jobs. It’s a right-to-work state now,” added the strategist.