Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 4:10 PM ET, 03/11/2011

Mitch Daniels doubles down on social issues 'truce'

By Jennifer Rubin

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) was recently interviewed by the Hoover Institution's Peter Robinson. The full interview airs Monday, but the released clips are already causing a stir:

Daniels's remarks are troubling for two reasons. First, he has made our fiscal crisis out to be so monumental that nothing else registers as a top priority. Much as Obama insists that international consensus trumps all other foreign policy concerns (e.g. human rights, warm relations with Israel) Daniels insists that our fiscal issues are such a "mortal threat" that, as Obama would do with Israel, everything else gets thrown overboard. It is a strategy that will inevitably give liberals the trump card on a range of important issues, ranging from Supreme Court nominees to abortion funding to missile defense spending.

Second, it is a goofy conception of alliance-building. Daniels says he can't afford to lose one vote on fiscal issues. But why can't he, as all presidents do, forge varied alliances on different issues? Lawmakers understand this and often ally themselves with the White House on one issue but not on others. Many House Blue Dogs, for example, balked on cap-and-trade but gave the president support on Obamacare. This suggests Daniels simply doesn't understand how Congress and the White House operate.

Because he makes no effort whatsoever to mollify his critics -- and indeed shows a propensity to pour salt on the wounds -- you have to wonder whether Daniels is simply not interested in running for president or whether he's clueless about what it will take to win the Republican presidential nomination. In any case, he's doing a bang-up job of diminishing his presidential prospects.

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 11, 2011; 4:10 PM ET
Categories:  2012 campaign  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Clapper vs. Pawlenty: An easy choice on foreign policy
Next: Friday question

Comments

What is nominally a column to criticize Mitch Daniels for not pandering to social conservatives (and so what if he doesn't, it may not win him the nomination, but maybe he actually does believe fiscal issues are more important at this moment), somehow needs to include criticism of Obama for not having a Jennifer-approved relationship with Israel.

Obama Derangement Syndrome at its best.

Posted by: mustangs79 | March 11, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer needs to get out more. There are many swing voters who are open to reason about the Left's fiscal irresponsibility, but are absolutely terrified that a Republican will take away a woman's right to choose. The Blue Dog example Jennifer uses is also suspect. Legislating is different from electioneering. And what happened to the Blue Dogs in the last election? Finally, how this gives liberals the trump card on Supreme Court appointments or SDI is also questionable. Does Jennifer think Daniels is going to appoint a Sotomayor or Kagan?

Posted by: Inagua1 | March 11, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Mrs. Rubin's article is a day late and a dollar short.

I think it better if Mr. Daniels doesn't pander to the base in this case. His social conservative record is rock-solid for anyone who actually cares about voting and policy records instead of a candidate that simply uses hyperbole without action.

He serves as an elder of the Presbyterian church he's attended for 50 years. He and his wife with other members of their church started a faith/based school called "Oaks Academy" (I believe that's the name) that currently has over 300 inner city Indianapolis kids enrolled. He is 100% pro-life...he even proposed and advocated a Bill here in Indiana that now makes it mandatory for women considering an abortion to have an ultra-sound and wait 24 hours prior to the proceedure.

In addition to this aren't these "social conservatives" ignoring all of the references in the Bible to being good stewarts of the money that God gives us. I believe in Proverbs it speaks of being in debt to no one. And that if you owe someone money it is our obligation to pay that debt and not default.

Does anyone realize that if the U.S. dollar defaults and China demands payment on our loans that it will be significantly more difficult to make that payment if they don't accept our currency?

Daniels is far from a 'one trick pony'. When bringing Indiana back into the black and securing our AAA rating he also increased the number of social workers for the Child Protection Agency. That clearly shows that he is not just fiscally minded.

People don't have to consider Daniels including Jennifer Rubin. But the argument that he doesn't pander enough to the Social base is ludicrous if you're looking for a candidate that actually has convictions and a track-record of good decisions. He was Reagans Political director, He was president/CEO of a conservative think-tank (Hudson Institute) and he's a born-again christian that lives out his faith instead of verbally trying to convince people of it.

And it's foolish to see a $15 Trillion dollar debt with annual Trillion dollar deficits and even hint that Daniels is exagerrating the fiscal potion our country is in.......foolish.

Posted by: jduvall2816 | March 11, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Mustang - Fair point. Jennifer is first and foremost an advocate for her brand of support for Israel. Everything else is secondary. If the Left still supported Israel, she would be a Democrat and would probably view Republicans as country club elitists with mildly anti-semitic social habits.

Posted by: Inagua1 | March 11, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

, but are absolutely terrified that a Republican will take away a woman's right to choose.

How is putting it back to each individual state taking away their right to choose?

Especially if they're for national health care?

Every other treatment the gov. has a say in except that one?

And what about those drs who require a wife's consent for a husband's vasectomy?

Need approval for piercings, tattoos & vasectomies, but no on the other?

This is the 21st century, not the 50s. There's a lot of other options. Some of which r available in the schools.

Posted by: gopthestupidparty | March 11, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The guy has no political tact whatsoever; no matter he doesn't look Presidential anyway. Obama would eat him alive.

Posted by: WS_Bull | March 11, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

GopStupid - Your rhetorical question would be dispositive if swing voters were rational. They are not. They do not follow public affairs closely, and they tend to emote rather than analyze because their knowledge base is so limited. I live in coastal California. I am literally surrounded by these types. Believe me, they exist in alarmingly large numbers.

Posted by: Inagua1 | March 11, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I think Mitch should double down more. He should also get the nonsense about Obama's religion and birth certificate out of the way by making a solid statement on that issue. And then talk only about the fiscal issue as he is doing now. I believe there are enough "sensible Americans", as George Will puts it, to give both the nomination and presidency to Mitch Daniels, if he chooses to run.

Posted by: GopalSapparapu | March 11, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Put on a cowboy-poet hat, some chaps, a neckerchief, get him his riata (thanks, Elmore) -- spitting image of Howdy Doody!

Posted by: aardunza | March 11, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

The overwhelming majority of people put a low priority on the social issues. Everyone understands that a fiscally Republican administration will be socially conservative. Daniels needs to say he's pro-life and wants to appoint justices that will respect local legislation restricting abortion and then focus the discussion on fiscal issues. But he seems to say explicitly that the social conservative agenda is off the table. He will do nothing to further this agenda if it gets in the way of the fiscal crisis. This will cost him the nomination and even if nominated will dampen enthusiasm for the election with key elements of the base. It is a sign that he is not politically savvy enough for the presidency.

Posted by: cwillia11 | March 11, 2011 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Daniels added more social workers after foster children were coming up dead -BIG = BIG News Articles - then he added them. Not before. Daniels loves privitization (even after admitting they were mistakes), hates unions (let teachers go without a contract for years), is presently trying to get bills passed to lower construction costs ergo construction wages, and a bill to give vouchers paying for private schools. By the way, you're right he doesn't compromise! When our Dems ran they said they would come back if the bill those two bills were taken off (taxpayers' money for private schools - we already have charter schools that are doing very well but he wants it to go to rich private schools). What did he do - got the State Congress to pass a $250/day fine but no compromise - even if the people don't want those bills. There have also been several news articles about lies told that he had gotten new companies to promise to come to Indiana (over years of promises) and the lands are still empty, no new jobs, and companies have even said they never said they were coming. By the way, according to Daniels we are not in the black - that's why he and the Repubs are ending collective bargaining and couldn't reach a contract with teachers - there's just no money. Did I vote for him - yes - much to my regret. He's kind of like Bush - waited until the 2nd term to show what he was really like. He's also one of those gov's that turned down stimulus money so he wouldn't be taking from a Democrat - never mind IN people needed the jobs and our infrastructure was going to pot(hole)s except for his pet project new highway promising more jobs (that he gave to an out of state company) taking land for public domain - whether we wanted the thing or not. Need I go on? (There is more) How do I know - I'm living it! As I said, I did vote for him. I never will again - not for governor (if he were running), not for senator and certainly not for President!

Posted by: Indy60 | March 11, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

"Much as Obama insists that international consensus trumps all other foreign policy concerns (e.g. human rights, warm relations with Israel)"

HA! Allright, Jen has a sense of humor at least.

Posted by: member8 | March 11, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse

"Inagua1" wrote that women are terrified of losing their "right to choose."

Right to choose what, exactly? Vanilla or chocolate? Or maybe killing a baby girl? Or maybe choosing to abort away our nation's future?

With a shrinking population, we'll never solve the old folks entitlement nightmare that Daniels worries so much about.

Posted by: Horace2 | March 11, 2011 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Inagua1 wrote that women are terrified that they'll lose the right to choose.

Right to choose what, exactly? Vanilla or chocolate? Or maybe choosing to kill a baby girl? Or aborting away the future of our country?

With a shrinking population, we'll never solve the old folks entitlement problem that Daniels is worried about.

Posted by: Horace2 | March 11, 2011 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Horace - I didn't write women; I wrote some swing voters. The subject was campaign rhetoric, and my point was that Daniels desire to avoid social issues makes political sense.

Posted by: Inagua1 | March 11, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

social issues take a back seat to the debt, the economy, and especially energy policy. No matter Mitt Romney despite his mistake on health care is the most qualified of all the republican candidates and will get the nomination if Paul Ryan does not run. Daniels is dryer than Pawlenty. Good men but milk toast.

Posted by: eddiehaskall | March 11, 2011 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Inagua1 wrote that women are terrified that they'll lose the right to choose.

Right to choose what, exactly? Vanilla or chocolate? Or maybe choosing to kill a baby girl? Or aborting away the future of our country?

With a shrinking population, we'll never solve the old folks entitlement problem that Daniels is worried about.

Posted by: Horace2 | March 12, 2011 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company