Governor “Truce” talks up a presidential run

Well, it seems that Republican insiders are flying to Indianapolis to see if Gov. Mitch Daniels wants to give a presidential run a try. It’s not quite the coronation kiss-the-ring that sent scores of GOP insiders to Austin, Texas, in 1999, to be sure. But it is significant that Republican establishment folks think they need a backup plan in case Romney (who I can’t stand) can’t close the sale.

I once was a big booster of Daniels myself, until he committed an enormous unforced error by calling for a “truce” on abortion this past June. The comment immediately earned him (rightly) the scorn of pro-life and pro-family voters.

And it didn’t make electoral sense either. The conservative coalition, for better or for worse, is made up of national security hawks, social conservatives, and economic conservatives. Of these three, the pursuit of whose agenda caused the American people, especially independents (many Catholic) to jettison the Republican Party costing the GOP not only Congress in 2006 but the White House in 2008? Yeah, the war. Duh.

Do they really think that the Republican Congresses of this past decade were too obsessed with abortion and marriage? Do they really think that banning partial-birth abortion was the reason they lost Congress? Do they thinking support marriage is political posion when in won in California?

I like a lot of what Mitch Daniels is doing in Indiana. He’s cutting their state’s bloated government and making the Hoosier State the shining star in the middle of a dying Rust Belt. He’s definitely got a place in the next Republican administration.

But there’s more to the job of President than just pinching pennies and cutting back government. Yes, that is critical. But we don’t elect accountants. We elect leaders.



  • Adam W

    I am convinced that Gov. Daniels is the perfect person to occupy 1600 Penn. Ave. He has done more for Indiana than any other Governor since I was born, granted I was born in 1981. If not for Governor Daniels, Indiana would be no better off than the surrounding states. Yes, he has said some stupid things, the Regan comment was especially dumb, but he has the ability to overcome comments such as these. We also need to remember that he has extensive experience in Washington, having served in the Regan and Bush 43 administrations (not to mention the work he did for Hoosier members of the Legislative Branch). I’m praying that soon, Governor Daniels announces a run for the Presidency. That would be one campaign I would love to help.

  • Nathan

    Well, nuts. Joshua, I posted a fairly long response last night that, because of some connection issue, obviously didn’t make it through. The short version is that we aren’t that far apart in what we think. I agree no politician needs to run from being pro-life, but that I don’t think Daniels is running from that. He reminds me of a guy I worked for to help win the GOP Senate nomination, and this candidate is staunchly pro-life and has always voted to defend the unborn, but he doesn’t define himself as a culture warrior. Daniels is probably in the same mold. Second, we also agree that in this election cycle, hammering away on fiscal issues is the winning path, as Christie and Brown have shown in liberal states. There’s no need to run away from being pro-life, but there’s no need to push it to the fore, either. I had more thoughts about Daniels in the other post, but it might be for the best that I spared everyone of that! :)

  • Justin Aquila

    I am still a Mitch Daniels fan in spite of his “truce” comments, which he almost immediately walked back. The kind of fiscal discipline that Daniels would usher in would surely lead him to cut off funding for abortion and Planned Parenthood. It’s not like we are talking about guy who doesn’t have a sterling pro-life record (cough, Romney, cough). As long as Daniels is willing to sign pro-life legislation that comes across his desk, cut funding for abortion, restore Mexico City, and appoint anti-Roe Justices, I can’t see any problems with him. Many of my pro-life friends said that they supported Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie even though neither of them used strong anti-abortion rhetoric as candidates. Yet, Chris Christie has done quite a bit to de-fund abortion groups. Obviously, I haven’t decided who I am going to vote for in 2012 (for starters I don’t know the field), but I can tell you I am not counting Daniels out.

  • Joshua Mercer

    You ask, “What exactly do people expect a President to do on life issues? Appoint judges, reinstate the Mexico City Policy, and limit, if not ban altogether, funding for Planned Parenthood and embryonic stem cell lines. What else am I missing?”

    Well, that would be a great start. Mexico City and appointing judges would be what Bush did. Banning funding for PP would be in addition to this. Even more would be great of course, though perhaps it’s not politically possible at this moment.

    Daniels’ talk of truce, however, indicated that he might be willing to do even this… He has done some backtracking from this initial comments. But it’s important for pro-lifers to push back against “truce” talk.

    For many years, it was a little bit of a political liability (though not as big as pro-choice GOPers said) to be pro-life.

    Now it’s not a liability as the majority of Americans are pro-life. So why — just as people are trending our way — would we even talk of a “truce.”

    I’m not advocating a full frontal political push for the GOP… I’m not suggesting that the Republicans make it issue #1. (I wouldn’t mind, but I realize the environment.)

    I’m just saying, don’t abandon this issue. Not now. You can win with this issue. I don’t think House Republicans should run away from this issue in the mid-terms. And I don’t think the Republican nominee in 2012 should shy away from the issue like Dole did in 1996 and Bush did in 1992.

  • Nathan

    What exactly do people expect a President to do on life issues? Appoint judges, reinstate the Mexico City Policy, and limit, if not ban altogether, funding for Planned Parenthood and embryonic stem cell lines. What else am I missing? And where would he fail on any regard?

    Tell me who’s a better potential nominee at this point. I defy you to do so. Governor Christie’s quotes suggest that he’s not forceful enough regarding abortion, either; Pawlenty has dropped off the radar; the Republican base still can’t get over Romney’s Mormon faith; and that same base isn’t large enough to get Palin the White House if it can deliver her the nomination. Senator Thune looks presidential, but no one could pick him out of a line-up right now.

    Mitch Daniels may not be the pro-life leader people want(whatever it is that they want him to be and if that leader exists at all), but he is the sensible conservative the GOP *needs* at this very moment. Only he has a record that could attract the Independents and conservative Democrats needed to beat President Obama. Americans have finally become concerned about the soaring deficits and the lack of job creation, and focusing on that is what will win Independents. And if it’s no longer good enough in the eyes of the GOP base to be pro-life as Governor Daniels is, that social issues such as abortion and gay rights have to be THE top priorities, then my party should get used to not controlling the Executive, and thereby not appointing judges who who question the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade.

    I want to win in 2012. I want to protect human life at all stages. It’s myopic to think Mitch Daniels can’t do both.



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