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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Pence Looking Up to the Post of Majority Leader

The Washington Post reports that U.S. Representative Mike Pence of Indiana is exploring the possibility of running for House Majority Leader if U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay steps down permanently from that post.

Already, Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.) has said he would like to run for a leadership post. Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, an increasingly influential faction of fiscal conservatives, has signaled to members that he is exploring a run. And many expect Rep. John A. Boehner (Ohio), a leadership member since the 1994 Republican House takeover, to make a bid.

All that has helped fragment the House Republican Conference as members jostle for advantage.

"There's a power vacuum," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.). "If we don't get some unity and sense of purpose soon, people will start looking after themselves."

DeLay has tried to shore up his position by lining up with conservatives, especially on the drive for budget cuts, where he once played the role of conciliator. And that has created other problems, as the Republican Study Committee gains power at the expense of other factions.

"You can't have a part of the conference wagging the whole body," Davis said. "The conservatives say it's all about keeping the party base, keeping the party base. But you hold the majority by holding your marginal districts."

Washington Post story by Jonathan Weisman, Wednesday November 02, 2005. Page A03

Mike Pence is rare in that he is a classical liberal, not a Bush Torie. Issues and outcomes matter to him. As such, he is operating in a vaccuum on Capitol Hill and will be sucked into high office. May God be with him.
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