Vice President Joe Biden was in Greenfield Wednesday at the new Ener1 facility touting advanced technology vehicles. The employees at the plant assemble the lithium-ion batteries that power the Think City electric car going into production in Elkhart.
He didn’t waste any time endearing himself to the audience when he mentioned a number of local dignitaries, but one may wish he hadn’t.
The VP said, “I understand State Senator Gard is here. I want to recognize him. I was told he as here.” She was. No word yet on what State Senator Beverly Gard thought of his pronouncement, but he didn’t stop there.
As I mentioned he was visiting Ener1, which he happened to interchange twice with Enron1. It is understandable but there is quite a difference there.
When asked, Pence has never wavered in his response. He says he is prayerfully considering his options with his family and appreciates all the feedback he is currently getting here at home and all around the country.
But the announcement we are all anxiously anticipating within the next week may not answer all of the questions. There is speculation that Congressman Pence may announce that he is not running for president but not directly address a possible gubernatorial bid.
New state law that forbids fundraising during a budget session of the Indiana legislature may have a hand in that, although no one seems to know for sure how that law applies to a potential run for governor by a sitting congressman.
Obviously the only one who truly knows is the Congressman. Hopefully we will all know the answers to both questions within the next week.
Gov. Mitch Daniels has already announced that he will not make any announcement about his political future until after the current legislative session. He may not be the only one.
Indiana Congressman Mike Pence is stepping down from the House GOP leadership team. The decision frees Pence up to consider a run for the White House in 2012 or for Indiana governor.
In a letter Pence sent out today he says, “Now that we have restored a Republican majority to the House of Representatives and I have fulfilled my commitment to the Republican Conference, my family and I have begun to look to the future.”
He also writes, “We will continue our duties serving the people of Indiana and do what we have always done in such times; we will wait on the Lord and follow where He leads.”
He may well be laying the groundwork to run for Indiana governor. Last night he was fairly noncommittal. He talked about a stronger country and a stronger Indiana.
Eyewitness News asked Rep. Pence if we’d see him in Iowa. He chuckled, then said, “Let me tell you, we’ve been completely focused on November 2nd up to this day. I’ve just been absolutely determined to do everything in my power to make sure we elect a conservative majority back to Washington, DC and help this good governor in Indiana get a majority in the General Assembly. We’ll take a look at the future starting tomorrow. But tonight we’re gonna celebrate a great victory for the American people.”
At that time, he no doubt knew that the letter announcing his resignation from the leadership team would go out.
When it comes to off-year elections the turnout is always a big issue. Let’s face it. More registered voters will stay home on Tuesday than will actually cast a ballot.
Earlier this week I heard the story of an 85-year-old World War II veteran from Indiana who stands as an example for all of us. He doesn’t want me to say his name because he doesn’t think what he has done is really that big of a deal.
He called his daughter last week and asked if she could pick him up and take him to vote. Normally that would not be a big day but he is experiencing severe back problems for some time. In fact he hasn’t even been out of his house for the last two weeks. Even picking up the paper at the curb has become too painful.
His daughter was more than a little surprised by his call but not as surprised as she was back on May 6th, 2008. Voting was a big deal then too. So big in fact that even though his wife has passed away that morning he still went to cast his vote later that same day.
They have been called the greatest generation and it is little wonder why. They are still showing us how it should be done every day. He didn’t want me to say his name so I won’t but I couldn’t help but share his actions. When his daughter asked him why he makes such an effort to vote he responded simply, “Isn’t that what you are supposed to do?”
Yes, it is, but many people don’t. I will go cast my vote early on Tuesday and I will be thinking about him when I do what we all are supposed to do.
- Kevin Rader
We have had viewers asking us if the Marion County sheriff candidates, John Layton and Dennis Fishburn, were seriously considering privatizing some of the functions now handled by deputies.
“We want to do everything we can to be fiscally responsible to the taxpayers but I have never mentioned that one time,” said Dennis Fishburn (R).
“I am open to any ideas where we can save taxpayers money but not try and protect those folks on the cheap because we just wouldn’t want to put those folks at risk for the sake of a dollar or two,” said John Layton (D).
John Layton took some time from the campaign trail to honor Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Seligman. He was awarded the Purple Heart today by Congressman Andre Carson for wounds he suffered in combat in Iraq. Seligman just happens to be Col. Layton’s son-in-law.
Secretary of State candidate Charlie White is already the target of an investigation for voter fraud and now Hamilton County Democrats have filed another complaint alleging White sent out a direct mailer that doesn’t say who paid for it.
Also, Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker has filed a freedom of information request calling for Secretary of State Todd Rokita to release his investigation findings in the White case.
It was sent to the Hamilton County special prosecutor in this case.
“We don’t believe the governor should have the ability to appoint someone after the fact. This information needs to be made public and we believe Vop Osili is the better candidate for Secretary of State. Better integrity and he could actually get sworn in,” said Parker.
In the 9th district congressional race, Republicans are accusing Democrat Baron Hill of sending out mailers supporting the Libertarian candidate in the 9th District. Hill is facing a strong challenge from Republican Todd Young.
David Broder writes about a talk at the Hudson Institute by Gov. Mitch Daniels which has people buzzing – yet again – about a possible 2012 run.
I have covered a lot of political stories over the years and have certainly cornered more than a few candidates in my time, but Tuesday was a whole different story.
Having just finished my interview with Marion County Prosecutor candidate Mark Massa, we got on the elevator at the Majestic building and pushed the button to go up to the third floor - except the elevator dropped down to the basement. So the four of us - Kyle Walker with the Massa campaign, the candidate, my photographer Scott Allen and I were all trapped inside. The door would not open.
After about fifteen minutes without air conditioning, workers were able to get the door open.
I am sure the last place Mark Massa wanted to be was trapped in an elevator with Channel 13, but it all worked out. Everyone maintained composure and Dwight wasn’t there to claim a corner. Just another day in politics.
- Kevin Rader