Mitch Daniels, the Indiana governor who once ran the OMB, is being touted by some as a potential presidential candidate in 2012. He may have blown his chances for a nomination with the following statement he made at CPAC.
But later in the speech, Daniels spoke words that must have seemed near sacrilege to this very conservative crowd of activists. He said conservatives need to lead, but they can’t do it alone. He said big change requires big majorities, adding, “We will need people who never tune in to Rush (Limbaugh) or Glenn (Beck) or Laura (Ingraham) or Sean (Hannity).” A first name only was enough for this crowd to know who Daniels was talking about.
If I wanted to be nominated as the GOP candidate in 2012, I would never utter such a statement. If I were interested in governing the country as a Republican president, I would say those words often. Someone needs to reclaim the GOP from its entertainer class. Listening to these people, most potential GOP voters now believe that Obama is not a U.S. citizen. We need to get a GOP leader who will not say these things.
Victor Sharpe solemnly declares: “My fear is that Obama is not naïve at all, but he instead knows only too well what he is doing, for he is eagerly promoting Islamic power in the world while diminishing the West.”
These attitudes thrive well beyond the blogosphere and the right-wing fringe. On Jan. 7, Sarah Palin spoke briefly on Laura Ingraham’s radio show, saying, “What I believe that Obama is doing right now—he is hell-bent on weakening America.” While acknowledging that “it’s gonna get some people all wee-weed up again,” she repeated and amplified her charge that “what Obama is doing” is “purposefully weakening America—because he understood that debt weakened America, domestically and internationally, and yet now he supports increasing debt.”
Instead, we ned a GOP leader who will give us an honest choice. One who will say that he disagrees with the Democratic health care plan, while offering his own. One who says he disagrees with the Democratic plans for cutting debt, then offering his own. One who can tell us why he disagrees with Obama’s foreign policy, then offer his own ideas. In other words, we need someone who wants to govern, not score points by making up stories about those with whom he disagrees.
Is Daniels that guy? I do not know yet. After all, this is the guy who ran the OMB when we got Medicare Part D, the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation in recent history. Still, by all accounts, he has been more pragmatic as a governor, and he appears to be willing to take on those in his own party who detract from the process of governing the entire country.