2016 Dreams Crumble for Gov. Mike Pence

With the black marble of the Indiana House of Representatives behind him, Gov. Mike Pence in January trumpeted a laundry list of accomplishments achieved in the first half of his first term: Two balanced budgets. A falling unemployment rate. More than 100,000 new jobs created. It seemed the predicate for a potential 2016 run. Pence dropped his customary aw-shucks Hoosier persona and let himself boast: “Tonight, there are 49 other governors across this country who wish they could be me!” Not three short months later, amid the biggest crisis of his political life, that line rings comical. At least three of those 49 governors Pence taunted—from Connecticut, New York, Washington and counting—have banned nonessential government travel from their states to Indiana in just the six days since Pence signed Senate Bill 101, the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, in a behind-closed-doors ceremony March 26.