Elections are about choices. And with choices there inevitably comes contrast. While we are sure to hear plenty of contrast arguments in the race for governor related to taxes and spending and healthcare in the coming months, today I want to focus on the contrast of approach. Namely, how each side approached the announcement of the other campaign’s running mate.
When Eric Holcomb was chosen by Governor Mike Pence to become Indiana’s Lieutenant Governor, the seething anger at the Indiana Democratic Party, and the John Gregg for Governor campaign, was palpable. Holcomb, who the Gregg campaign in 2012 had labeled a “hatchet man” after he had the audacity to point out Gregg’s less-than-stellar record on spending while speaker of the House, was repeatedly referred to as a “political hack” and a Pence “clone” in releases and statements. (Hilarious to those of us who know Eric considering he’s one of the nicest people on the planet.)
Considering the toxic environment of modern day politics, you would have expected the Pence team to respond in kind with the announcement that State Representative Christina Hale will be Gregg’s running mate. After all, Gregg himself has been known to, umm, not bite his tongue (see: Calling Mitch Daniels an “idiot” on live radio) when it comes to labeling political opponents, so why not punch back? Pence had no interest in taking that route.
The governor congratulated Hale and said he would “look forward to a spirited debate.” No labeling. No rhetorical bombs. Just some good ‘ole Hoosier hospitality.
In a campaign of contrasts, this one surely stands out.