I Can See Daniels Waving Goodbye
I have been meaning to write about Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ recent appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press all week. It was one of the few opportunities I’ve had to take a closer look at the oft-mentioned (potential) Republican presidential hopeful. I will say that he sure didn’t sound like someone who is close to deciding on a presidential run (unless it’s to say no). I now understand both why the Republican intelligentsia like David Brooks and George Will are high on Daniels as a candidate, and why movement conservatives in the Tea Party-manned political trenches don’t seem particularly enthusiastic about him.
Daniels speaks in the measured tones of a technocratic manager. He has a bit of the policy wonk in him, and is most definitely not given to rhetorical flights of partisan hyperbole. In fact, Daniels sort of reminds me of a Republican version of our own Governor John Lynch, both in terms of size and demeanor, which is why he is probably not a good fit for the Tea Party-infused electoral environment that will likely define the next round of Republican presidential primaries and caucuses. Having called for a moratorium on the Republican Party’s pursuit of the conservative social agenda, even with his reputation as a fiscal conservative Daniels seems unlikely to captivate grassroots activists in the way necessary to compete effectively for their support in 2012.
Back posting on Thursday.


Posted On: 03-21-2011 22:35:25 by Jim Splaine
Not all Republicans are nitch voters on the so-called "social agenda." In fact, in New Hampshire at least, quite a few aren't. I suspect that a candidate who doesn't beg and bow to the Tea Party folk could do very well if there are three or four who are falling all over the right-wingers and leaners. Remember 1976, when a non-liberal peanut guy won in New Hampshire against a cluster of candidates who were going after the same constituency. He found a tunnel right to the top.

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