Star political columnist Matt Tully begrudgingly admits in his column in today's edition
that Gov. Mike Pence is a likable person, but because he disagrees with his political views, he flails about trying to convince his readers that Pence is just wasting his time as governor with "wishy-washiness" and "political calculations." Huh? Was this guy awake during some of Indiana's recent governors, particularly Evan Bayh or Frank O"Bannon?
[I]t’s different with Gov. Mike Pence, the politician I’ve criticized most of late. In all honesty, those critical columns haven’t been the least bit of fun to file — even though I stand wholeheartedly behind them and believe they needed to be written.
Why the mixed feelings? Largely because Pence is one of the truly nice guys in the often nasty world of politics . . .
Although knocking him is about as fun as picking on a Boy Scout, it must be done. Why? Because he’s throwing away his first year in office — and perhaps the most important legislative session of his term — with caution, wishy-washiness and an overdependence on the type of political calculations that were a necessary survival skill during 12 years in the combat zone that is Congress . . .
The funny thing is, Pence clearly has the potential to be a top-tier governor. He’s likable and sincere and able to communicate as effectively as any politician Indiana has seen in a generation. He seems to care deeply about the state and its people and has a humility that is apparent by his ability to poke fun at himself. He just needs to think bigger than he has thought during his first few months in office.
Tully faults Pence for not having a strong opinion on mass transit for Central Indiana, which I don't recall a single member of the media making an issue during the 2012 gubernatorial election, Tully included. Tully got his panties in a bunch after Pence spoke aloud recently of his doubts about raising taxes for such a questionable expenditure at this time. He also faults him for not supporting spending money on a new program for pre-K education, which hasn't exactly been at the top of the issues being debated at the State House this year. If Tully begins writing columns bragging about what a great governor Pence is, then those who supported his election should begin to worry. Until then, keep up the good work, Gov. Pence.
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