Reader: Pence will use controversy to boost a bid for president

To the editor:

If you haven’t heard about the ongoing controversy in the Hoosier State, you either live under a rock or on Mars. Seriously.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was signed into law on Thursday, March 26, by Gov. Mike Pence. As a result, in layman’s terms, the United States has almost literally flipped upside down.

When it comes to criticism, there are endless adjustments being thrown around. Some feel a total repeal is necessary. Others, in much less drastic form, feel the bill simply needs an amendment to exclude “legal discrimination” based on sexual orientation.

While it is clear that this bill will continue to make waves for a few weeks, this article is not concerned with the merits of the bill.

It focuses on one major political prediction arriving there from: Mike Pence will run for president and win.

Everyone has heard the saying, “Bad publicity is good publicity.” For Mike Pence, this statement could not be truer. Prior to the passage of RFRA, many citizens did not know who Mike Pence was. Post bill signing, Mike Pence is a household name.

Now I know many of you are thinking: “Hart, everyone is angry at Mike Pence. There’s no way he will run for president now and win.” Wrong.

Ted Cruz might as well concede. This bill has boosted Pence’s political capital to unimaginable heights. He has managed to spark controversy so astronomically large that people are forgetting who Hillary Rodham Clinton is.

News agencies are running nonstop coverage of the legislation, and before long, if it hasn’t already, money will start pouring in to support the first-term governor.

Look, Mike Pence is no rookie to American politics. He’s been manipulating media and dodging questions for the better part of two decades. As made evident by a national interview on ABC News, he’s well-versed in political banter and has an uncanny way of twisting responses to not answer simple yes or no questions.

While most Republicans are standing by for public declarations of candidacy from Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and others, I fully expect Mike Pence to announce a bid within the next two months.

He will continue to ride the free-press roller coaster until the hype over this bill runs down; when it does, he will announce his candidacy, sending, once again, major ripples through the political system.

Hart Summeier

Washington, D.C.

(Hancock County native)