Although he is always preternaturally placid, Mike Pence today exemplifies a Republican conundrum. Sitting recently 24 blocks from Capitol Hill, where he served six terms as a congressman, and eight blocks from the White House, which some Republicans hope he craves, Pence, now in his third year as Indiana’s governor, discussed two issues, Common Core and Medicaid expansion, that illustrate the following: Today’s president, whose prior governmental experience was meager and entirely legislative, probably has strengthened voters’ normal preference for actual executives – governors rather than legislators – as chief executives.

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