Any chance of Pence for president explodes over gay rights

I had previously believed that one of the rising stars of the national Republican Party, and a potentially strong nominee for president, was the GOP governor of Indiana, Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceDozens of graduates walk out in protest of Pence address Trudeau on tariff deal: Canadian and US businesses can get back to 'working constructively together' Congress has a duty to go through with the impeachment and public trial of President Trump MORE. No longer. Pence is a good man (by standards of my view of Republicans), but the latest contretemps over gay rights makes it clear to me that he is not close to ready for prime time on the presidential stage.

Pence should have persuaded the Indiana legislature to amend the "religious freedom" bill before it was sent to him for signature. He did not. He should have vetoed the bill and sent it back to the legislature to be amended. He did not. He should have then taken a decisive position and insisted from the beginning of the imbroglio that the bill must be changed. He did not.

Pence's performance was a case study in waffling, hesitation, pandering to the right, shifting his position, trying to play both sides and finally backing off. He is not the guy to lead the war against terrorism, to go head-to-head with Russian President Vladimir Putin, or to navigate major legislation through a dysfunctional Congress. Not yet, at least.

Let's agree that civil rights should extend to all Americans, including lesbians and gays, without the hemming and hawing and pandering.

Mike Pence may or may not have his day in presidential politics, but that day will certainly not arrive in 2016.

Pence for president, R.I.P.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at