What do you think? Does President Mitch Daniels work? It has a pretty good ring to it I think!
I have just finished watching Mitch Daniel's speech to CPAC in its entirety (an extract can be found here), and I am extremely impressed. His speech was hard hitting, yet jocular when it needed to be, and it labelled the US debt crisis as the new "red menace" which I thought was media savvey, and also very accurate, considering the scope of US debt. There are a great many people saying that this guy could be an outsider for a 2012 Presidential run, and from that speech, it doesn't necessarily sound like a bad call to make!
I have said for a while that the problem with the current crop of potential Republican nominees is that they are either not conservative enough, or if they are, that they would (through no fault of their own necessarily) make the election about them, and not about the Obama agenda.
For instance, I love Sarah Palin, but if she were to be made the Republican nominee, the election would become all about Sarah Palin and whether she was "fit for office" as opposed to focusing on why Obamunism has been a complete and utter disaster. The media would pick her apart like in 2008, it would quickly become about personality politics, and that is unfortunately always somewhere where the Democrats win - not because they have particularly great personalities, but because they can draw on their Hollywood resources to make said candidate look like a movie star. Look at Obama, no personality, but everyone still seems to think he is a really nice, cool kinda guy.
This is why we need someone who has good solid conservative credentials, and has the ability to make sure that the election will be about Obama and American principles, and not silly personality politics. Mitch Daniels seems to be a possibility for the nomination from this conclusion, even though he is very much on the outskirts at this point. For me, he seems quiet yet funny, urgent but not ranty, clear but not condescending, and as someone who is very very likeable. Plus, from a brief glance at his bio, and from what he has said in his speech, he seems to have solid conservative credentials. He could be the candidate we have been looking for.
Am I sure about this yet? Of course not! I would need to see a lot more before I was ready to say "Yup, this is the guy!" But I think at this point, conservative commentators need to be saying, "You know what? Let's look at this guy a little closer and see what he is like under a bit of scrutiny." Instead of engaging in constant debate about Romney and Mormonism, it is time to take a stronger and more intense look at some of the outsiders in the race. It may be among the outsiders that we find our diamond in the rough!
I genuinely believe that if we can get out of the "Your choice is Palin or Romney or Paul and that's it" then we can have a really interesting primary season that will ultimately pick the very best candidate, and one who can beat Obama's lot in 2012. That candidate may be someone who comes out of nowhere - like a Mitch Daniels - or it might be someone we have heard of for a while - like a Palin or a Romney. But it is time to make sure that we do not get focused upon a select cadre of pre-selected candidates, and start looking for what we really want from a potential President.
I do think the right candidate is out there, but I am not sure if we have found them yet. However, if Mitch Daniels can keep going in the same vein in which he made his CPAC speech, then it is possible that we may have just found the future President of the United States of America.