INDIANAPOLIS – With his signature on Wednesday, Governor Eric Holcomb is desperately trying to put to rest an embarrassing chapter of his governorship. The first-term governor cycled through so many positions on hate crimes, it’s not clear where he ultimately stood. What is clear? Holcomb demonstrated an inability to lead on an issue the vast majority of Hoosiers back.
Holcomb hit a brick wall with members of his own Party. Did he lack the muscle to twist arms? Did he lack the leadership and resolve to burn political capital on an issue unpopular with base GOP voters? Did he just lack a clear vision on how to get his idea through the legislature? None are a particularly flattering look for a sitting governor.
From Howey Politics Super majorities & hate
“And Gov. Holcomb? He promised to be a vocal proponent of a hate crime law with a list. But after his return from Europe, he passed on using several Indiana Lincoln Day dinners to pressure recalcitrant members of his party. Nor did he barnstorm the state drumming up what we’ve come to know from another governor as the “white-hot heat of public opinion.”
“This is not Holcomb’s finest hour. His messaging on hate crimes has been, and remains, mixed and conflicted. On the eve of Senate concurrence, the governor explained, “The No. 1 priority for me is to make sure that when we adjourn from this legislative session, that all 6.6 million-plus Hoosiers are protected, and from what I’ve seen (this version) would do it.” But, he added that he will continue push for gender and gender identity in an explicit list. “I don’t want to go back, I want to go forward,” Holcomb said Monday. “And this will be a tremendous step in the right direction.”
“So which is it, governor?
“If everyone is covered under the House-passed version of SB 198, why continue to push for a list? In Hoosier parlance, that’s having it both ways. Holcomb is demonstrating an inability to lead his party on a high-profile issue.”
Holcomb’s flop confirmed to Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody that the governor remains in over his head.
“Governor Holcomb struggled to identify his own position, let alone convince others to move theirs,” said Zody. “Effective leaders have a vision and a plan, Holcomb again appears to have nothing more than excuses. It’s junior varsity leadership and Hoosiers deserve more.”