WILL THERE BE MITCH MANIA? – AT 9:23 A.M. ET: Republican Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana is one of the nation's best governors. He is also hugely popular in his home state. And there is buzz about the presidency in 2012. From The Politico:
Daniels gets cover-boy treatment in the new Weekly Standard, with a drawing of him in a motorcycle jacket, aboard a bike, “RIDE ALONG WITH MITCH … from the Indiana statehouse to the White House,” by senior editor Andrew Ferguson: “He’s 5′7″. His pale coloring is set off by his reddish gray hair, and the day is fast approaching when the combover will no longer be able to work its magic. … And voters, apparently, find it all endearing. In 2008 he garnered more votes than any other candidate in the state’s history, even as Obama became the first Democratic candidate for president to win the state since 1964. Daniels won 20 percent of the black vote and a majority of the youth vote. …
“[H]e has yet to set foot in New Hampshire or Iowa, as other potential nominees have. So far his only scheduled campaign appearance out of state is in Ohio, at a rally for John Kasich, the Republican candidate for governor. ‘I really don’t want to run,’ he said … ‘It’s very important this time around that the party get it right. It’s not going to be enough to be the un-Obama. We need to focus more on the What of the campaign than the Who. … What we’ve seen in the past year, what I call shock-and-awe statism, has put the American experiment at risk. … For the first time in my life, the country faces survival-level issues.’ Those would be, along with ‘terrorism in a WMD world,’ the national debt and the recurring federal deficits.” DEFINITELY not interested. Wink, wink.
COMMENT: Daniels is a fascinating guy whose smallish frame and understated style remind us of another famous Hoosier, the World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle. And Indiana seems to be doing pretty well, compared with other states that are near bankruptcy.
Daniels has some negatives, though. I heard him speak in New York recently, and the speech was, frankly, dull. Now, that could actually work in Mitch's favor if he's presented as the competent, no-flash candidate. Problem is, the flash candidate usually wins, especially when the flash is named Obama.
I'd like to see Daniels run, though. Let's see how voters react to an all-business, no-show-business candidate with a proved record. Hey, you never know. And you won't find a more capable guy.
June 7, 2010