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Mr. Daniels goes to Washington

Mr. Daniels goes to Washington


Mitch Daniels is down in DC today during his tour of three days “beyond the Hoosier State after the end of Indiana’s legislative session, which was capped by Daniels’ decision to sign a controversial bill that would cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood clinics.” Today he is expected to make a speech and, based on his previous hints, it will likely give a definitive answer as to whether he will run for president.

This, of course, falls on the heels of the exploratory committees announced earlier this week by Rick Santorum and Jon Hunstman, respectively.

I truly hope that Daniels announces. Hunstman has the looks, but Daniels has the smarts … and, despite the hype around MA healthcare, Mitt Romney has the lead.

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Daniels is a good man and has been a great governor, but my concern is that he is such a fiscal hawk that he would cut too much from defense.

Mitt will be toast soon. Daniels will probably get the nod.

Mitch Daniels: Not A Serious Candidate
—Gabriel Malor

Mr. Truce on Social Issues is still not ready for primetime.

“I encouraged four different people to run,” [Gov. Daniels] says, and failed. (He wouldn’t name them but Haley Barbour appears to have been one of them.) At one point he used the words “if I talk myself into this” when discussing a run of his own. Why might he run? “I believe the country’s at a very perilous point arithmetically. And I haven’t yet—still hope to—seen anyone else step up to it. . . . So far my brethren have been a little hesitant.”

When asked if he was ready to debate President Obama on foreign policy, Daniels said "Probably not."

So he gets points for candor, I guess, but you know what would be better than a candidate with candor? A candidate who has candor AND is prepared to take on the President.

Daniels' default mode seems to be too deliberative, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. He held off commenting on the OBL operation for two days. He similarly doesn't care to venture opinions about Afghanistan or Libya.

Daniels said that “it cannot be illegitimate to ask” if some of the country’s military commitments should be unwound, but he has not yet reached any conclusions about which should be—or, at least, any he is willing to share. On Afghanistan he refuses to second-guess the decisions of the president, to whose greater access to information he defers. On Libya he says only that he has not seen the case for intervention made.

"Refuses to second-guess the President." Maybe it's just me, but I'd prefer a candidate willing to stand up and say that President Obama is doing wrong, not just "arithmetically", but as a matter of policy. At some point, Daniels' forbearance will look less like caution and more like ignorance.

Ace of Spades HQ

Mitch Daniels: A Foreign Policy Enigma

"There are many things about the current GOP Presidential campaign that I find odd. One of them is that some take Mitch Daniels, former [correction: current] Governor of Indiana, seriously as a candidate."

Power Line

UPDATE: Dan Mitchell writes:

Good post on Daniels, but you may have been too easy on him.

Given that he was Bush's budget director (far too much wasteful spending) and tried to hike tax rates in his first year as Gov of Indiana and has said sympathetic things about a VAT, I have no idea why people say he's a budget hawk.

"But he (Daniels) did sound really unenthusiastic about running for president:

Asked whether or not he wanted to run for president, Daniels jokingly declined to announce his plans.

“Would I like to? No. What insane person would like to?” he said.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” he continued, but added, “. . . I’ve agreed at the behest of a lot of people to give it some thought.”

He added that he would not be at the debate. “That’s for people who have made up their mind.”

"Daniels also was not asked about his receipt of an award by the Arab American Institute. I went to the group’s Web site and found its president, James Zogby (who follows the Walt-Mearsheimer school of foreign policy), speaking fondly of the proposed merger of Fatah and Hamas. (Zogby has, among other things, decried the Iraq war, defended the Ground Zero mosque and attacked the hearings on Islamic recruitment chaired by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.)."

Jennifer Rubin, WaPo

I've been enthusiastic about Mitch Daniels since last May, as I believe he has the ability to articulate a conservative position better than any of the other candidates, as well as a solid fiscal record to show that he can walk the talk.

His speech at CPAC was outstanding. I hope he runs.

Huskers-For-Palin | May 4, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Note about CPAC….the person who stole the show was a Sarah Palin impersonator!!!! Even when the press and attendees realized she was an impersonator, they still flocked to her!!!!

Mitch and Mitt must of been pissed….talk about stealing all the oxygen.

Unilateral truces, his love for the VAT, his recent foreign policy gaffe, squishy Obamacare rhetoric … and he's bald and short! What's not to love about Mitch?

Daniels' listening tour

"The salons of Manhattan's Upper East Side are an odd place to launch a Republican campaign:

On Tuesday, at the Gilded Age Upper East Side mansion that houses the nascent Bloomberg View, Daniels lunched with a baker’s dozen of journo-pundits ranging politics-wise from rightish (Peggy Noonan, Ramesh Ponnuru) and leftish (Michael Kinsley, Josh Marshall) to neitherish (Mark Halperin), and outlet-wise from mass market (George Stephanopoulos) to niche market (me). Afterward, the informal consensus of the leftish contingent was summed up in this exchange:

“If we have to have a Republican…” “…this one seems like he’d be better than the others.”

Ben Smith, Pollutico
May 04, 2011

The social democratic establishment mavens like (tolerate, damn with faint praise, give the kiss of death to?) Daniels

The whole megilla in one sentence.

"There's right ways of doing things, and there's the Obama way." J. R. Dunn, American Thinker

That is why the next President of the US will be a Republican (unless they take a page from Obama's book). Be it the economy, energy policy, free enterprise, regulation, foreign policy, fiscal policy, the long war, domestic policy – you can depend on the Obama Administration to screw it up.

But didn't we just get OBL, you say? That feat was accomplished by the institutional establishment of the US Government, in this case primarily the military and intelligence establishment, which exists and has a life, memory and momentum of it's own no matter who is president. Where did the most profound and possibly important celebration of the death of OBL take place? Annapolis.

The Case against Mitch Daniels
A close examination of the governor's record and statements reveals that he is actually a strident liberal who cannot be taken seriously.