Mixed Signals Sent By Mitch Daniels

Bookmark and Share During a recent meeting with the editorial board of the Indianapolis Star Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels made it clear that he really is seriously considering a run for President. In questions fielded by the papers editorial board, Daniels gave answers that at times sounded like he was leaning towards a run.

Daniels made it clear that if he were to run he would base his campaign on what he calls the “red menace” of federal debt. Daniels is also quick to point out that if he does decide to run it would be because in regards to our debt, the country has put itself in a very difficult place.”

But while Governor Daniels made clear that the prospect of a run for the Republican presidential nomination was on the table, he also stated that insofar as the potential GOP presidential field goes, “I like all these folks, and odds are I will likely end up supporting one of them.”

The Indianapolis Star believes that even though Daniels claims that it is likely he will endorse someone else for President, the Governor seemingly does not indicate that there is anyone in the running who can effectively tackle the red menace that he believes we must resolve sooner rather than later. If that is the case, then Daniels surely will run. The question is, if the Indy Star is right, will Daniels continue to think that way? If not, those who are in the running will be hounding him to death for his endorsement of them. And after that, many will be placing him on their short list of possible running mates.

Bookmark and Share

Mitch Daniels Talks Unions, Budgets and the Presidency

Bookmark and ShareMSNBC Anchor and wife of former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Andre Mitchell, interviewed Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels on everything from the settling of his state budget and the passage of controversial labor related legislation to his so called truce on social issues and even Donald Trump and the birther issue.

At one point Andrea Mitchell asked the governor if he though in future elections, the people would reward him for his efforts on the budget and labor related legislation that he passed. To that, Daniels believe that his record will speak for itself but adds that he has never taken it upon himself to tell any voter what criteria to use but it is his belief that elections are about the future and if he were to ever be a candidate for elected office again, that is the type of campaign he would run.

As for a decision to run for President, Daniels says that once the legislative session in Indiana is over, if there are any relevant questions, he will answer them then.

Bookmark and Share

Mitch Daniels…”Keeping the Republic: Limited Government, Unlimited Citizens”

Bookmark and Share Although Mitch Daniels swears that it’s not a sign of a run for President he has nevertheless, signed a book deal with Sentinel, the conservative oriented publishing label of Penguin Group. The book is tentatively titled “Keeping the Republic: Limited Government, Unlimited Citizens“, and as it suggests it will deal with the virtues of conservative fiscal principles and policies.

Daniels told the Associated Press the idea of writing a book came together well before anybody suggested to me that I was a candidate for anything.” He added that no matter what he does he can’t keep people from leaping to the wrong conclusion that this is a sure sign that he is running for President.That may be so. Daniels may not yet have made a decision about a run for President and his wife, Cheri, has expressed a reluctance towards the idea. But the book is scheduled to come out in September, just around when the Republican presidential contest begins in earnest.

That timing is probably less motivated by Mitch Daniels than it is by Penguin Books.

While Daniels may not yet be sure, the interests behind Penguin are probably betting that he will run, thereby pushing sales of the book way up once it hits the shelves. As for Governor Daniels, whatever proceeds he makes from the book, he tells the AP that much of it will go to charity.

No matter what though, this book will certainly help to solidify Mitch Daniels superior credentials on fiscal policy and its implementation, something that is sure to still be a substantial hot button issue in the general election for President.

Bookmark and Share

Is a Barbour/Daniels Republican Presidential Ticket in the Works?

Mitch Daniels (left) & Haley Barbour (right)

Bookmark and Share Haley Barbour and Mitch Daniels are friends whose bonds developed during the early stages of their political careers when they worked in the Reagan Administration. Through the years, their friendship grew in to one that was shared by their families as the wives and children vacationed together. The friendship is not a political one. It is a personal one and that distinction is quite an important one. It is a distinction which could prevent one of the two to forego a run for President in 2012.

Both Haley Barbour are spoken of as potentially powerful candidates for President and both men are considering a run. But in an article by Politico, Daniels told Jonathan Martin

My first inclination would be to help Haley,” and adding “It would be unusual [if we both ran]. On every past occasion, we’ve been teammates.”

But for his part, Haley Barbour, a man who is truly more of a political animal than Daniels, has a bit of different spin. He shrewdly holds up his friendship with Daniels as one so strong that politics could never weaken it. When asked if his personal friendship with Mitch Daniels would make a difference in his decision to run for president or not, Barbour told Politico;

“If I thought we would have some falling out, it would, but I really don’t think we would have a falling out,”. He added “I think too much of him.”

Barbour also revealed that he suggested Mitch Daniels run for president even if he does too.

But while I do believe Barbour would easily run against his friend in a Republican primary for president, I do not believe Mitch Daniels would.

Mitch Daniels knows that Haley Barbour has the ability to consolidate the political and financial resources that Daniels would try to tap in to. For while the career paths of Daniels and Barbour have crossed, they took somewhat different directions. While Daniels immersed himself in policy and legislation, Barbour spent a significant amount of time building the Republican political machine, a machine that could now start working for him if he chose to run for President.

All things considered, the underlying dynamics of the Barbour – Daniels personal relationship could actually be the impetus behind a script that is slowly unfolding before our eyes. Could it be that these two friends whom Daniels once defined as teammates already know where theyre headed?

One school of thought is that Barbour will in fact seek the presidency and that Mitch Daniels will eventually join him, but as Vice President on Barbours G.O.P. ticket. This scenario would fit in to the current storyline quite well. While both Barbour and Daniels are increasing their out of state political presence and beginning to accept speaking engagements that normally precede a run for President, it is Haley Barbour who is calling some of the most prolific Republican fundraisers and bundlers and telling them to not commit to any of the potential Republican presidential candidates until he has made up his own on whether or not he will run. For his part, beyond a speaking engagements, Mitch Daniels has not as of yet conducted any discernable activities that would lead one to believe that he is preparing for a decision to actually run. At least none that are as aggressive as Barbour.

Yet Mitch Daniels has refused to say that he is definitely not running. He claims that he will make that decision sometime after the Indiana state legislative session ends in April. In the meantime, speculation about a Daniels run gains fuel. Not only are there draft Daniels for President movements popping up, a recent straw poll of Washington state Republican leaders gave Daniels a strong first place showing.

All of this only helps to raise the stature of Mitch Daniels and letting it play itself out could provide a boost for Barbour if in the end, he wins the Republican presidential nomination and then taps his trusted and popular friend to be his Vice President.

Vice Presidential nominees are not usually the determining factor in a presidential election. In 1992, Al Gore did not even deliver his home state of Tennessee to Bill Clinton. But in 2008 many suggest that John McCains selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, helped to fire up the Republican base which up till then, was not very enthusiastic. But in 2012, a Barbour-Daniels ticket could prove to be the winning ticket.

While Haley Barbour should be able to corral support from the South of which he is a son of, Mitch Daniels can certainly be a net gain for Republicans in the important Midwest. Daniels could force President Obama to invest more time and money into Illinois, his home state and the neighboring state to Daniels Indiana. Mitch Daniels could also help the Republican ticket to run strong in Ohio and most certainly deliver Indiana for the G.O.P.. In 2008, Indiana went Democratic in the presidential election for the first time since 1964.

Between a solid South for the G.O.P., and reclaiming Indiana and Ohio. All a Barbour-Daniels ticket would need to reach 270 electoral votes is Colorado. But a combination of New Mexico and Nevada could also make winning possible. Of course if the G.O.P. keeps a solid South and can take Indiana and Ohio, just winning Illinois would provide them with the magic number needed to take back the White House.

For now, to discuss who will be the nominee for Vice President when we have no idea who the nominee for President will be, is, to say the least, a stretch. But a look at the underlying political forces that involve the political math and the personal relationship of Barbour and Daniels, and what you have is a very plausible scenario. For me the only real question regarding this scenario is whether or not I would personally prefer a Daniels-Barbour ticket to a Barbour-Daniels ticket?

Bookmark and Share

Daniels Outshines Barbour in Comparison of State of the State Addresses

Bookmark and Share While all the Governors of all the states are gearing up for their State of the State addresses or have already given them, few such speeches had or will have the type of pressure and drama around them than do those of Indianas Governor Mitch Daniels and Mississippis Governor Haley Barbour.

Barbour and Daniels are both second term Governors who are in their last year in office. Both men remain popular within their states and have some of the highest favorable ratings from their voters then do the Governors of all other states. And both men have performed their jobs and led their states so well that they are often mentioned as potential candidates for President. For these reasons, perhaps more than most other State of the State addresses, the ones issued by Daniels and Barbour deserve special attention.

If either man is considering a run for President, their State of the State addresses offered them the opportunity to set the stage for that campaign. It provided them a chance to define their previous seven years of leadership and set a tone for their future leadership. On Tuesday, both men set that stage.

While both men, to one extent or another, responsibly addressed the specific problems of their respective states, with very different styles, Barbour and Daniels struck strikingly similar tones on matters of their state budgets, rainy day funds, jobs, taxes, education and fiscal responsibility. Both men boasted the importance of balanced budgets, the need for education reforms, more charter schools, job creation, and the promise of no new taxes, especially in the middle of a national economic downturn. Barbour and Daniels also made sure to point out how much more fiscally responsible and how much better off their states are than are other states during this historically sluggish national economy. But it was the performance of Mitch Daniels that put Haley Barbour to shame.

Mitch Daniels delivered a speech that outshined Haley Barbour both in style and substance. Daniels address was articulate, upbeat, creative, detailed, organized, easy flowing and laced with humor and memorable quotes that drove home the impression of an accomplished man who was confident, in control and possessing great leadership skill and vision. Daniels speech subtly created the impression of a state that he governed to a point where it now leads the nation in fiscal responsibility, government reform and accountability. But even better for Daniels is the fact that his state is actually a leader in all those areas.

Without taking the credit, Governor Daniels pointed these facts out as he ticked off a list of proud accomplishments such as building one of the best job climates in the country, breaking the all-time record for new job commitments, and adding new jobs at twice the national average. .

We Hoosiers don’t like to wait, when we can act. If we cannot overcome a nationwide job hemorrhage, we can fight back better than others. Again in 2010, we broke all records for road building and bridge building, for the fourth year in a row, and put thousands to work doing so, said Daniels.

Daniels also touted a 2008 property tax cut that took effectand till this dayprovided home and business owners an additional $600 million still in their bank accounts and made Indianas property taxes the lowest anywhere in America.

Daniels described his handling of the budget as the clearest example of Hoosier resolve and explained the state handled a two billion dollar drop in state revenues as any family would, as any small business would. We decided what is most important, separated the must dos from the nice to dos, and matched spending to income.

He added Across the country, state spending, despite the recession, is still up sharply the last six years. But here, it is virtually flat, one-third the rate of inflation. Elsewhere, state government payrolls have grown, but here, we have the nation’s fewest state employees per capita, fewer than we did in 1978. During this terrible recession, at least 35 states raised taxes, but Indiana cut them. Since ’04, the other 49 states added to their debt, by 40 percent; we paid ours down, by 40 percent. Many states exhausted any reserves they may have had, and plunged into the red, but our savings account remains strong, and our credit AAA.

Governor Daniels again referred to taxes as he began to discuss the future state budget that he will be proposing. He assured legislators that he will welcome amendments and improvements, but only if they lived up to four principles, one being no tax increases to which he added Can I get an amen to that?. The other three principles included the requirement that the state stay in the black at all times, with a prudent budget excess in reserve. Two, annual revenues must exceed annual spending, with no need for any use of the state savings account. And three, no gimmicks such as raiding teacher pension funds and shifting state deficit funds to schools and universities by making them wait until the state had cash to pay them.

Daniels also proposed what he called lasting spending discipline by enacting an automatic taxpayer refund. When the day comes again when state reserves exceed 10 percent of annual needs, it will be time to stop collecting taxes and leave them with the people they belong to.” said Daniels.

He added Remember what the Hoosier philosopher said: It’s tainted money. Taint yours, and taint mine. Beyond some point, it is far better to leave dollars in the pockets of those who earned them than to let them burn a hole, as they always do, in the pockets of government.

Daniels speech also addressed the Issue of reform, reform of government, the criminal justice system and education. He spoke of the need to reform outdated forms of local government and end the conflicts of interest seen when double-dipping government workers simultaneously sit on city or county councils, interrogating their own supervisors and deciding their own salaries and putting a stop to the nepotism that leads to one in four township employees sharing a last name with the politician who hired them.

In addition to his good government reform initiatives, Governor Daniels called upon to legislators to see that lawbreakers are incarcerated in a smarter way, one that matches their place of punishment to their true danger to society. He noted We can be tougher on the worst offenders, and protect Hoosiers more securely, while saving a billion dollars the next few years. Let’s seize this opportunity, without waiting.

On the issue of education. In setting that up as an item on the agenda of the upcoming legislative session, Daniels said When we are courting a new business, right behind taxes, the cost of energy, reasonable regulation, and transportation facilities comes schools. What kind of school will my children, and our workers children attend? is a question were always asked. Sometimes, in some places, it costs us jobs today. There is no time to wait. Some of the initiatives he laid out included raising the quality of those teaching in Indiana by putting an end to tenure based upon seniority and age and placing the emphasis on quality and achievement. He also called upon the legislator to peel away unnecessary requirements that consume time and money without really contributing to learning by repealing mandates that should be left to local control and by insuring that collective bargaining stop micromanaging school leaders and handcuffing them in a way that makes it impossible for them to meet higher expectations.

Daniels final plea on education was to increase competition in education and increase the number of charter schools in the state. He called upon legislators to honor the parents of Indiana. and to trust and respect them enough, to decide when, where, and how their children can receive the best education, and therefore the best chance in life.

In its entirety, Daniels speech helped solidify his credentials as a fiscal conservative who knows how to actually make government curb spending and balance budgets. He also demonstrated himself to be a man of ideas and an effective communicator who unlike President Obama, has the ability to appeal to voters with more substance than flash.

On the other hand, Barbour delivered a speech that had just about as much substance but lacked the conviction that Mitch Daniels offered. Barbour did however put a greater emphasis on job creation and highlighted something that Daniels did not.energy.

Barbour committed himself to making job creation his top priority, adding I think it should be the countrys top priority too. Governor Barbour pointed out that Mississippis efforts in jobs skills training has helped raise the states per capita income by 27%, one of the larger increases in the country. He pointed to the implementation of innovative energy technologies that are providing jobs and giving Mississippi Power customer’s stable, affordable base-load electric rates for decades to come and creating the first commercial-scale example of carbon capture and energy sequestration in America. The Governor stated Both improving the skills of our workforce and being a reliable energy state are critical to job creation in Mississippi now and for many years to come.

More people working means more income for those families who were personally hit by this global recession. It means more revenue for our small and middle sized businesses, the backbone of our economy, and of the nation’s economy, too. And here in state government, job creation means more taxpayers with more taxable income. Indeed, most of the difficult budget issues facing us this session and for another year or two after that, directly result from job losses and the recession that led to them. said Barbour.

Much of the rest of Barbours State of the State of the address focused in on the need for a balanced budget and the budget cuts that will be required to get there. The Governor warned that with federal stimulus dollars drying up, the state budget will become even harder to balance and as such he addressed the need for a change in state laws that makes it impossible for the governor to cut any agencies budget by more than 5%. Governor Barbour asked for that limit to be raised to at least 10%.

In the final analysis, if one were to judge the chances of a successful presidential strategy based upon the substance and style of the two State of the State addresses, Mitch Daniels comes out far ahead of Haley Barbour. In his speech, Daniels displayed the character and content that would best counter President Obama. Mitch Daniels strongly struck the chords that President Obama is the weakest on, such as the economy and fiscal responsibility. But contrary to Daniels, in his State of the State address, Barbour did little to impress anyone. He did not distinguish himself as a leader excelling in any specific area or on any specific issue. And as for his style, Mitch Daniels has never been known for having an overwhelmingly appealing personality, but next to Barbour, Daniels came across like a rock star.

A comparison of the two speeches led me to conclude that if Mitch Daniels decides not to run for President after the Indian legislative session is over in April, not only will I be disappointed, Haley Barbour would be wise to hire Mitchs speech writers for his own campaign. After listening to the speech just written by his existing staff, it is easy to see whose is more savvy than the others.

Bookmark and Share

Haley Barbour’s State of the State Address

Click Here for

Mitch Daniels’ State of the State Address

Mitch Daniels Admits a Late Start Could Hurt Him

Bookmark and Share If Mitch Daniels is running for President, he will not be making such an annoucement anytime soon and he made that quite clear during an interview with Indiana’s WISH-TV host Jim Shella. In it, the Indiana Governor holds firm on a committment he made in an earlier on another station in which hepromised not to make a decision about the presidency until the next legislative session end in April.

Daniels believes that his responsibiloity to Governm during that time is critical to his serving the people of Indiana properly. But he added

“In fairness to people from all over the place many of whom I’ve only read about before who like this idea [of Daniels running for president], I owe them some kind of an answer,”

But if the answer regarfding a run for Presidnet is in the affirmative, April may put him in the game a little late. And that is exactlythe situationthatanchor Jim Shellaput beforeGovernor Daniels

SHELLA: [There’s] been a lot of reporting by national media this year about folks who are interested in having you run for President.

You have said over and over again that you won’t say anything about that until after the legislative session in 2011. I understand that.

My question today is: By not deciding, are you, in fact, deciding?

DANIELS: Maybe. It’s a great question.

You mean, ‘shouldn’t you be getting started, and heading to Iowa, and doing whatever it is people do?’

SHELLA: Exactly.

DANIELS: Yeah, maybe. If so, so. My duty is here. My heart is here. I’m incredibly excited about the chance for us to do more really good things for Indiana in the next four months, and that’s coming first.

So if it’s too late then, it’s too late.

Interestingly though, as observed in the video below, Daniels does take the opportunity to, in quite a most humble manner, point out that he is amazed at just how many people are urging him to run for President.

One thing is for sure. Despite any denials to the contrary, Daniels most certainly is considering a run for president. If he wasn’t, he would have taken a page from Chris Christie and officially declared that he was not running.

Bookmark and Share
%d bloggers like this: