The Atlantic brings us the news that Mike Pence isn’t running for president, though he may be running for statewide office in Indiana:
Mike Pence, the Indiana Republican congressman who’s gained attention among tea partiers and other conservatives over the past couple years, says he’s not going to run for president.
Pence has been considered a potential White House aspirant since the 2008 campaign ended, but not many expected him to rise into the top tier of the GOP primary field. Pence is best known as the former chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the policy committee for conservative House Republicans. He had finished near the bottom of national GOP presidential polls. He collected two percent in a January poll by The Washington Post and ABC, finishing ahead of Haley Barbour and behind Tim Pawlenty.
Pence will likely run for either governor or Senate, as today he hinted at serving Indiana in some other capacity. The influential Club for Growth has previously suggested he run for Senate.
That’s probably the right decision to take, though God knows he had a few cards up his sleeve in terms of conservative creds and charisma. And it means that the 2012 field is gradually, very gradually, firming up. Haley Barbour looks like he probably will run. Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney are definitely in. Mitch Daniels probably isn’t going to go for it. John Thune is looking more and more like he will mount a bid. Rick Santorum is certainly looking like a candidate. Herman Cain is set to be 2012’s Alan Keyes. The big elephants in the room remain Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin – and, to a lesser extent, Newt Gingrich, though I still can’t see how he can come close to getting the nomination.