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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 01/ 4/2011

Mitch Daniels's (boys and) girls?

By Jennifer Rubin

As we begin 2011, the Republican 2012 contenders begin some pre-announcement posturing and their supporters hope to push along the more reluctant candidates. A case in point is Students for Mitch Daniels, which has launched a sharp-looking website on behalf of the Indiana governor. The group is largely run by Yale students, bolstering the observation of many that Ivy League faculty may not be in sync with students' politics these days. The pro-Daniels students appear to be far more serious and sober than the "Obama girls" who swooned in 2008.

Daniels, if he decides to run, will, I suspect, attract a great deal of attention and support from conservatives who are shopping for a fiscal conservative who can breach whatever gap exists between Tea Partyers and establishment Republicans. Should he run, other governors or former governors may find it hard to get traction. Why choose a Mitt Romney or a Haley Barbour, who both carry some political baggage, when Daniels is in the race?

True, Daniels put off some social conservatives with talk of a "truce" on social issues and worried some national security hawks (by stressing the need for penny-pinching on defense) when he put out some feelers last year. But if he is serious and disciplined now, when GOP activists are beginning to pay attention to the field, those missteps can be corrected. Frankly, if a bunch of college kids can get excited by a Midwestern governor with minimal charisma and a laser-like devotion to entitlement reform, he may find the party is in a mood for a decidedly un-Obama-like figure.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 4, 2011; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Or maybe a bunch of college kids put together a website to see how many people would write them up as though they were the leading edge of a hip new trend.

Posted by: mustangs79 | January 4, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Front runners catch all the hell. Daniels should wait until the last second to declare and let Palin and Romney absorb the beating.

Posted by: 54465446 | January 4, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Daniels can't win because he's short. He's joked about it, but I think it is seriously a challenge to his candidacy. Americans nearly always elect the taller candidate, and in this case, nearly any male opponent (and quite a few females) will be taller.

Posted by: theloverly | January 4, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Right Turn's really generating a lot of buzz!

Posted by: danw1 | January 4, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

You wrote about his 'truce' and 'penny-pinching' comments saying 'those missteps can be corrected'.

Do you think he really means something other then what he said, or do you feel they are missteps because they are not the politically correct thing to say?

Posted by: brianbefano | January 4, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

If Daniels is not solidly pro-life, he won't be able to win the primaries.
Sarah will win the nomination, if she chooses to run.
I believe she'd win against Obama, too, but that's far more speculative, and dependent a bit on her handling of the hostile elite media.

I like Daniels, but short ... usually comes up short.

Posted by: TomGrey2 | January 4, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

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