The Mike and Micah show will be a historic political disaster in Indiana

by | Jun 20, 2024 | Politics/Government

photo from Indiana Capital Chronicle/Leslie Bonilla Muñiz

“Mike and Mike in the Morning” was the last sports radio show I ever regularly listened to. I don’t remember why I stopped. I wasn’t angry about some hot take or uncalled-for disrespect toward the Colts. I simply lost interest. Besides, I know enough about sports, according to me, and don’t need anyone explaining why my team won or lost. And predictions? Everyone is terrible at them, that’s why we watch the games. 

Now, the Mike and Micah political show in Indiana will have a whole host of far more serious problems. That’s Mike Braun, the Republican nominee for governor, and Micah Beckwith, the surprise nominee for lieutenant governor. They have a show to put on, and based on the preview, it’s not looking good. 

Braun was likely planning on continuing his primary campaign platform, one famously declared by me as being about nothing. However, things changed on Saturday at the Indiana Republican Convention. Braun’s campaign for governor transitioned from being about nothing to being all about his running mate.

Mike Braun mingles at the Indiana GOP’s convention on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Leslie Bonilla Muñiz/Indiana Capital Chronicle) 

Beckwith is a self-proclaimed Christian Nationalist. He claims to be a prophet of sorts. He notoriously leads initiatives to ban books, specifically those of my favorite author, Indianapolis’ John Green. He apparently thinks that the LG offers some “check” on the governor, as opposed to being a dutiful devotee. In short, he’s trouble for Braun, and that’s entirely Braun’s fault. 

During the six weeks that have passed since Braun won the Republican primary for governor, he made one decision, and it was a bad one. He chose Rep. Julie McGuire to be his running mate. This was the person who, if victorious, would have served as the president of the Indiana Senate along with 26 other statutory responsibilities. The problem with her nomination was that she was clearly not qualified for the job, at least on paper.

I patiently waited for her value to the ticket to become apparent. I also patiently waited for her lack of qualifications or a reassuring resumé to become more of public discussion. Neither happened. McGuire is finishing her first term in the Indiana House and has been the business manager of an Indianapolis southside Catholic church for fifteen years. So, why her? 

I could only conclude McGuire had two qualities in Braun’s eyes: 1. She would be a loyal lieutenant. 2. She is a woman. I assumed I was missing something about her, that she had some political skill or talent that only insiders knew about and the rest of us would soon come to know. Nope.

Braun chose poorly. Then he followed that bad first move, with a few worse ones.

First, he didn’t persuade anyone to support McGuire. He arrogantly assumed the GOP delegates at the convention would simply fall in line. It’s their choice, not Braun’s. Did he forget Diego Morales over Holli Sullivan two whole years ago? Delegates are akin to voters, and Team Braun took them for granted. Additionally, Braun was soft on Beckwith. He offered no warning about him, no reason to appropriately worry about the problems he creates for the campaign, and frankly, the state. Indiana should expect more of this from Braun. 

Second, and this one might be the ultimate sin, Braun called Donald Trump late last week and asked him to endorse his pick. Trump issued the statement way too late, and no one really bought it. This embarrassment will likely linger in any ongoing relationship between Braun’s sycophancy and its target. Ouch.

That’s a strikeout. It’s a slow-pitch softball strikeout. “Mike and Mike” would have filled Monday morning drive time with a season’s worth of hot takes on a collapse of this degree. 

These are all indicators that Braun isn’t prepared to be governor. 

Beckwith on the other hand, won’t ever be prepared to be LG. He’s unfit for the job and always will be. I would hope references above make that clear. In case they don’t, take a moment to recall the most embarrassing moment in recent Indiana political history, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA. It came through the support of Beckwith’s current employer, the Indiana Family Institute. That was all the way back in 2015, before the MAGA movement even existed. 

This is the inevitable path that political parties have generally taken since America’s founding. Any party that accumulates too much power, as is the case in Indiana right now, eventually goes too far. If Beckwith successfully rises to the LG slot, he will be prominently with the party for at least a decade. 

The predictions on the Mike and Mike show used to be called “stone cold, lead pipe locks.” 

I’ll give you mine now: The Mike and Micah show will end badly. 

4 Comments

  1. Sheila Kennedy

    Agree entirely

    Reply
  2. Matt Reardon

    Arrogance and ignorance make for interesting political theater and lousy governance

    Reply
  3. Lyn C

    If elected, I wonder how Braun will take being sidelined like Holcomb was by the Legislature.

    Reply
  4. CAROL NEAVILLE-WRIGHT

    Candidate Braun is not adept at firming Pl as n B. Like 45 he assumes all will go his way. Braun and Beckwithare like oil and water. The GOP Delegates have proved they are not loyal 45 Cult Members.
    For those unaware Beckwith and his supporters lead the book banning list in Hamiltoon County. He has wide supporbut is seen by manny Hoosier’s of both o parties as radical.
    This is a good thing for Democratic candidates throghout Indiana! I means their are many more middle of the road Hoosier’s who do have a brain and can think for themselves.

    Reply

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