Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Pence Singing Song of Bipartisanship as He Takes Office

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Pence Singing Song of Bipartisanship as He Takes Office

Article excerpt

I think it will take a full decade for Gov. Mitch Daniels to fully cement himself as a truly "legendary" Indiana governor. We won't know how his education reforms, his Major Moves toll road lease and the true impact on things like the telecommunications reforms will fully play out. There was no question of his intellectual capacity, his willingness to use all available political capital and his ability to project ideas into profound change and sprawling reform served him well.

Daniels certainly had his detractors, but in our final Howey/ DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll last October, Daniels had a 58 percent approval rating.

After losing two Congressional elections in 1988 and 1990, Mike Pence recreated himself, winning a seat in 2000 and in the next 12 years, rose to the No. 3 position in the U.S. House Republican conference.

While he made a reputation for himself as an ardent social conservative - instigating, for instance, the Planned Parenthood defunding movement - he was also a profound deficit hawk who lashed out at his own party and President George W. Bush for the drunken spending that has resulted in trillion dollar deficits.

So on Monday, Mike Pence became Indiana's 50th governor, a race he won with less that 50 percent of the vote, but he refused to use the negative TV ads that could have rolled up better numbers.

His critics fear he will be an ideologue. But the Pence message was one of inclusion. "I truly believe the first characteristic or leadership in a free society is humility," he said. "I intend to approach this job from the standpoint of servant leadership. I am grateful for the majorities that the people of Indiana awarded our party in the House and Senate.

"But I intend from day one to reach out to the leadership of both political parties in both chambers and make it clear our door is open. …

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