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.