Mitch Daniels For President In 2012
Indiana GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels is emerging as a favored contender for the 2012 presidential election.
Politico says that as governor he has practiced the sort of fiscal conservatism that he preached as “The Blade” during his tenure as President George W. Bush’s head of the Office of Management and Budget.
In many ways, Daniels is the anti-Obama as described in the following by Politico:
Republican admirers from Washington, Indiana and elsewhere, hoping to encourage their favorite Hoosier, are out in force to make the case that a balding, blunt, unprepossessing, listed-at-5-foot-7 policy wonk would be a strong contender to take on President Barack Obama. Their shorthand is that he’s the un-Obama. If the country has soured on a charismatic orator who brought glamour but little executive experience to the presidency, the thinking goes, then Daniels could provide the antidote.
At 60, Daniels’s résumé is exhaustive: He’s a Princeton-educated former Senate chief of staff-turned political operative-turned think tank chief-turned Fortune 500 executive-turned White House budget director-turned two-term governor.
He likes to ride motorcycles, has traversed the state in two campaigns almost entirely in a Winnebago — on which he wrote his own speeches and kept a running travelogue — and he stays in private homes when he overnights in the state outside the capital.
“Do we want a president that’s pretty, or do we want one who can get the job done?” is how Anne Hathaway, a former Republican National Committee chief of staff puts it.
“Mitch Daniels is one of the best policy-oriented governors in the U.S.,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush wrote in an e-mail.
“He actually believes in small government, understands it and practiced it,” said longtime GOP strategist Frank Donatelli.
“He’s a very plain-spoken policymaker who, often to his own detriment, will not mince words,” added John Hammond, a top Indianapolis attorney and GOP fundraiser. “And I think people are thirsty for that.”
Mary Matalin, a longtime Bush family loyalist who is also close to former Vice President Dick Cheney, called Daniels “a giant brain.”
“He has unparalleled policy depth combined with razor-sharp political skills, not to mention steely courage to stay the course on tough decisions,” Matalin said.
According to Politico, in his recent interview with a group of Washington reporters, he bemoaned the “savagery of our politics,” saying: “I want to see our party campaign and govern, not merely to win.”
That sober sensibility, a friend said, is part of the Daniels appeal.
“He’s a very intellectual guy,” said this person. “He’s not Glenn Beck. He’s not going to pound the table.”