This post is part of my “2012 Presidential Election” series. Click here to see more in the series.
There’s been more and more buzz in political circles about Mitch Daniels recently, as Republicans try to find someone that can offer a solid alternative to President Obama in the 2012 election. I think this is primarily due to the fact that Republicans in general have soured to the candidates already assumed to be frontrunners in the race (Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, etc.). It seems like these candidates have been disqualified by Republican voters (or at least the media) for one thing or another:
- Mitt Romney – He passed an ObamaCare-like law as Massachusetts governor, and he’s too good-looking.
- Mike Huckabee – everybody likes him, but he doesn’t have a lot of substance.
- Sarah Palin – she’s too much “celebrity,” not enough “thinker,” and too shrill.
So that leaves us with the new candidates: Chris Christie (who says he’s not running), Paul Ryan (who says he’s not running), Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich (wait, he’s new?), and Mitch Daniels.
Mitch Daniels is a two-term governor of a midwestern state (Indiana), has led the state through financial stress, and has garnered some support for his straight-talking, no-nonsense style.
Interestingly, he balanced the Indiana state budget in his first term by a combination of increasing taxes and cutting spending. This is probably something that some conservatives won’t like, and he’ll probably get hammered for it. He was also in the news a lot recently with Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, because both states encountered Democratic walkouts in their state legislatures to protest union rule-changing. Indiana was trying to pass a right-to-work law, which would have made it illegal to require someone to join a union in order to work.
I think that Mitch Daniels will be a strong candidate for President, should he decide to run. His commitment to fiscal discipline is strong, and just what the country needs in order to eliminate our debt (you can read my post on why the U.S. should be debt-free here). He received the Fiscy Award for fiscal discipline in 2010, and has been praised by many publications for his effectiveness as a leader (see links below).
Here’s a video of Mitch Daniels at the CPAC 2011 conference, where he called debt the new “red menace.” Decide for yourself:
(If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, then click here)
“Mitch Daniels: The Right Stuff” – The Economist
“NY Times Flips its Whig Over Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.)” – Reason.com
“Run Mitch, Run” – New York Times