In December, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol called for Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), the ultra conservative Chairman of the House Republican Conference, to “mount a serious challenge to Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, who’s up in 2010.” “If he won, he’d be a leading possibility for national office as soon as 2012,” wrote Kristol.
On Fox News last Friday, Kristol indicated that Pence was moving towards a Senate run, saying that “the results of Massachusetts are going to generate all kinds of people jumping into the race you haven’t been expected to.” Watch it:
Now, with Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts last night, Politico reports that “Pence is now considering a campaign of his own against Sen. Evan Bayh.” MSNBC’s First Read adds that they’re “hearing whispers in Indiana that national Republicans think they can convince House GOP leader Mike Pence to channel his presidential ambition via an Evan Bayh challenge.” Hotline’s Reid Wilson reports that “Pence and his aides will meet with top staffers at the NRSC tomorrow” to discuss a possible challenge to Bayh.
For his part, Bayh is using the Massachusetts special election to tack to the right and lash out at the “left.” In an interview with ABC News yesterday, Bayh called Brown’s win “a wake-up call” that moderates and independents “don’t believe the answers we are currently proposing are solving their problems.” “Whenever you have just the furthest left elements of the Dem party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country — that’s not going to work too well,” said Bayh. And this past weekend, Bayh criticized “congressional elites” who “mistook their mandate.”