Mitch Daniels

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels

Born: April 7, 1949 (1949-04-07) (age 61), Monongahela, Pennsylvania

Spouse(s): Cheri Lynn Herman Daniels

Children : Meagan, Melissa, Meredith and Margaret

Residence : Governor’s Residence, Indianapolis, Indiana

Alma mater: Princeton University, Georgetown University Law Center

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Profession: Businessman (pharmaceuticals)

Political Career :

  • Worked on the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of William D. Ruckelshaus.
  • Interned in the office of then-Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar.
  • Worked on Lugar’s re-election campaign, joined the Mayor Lugar’s staff and soon became his Chief of Staff.
  • When Lugar was elected to the U.S. Senate, Daniels joined him Washington as an administrative assistant. And eventually as one of his top aides.
  • Daniels went on to become executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee,
  • He was also the campaign manager of three successful Senate campaigns for Richard Lugar.
  • In 1985 Daniels became a part of the Reagan Administration when he became chief political advisor and liaison to President Ronald Reagan.
  • In January 2001, Daniels accepted President George W. Bush’s invitation to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) where He served from January 2001 through June 2003 and in that role after proving to be a real cutter of budgets, he earned the nickname “the Blade”
  • Daniels also served a member of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.
  • In 2004 and 2008, Daniels was elected Governor of Indiana.

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Click here for Mitch Daniels’ Facebook Page

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Click here for Mitch Daniels’ Record on The Issues

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Mitch Daniels is a quiet doer. He does not rattle the cages for the sake of making noise and he does not seek to be a revolutionary figure. He simply seeks to do things right and since becoming Governor of Indiana in 2004, Mitch Daniels has been doing everything right. At least for his fellow Hoosiers.

When he first took over in Indiana in 2004, Daniels inherited an $800 million deficit and by the time he was running for reelection in 2008, that deficit was turned in to a $1.3 billion surplus.

That is one reason why he won his 2008 reelection by an 18% margin. Not a bad margin of victory, especially when you consider the fact that at the same time, a majority of Indiana voters pulled the lever for Barack Obama for President and he even received 20% of the African-American vote. That is an unusually high percentage for any Republican anywhere. But on top of that, the makeup of Mitch Daniels reelection victory was comprised of 51 percent of the youth vote, 67 percent of the elderly, 57 percent of independent voters and even 24 percent of the Democrats in the state. All of which means that Mitch Daniels has crossover appeal.

Among Indiana voters, Daniels’ steady hand and managerial style helped to distance him from any of the national anti-Republican sentiments that existed at the time.

Generally a low-key, unassuming man, Daniels doesn’t package himself as some sort of political rock star. He avoids the trappings of many politicians who invoke the expertise of handlers and writes his own speeches, and in many cases, his own campaign ads too.

So while his speeches may lack some of the jingoisms and flare that wrap his words up in brightly covered packages, he does speak from the heart and addresses the issues in quite substantive detail.

As a conservative he has refrained from the wholesale selling out of the ideals that many in the G.O.P. have done over the past five or so years. Just one example can be demonstrated by the size of Indiana’s government.

While governments in most other states have increased in size, Mitch Daniels has shrunk both the size and cost of government. Currently the state has about 30,000 public employees. That is the smallest number of state employees since 1983. And while reducing the existing size of government he also reduced the growth rate of state spending from 5.9 percent to 2.8 percent. All of which had much to do with his having once turned an $800 million deficit into a $1.3 billion surplus.

On social issues Mitch Daniels is almost as conservative as he is on fiscal issues but he avoids making them the focus of his Administration and he never turns them into political wedge issues. This philosophical approach is based on what he sees as a matter of priorities and gubernatorial responsibility. But that sounds very noncommittal to many on the far right. For them, that approach seems to be a way of avoiding the tough issues like stem cell research and abortion.

But Daniels believes that at least right now, the priority of government is to get its house in order and a handle on its broken fiscal policies.

That sentiment was recently expressed by the Governor when he told the Weekly Standard that Republicans have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while, until the economic issues are resolved.

If Daniels does run for President, much of the Republican base which is made up of far-right conservatives, will hold that against the Governor. They want a conservative version of Barack Obama a Republican whose agenda will be as radical as the President’s but radically right, not radically left.

But as a Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels knows that a good manager must prioritize and as such he sees America’s fiscal policies and its economy and debt as the top priority. On that, Daniels has been ahead of the curve and demonstrated that he is in tune with most Americans who now believe that that American debt is the number one issue facing our nation today. It even surpasses terrorism as the most important issue to deal with.

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If Mitch does decide to run either with a little prompting from his friends and supporters, through his own desire or combination of both, he will be formidable. He is witty, and personable and has proven to be able to effectively deal with what really maters to people these days.

While he may initially have some trouble outpacing some other well established and in some cases, better known contenders, if Daniels can raise enough to remain in the top tier of the early field, he should be able to tap onto enough money to hold his own in a long and drawn out primary season.

But it still remains to be seen if he will run.

In 2009 Mitch Daniels stated that he was not running for President . But as 2010 unfolded, the Governor recanted that intention and replaced it with an emphatic claim to not close the door to such a candidacy. According to him, his greatest apprehension to the idea is the rigors to which a presidential campaign would put his family through.

If that hurdle of apprehension can be overcome, Mitch Daniels will bring much to the GOP presidential primaries. He is a man of ideas and principles who after seeing many of his fellow Republicans while he remained stranding in 2009 said Republicans will have to “spend time in the penalty box” and earn back the public’s trust before they would be returned to power.

That kind of thinking and public honesty will appeal to many. Republicans who were less than enthused by the lack of conviction of their Party in the years since 2006, and Tea Party patriots who have been angered by the GOP’s wishy-washiness, will appreciate a respectable candidate who is willing to criticize his own Party and their past mistakes. It will encourages many to believe in Daniels because of the perception that he gets it. The perception that he too realizes the wrongs which must be corrected and never repeated.

This will all help to insure that those who run against him for the nomination will not have it easy. Mitch Daniels entry into the race will force everyone to offer an honest assessment of the G.O.P. while at the same time, force every primary competitor to move further to the right of Daniels on fiscal matters. On those matters, it will be quite hard to out-conservative a fiscal conservative like Mitch Daniels, but the final product of such a competition we will be something that we will all be the better for.

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Click here to visit Mitch Daniel’s Website

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One Response

  1. While I appreciate your website and read it often, it is difficult to assign it too much credibility. I had been using it in class but it is becoming more difficult to do so as the errors in grammar, punctuation and typo’s are being called-out by my students. Credible writing requires more than just accurate facts; one must relate those facts with quality writing. Poor writing innately implies a lack of credibility. Please proof your writing before publishing. I like your site, and miss using it in class, but I am forced into not using it because of the poor writing. Thank you!

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