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Can Mitch Daniels Save the GOP?



Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. (AP Photo/Indianapolis Star, Frank Espich)

Indiana Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels delivered a condemnation of the "Baby Boomer" and a call for generational change during a recent commencement address at Butler University, a speech drawing considerable national attention as the Republican Party continues its search for fresh faces and new leaders.

"As a group, we have been self-centered, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, and all too often just plain selfish," Daniels said in the speech. "Our current Baby Boomer president has written two eloquent, erudite books, both about . . . himself."

Daniels went on to offer a sweeping indictment of his own generation's financial and moral selfishness, concluding: "It's been a blast; good luck cleaning up after us."

He offered a brighter prospect for the graduating class, however, insisting that great generations (with apologies to the man from South Dakota) often follow mediocre ones and noting that: "True greatness can only be revealed by large challenges, by tough circumstances. And your opportunities for greatness will be large."

Of the speech, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol wrote: "After what will be, in 2012, two decades of Clinton, Bush and Obama, maybe the nation will be ready to elect a Boomer president who disdains his own generation, and urges younger Americans to reject Boomer vanities and self-indulgence in the name of freedom and greatness?"

Daniels, who spent time at the director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush before returning to the Hoosier State to run for governor in 2004, was a rare success story in the 2008 election -- winning overwhelmingly in a state carried by President Obama and in a year of disastrous Republican results up and down the ballot. (We named Daniels's campaign as the best gubernatorial bid in the country in 2008.)

Daniels's success in that race was built on two pillars: populism and competence. He traveled the state in an RV -- a tangible sign that his candidacy was for and by the people. And, he ran on a record in his first four years of tough choices made reasonable and executed effectively.

Combine those two pillars with his speech at Butler and it's understandable why there is chatter in some circles about Daniels as 2012 presidential candidate.

The language in the address -- including the generational call to action -- is a direct echo of the successful rhetoric employed by President Obama during the 2008 election, a race in which he won those under the age of 24 by a whopping 38 points.

It's also a recognition that the Republican Party can't simply cede younger voters to Obama (and the Democrats) if they want to return to the White House and/or majority party status in Congress anytime soon.

Daniels may be overshadowed somewhat but his fellow governors with higher national profiles -- Bobby Jindal (La.), Mark Sanford (S.C.), and Tim Pawlenty (Minn.) -- but his speech over the weekend shows that he is a force to be reckoned with in the reshaping of the Republican party.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 12, 2009; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2012 , Republican Party  
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Comments

Well governor if you are for the people you will never get to first base as a republican because it is all about the party, power and money. Either Sleaseball and Hannity will slam you or ignore you and either way the R party will be against you. They want a big money man like Romney or a puppet like the lipstick so the top 2% still gets it all. Right now the American voter will not let any republican win anything.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | May 13, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

"Can Mitch Daniels Save the GOP?"

He is SO CHARISMATIC that the thread went every where except to his putative ability to save the Republican Party. Not even the most loyal Repubs could get the thread back on that track.

If he is THAT well endowed with ability to keep the attention of the electorate, he probably couldbn't even save daylight in the daylight savings time part of the state.

And the NEXT Great White Hope IS?

Posted by: ceflynline | May 13, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

No.

Posted by: FlownOver | May 13, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Mitch Daniels? Are you kidding? This is a guy who apparently couldn't get a real public appearance, so he used a collegiate commencement address to make a political statement. As a grad or a member of the family, I would have been very disappointed.

I've been away from that area for awhile, but my recall is that Daniels had all the charisma of an earwig. He'd get much more attention if he and Blago had pooled and equally divided their hair.

Nonetheless, this is like going to a baptism and watching someone deliveri a political speech: wrong focus, wrong audience, wrong motivation. Chris, you're reaching with your eyes (and maybe ears) closed.

Posted by: bulldog6 | May 13, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,
Get over it. If he wasn't a citizen, someone in the government, somewhere, would have brought that to light.
With regard to Daniels as a presidential candidate, it's laughable at best and a horrible nightmare at worst. This is the guy who, as Bush's financial advisor, said the Iraq War would only cost at most $400 million. Well, now economic analysts, both liberal and conservative, say it will cost at least $1 TRILLION. Enough said.

Posted by: MerGyver | May 13, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

That last sentence should read: "Where, however, is still a question because he refused to release his LONG FORM birth certificate."

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

There's no question Obama was born during the baby boom. Where is a question.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

> That's funny. Expand the definition of boomer to include Obama so that he can attack the guy.

Indeed. What a gratuitous and snide cheap shot in a commencement adress - and this is supposed to amount to a new hope for the GOP?!? They need to quit such plain nastiness in their rhetoric to ever have a chance to make a comeback, I think.

Obama is certainly Generation X in terms of his sensibilities, whether the cut-off is 1960 or 1964.

DREAMS FROM MY FATHER is a thoughtful book about wrestling with multiple identities. Absent father, mixed-race marriage, cosmopolitan upbringing, community organiser, wasn't on campus in '68... This is SO not Baby Boomer Generation...

As for AUDACITY OF HOPE, clearly the Gov didn't read it. It's not about himself. It's a policy-political philosophy type of book with a few personal anecdotes strewn in.

Singling out a former community organiser as the example of generational self-absorption just is odd and petty.

Touting this Daniels on account of this speech as the new hope for the GOP hardly makes any sense.

Posted by: charlesf1 | May 13, 2009 6:30 AM | Report abuse

As long as Cheney, Palin and Limbaugh continue to dominate the "news" from the GOP, the Republicans will remain an ever diminishing minority party. The right wingers seem intent upon hoping the the few moderates leave the party to maintain ideological purity.

With right wing ideologues dominating the party, the Republicans may never regain control of either house of Congress or win another presidential election unless very high inflation returns as a result of Obama/Democratic/Federal Reserve board inflationary policies.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | May 13, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

I live in Indiana. I'm a lifelong Hoosier. I'm 57 and one of the Baby Boomers Mitch has so much disdain for. Chris, if you lived in Indiana you'd know why Mitch had such an easy time getting re-elected. First of all, his opponent was Jill Long Thompson, who had little money, little support from the Democrats (the attention Hillary and Barack got in the spring and then the attention Obama got in the fall just sucked all the life out of her campaign) and the charisma of a cardboard cutout. She wasn't even the Democratic establishment's first choice to run for governor. And then there was the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ripoff ad that Daniels ran that everybody talked about. Jill's ads looked like something you'd see on YouTube, by comparison.

My opinion: Daniels would have won the 2008 race no matter who the Democrats ran, not because he was so popular but because the Democrats had their eye on the big prize, the presidency. Indiana hadn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964 and the Democrats were not going to spend an extra dime to get their person elected to the governorship. Everything was for the presidency. Even Evan Bayh would have had trouble beating a Republican, and in this case it just happened to be Daniels. This state is so conservative that, speaking of Evan, there is speculation that now that his star is fading under an Obama administration that he might "go Arlen" and turn into what he is anyway, a Republican. Keep your ear to the ground on this one.

As an aside, even though a "boomer' is generally thought of as someone born between 1946 and 1964, I have trouble accepting Obama into the fold. His values and memories are mostly of growing up in the 1970's, a much different time than when the largest group of boomers came of age, the 1960's. Mitch may be statitically correct to include Obama, but since Mitch is the same age I am, he really should know better than to include our President as a Baby Boomer.

Posted by: hoosierliberal | May 13, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Now I see why the world puts TORTURERS to death. It's the only way to get the EVIL FILTH to stop coming out of their mouths!

When is Cheney's trial?

Posted by: fixitj | May 12, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Re: Your title... No.... But maybe a strong Independent platform can 'capture' a lot of 'moderates'. It's bound to happen someday.

Posted by: deepthroat21 | May 12, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Republicans is that they're just plain dishonest.

Its just not worth the time to deal with them.

Americans hope the President will simply ignore them and steamroller right over them.

Republicans have nothing useful to contribute to the debate or to the American political system.

Posted by: AmericanDemocracy | May 12, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Here are some of those Republican "values" and "priciples" that they currently operate with under the leadership of Gopasaur's like Boehner, Canter, McConnell and Steele etc:


• Invasion of privacy when it pleases them


• Constant campaigns of fear to keep the masses controllable


• Free enterprise that benefits the top 1% at the detriment of everyone else


• Religious fringe/narrow minded philosophies (climate change a myth, creationism not)


• Wars based primarily on corporate interests and fed to us as patriotic necessity


The Republican party has veered off into Gattaca-ville. They believe their platform promotes freedom and individuality but their too blind to see the truth - situations like Teri Schaivo, phone-tapping, torture approval methods and pre-emptive wars have, until the last 10 years, been a fringe mentality. Thanks to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their Nazi-like followers this kind of thinking about what a democracy is has been pushed into the mainstream. Granted, much of it was pushed through the gauze of fear (mushroom clouds, alert levels, enemies within), but thank God America finally came to their senses.


And that brings us to Cheney. His recent statements prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Republican party has never had any intention of working with the rest of us. They maintained their fringe mentality and always intended to shove it down our throats whether we liked it or not. Lets face it, if we DIDN'T like it, we were branded as traitors. As long as we did, we would cheer for the team and become blindly complacent to corruption (Halliburton), laziness (Katrina) and a lack of oversight and enforcement of laws (mortgage industry) that has undone our reputation and the world's economy.

Posted by: DrainYou | May 12, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Former Vice-President Cheney will also deliver a May 21st speech on "keeping America Safe" at the American Enterprise Institute in D.C.

==

A liar will speak before a group of hyper-partisan apologists. What do you expect from this?

Twig it, we are happy Cheney is shooting off his mouth. Cheney is a great gift to the Democrats, a seethingly despised man with no credibility at all, widely regarded as genuinely insane, a man most of whose supporters believe to be lying, a man who corroborates Obama's assertion that Limbaugh, not Steele, heads the GOP. Got that? A loudmouth shock-jock is the leader of one of America's two major political parties.

By all means, let Cheney speak, let every network carry him live, let them pan across the bare-teethed red faces as they snarl at humanity and cheer wildly for barbarism. Oh yes bring it own.

And he won't shut up. Glory, fireworks, wonder!

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 12, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

"Well, Daniels *is* extraordinary -- he got re-elected in 2008 even though he's a Republican."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/governors/the-best-gubernatorial-campaig.html

Declared best gubernatorial campaign of 2008 by The Fix.

==

But look what happens to non-nutty Republicans: the party excoriates and rejects them. Remember MA Governor William Weld? Remember Colin Powell? Remember Arlen Specter? What kind of treatment are Snowe and Collins getting? The GOP is collapsing into a core of extreme density and turning on its own. And they show no sign of pulling out of the death spiral.

If Daniels doesn't sound extreme, they will spit him out too. They don't want to be saved, they want to be nutty and ideologically extreme. Anyone who looks like a reasonable man is someone they don't want. For God's sake, look at Cheney, announcing a preference for a fat entertainer shock-jock over a man of decades of distinguished service. This party is not serious at all.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 12, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

The absense of proof is not proof of absense. There are plenty of reasons why Cheney is pushing for release of the CIA memos now that Obama is slectively releasing everything else.

Posted by: JakeD

==

You just admitted that Cheney is making claims without proof. Did you mean to say that or are you slipping?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 12, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Bush and Cheney opponents believe they lied.

Bush and Cheney supporters believe they lied (and think it's great).

The intelligence community says no attacks were thwarted by torture, that Cheney is insane.

Jake, what seeecret insights do you have? Do you really believe the "second wave" crap?

The others are right. With their reputations completely shot, with events moving inexorably toward prosecutions, any actual corroborating facts would have been released long ago.

Here's what will happen:

(1) memos will be released showing that, mixed in with all kinds of crazy and improbable babble about imagined plots, there will be one about a second wave.

(2) Aside from an obvious false confession, there will be zero evidence.

(3) No action will have been taken to thwart the fake plot; no operations involving human beings or material

(4) Cheney will claim that simply learning about the plot is what thwarted it.

(5) the goopers will scream that torture saved us, everyone else will say, correctly, "more lies."

(6) nothing changes.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 12, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

"Well, Daniels *is* extraordinary -- he got re-elected in 2008 even though he's a Republican."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/governors/the-best-gubernatorial-campaig.html

Declared best gubernatorial campaign of 2008 by The Fix.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 12, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

"The absense of proof is not proof of absense. There are plenty of reasons why Cheney is pushing for release of the CIA memos now that Obama is slectively releasing everything else. Posted by: JakeD "

Actually, in many cases the absence of proof IS proof of absence. The fact that no one has been able to find any actual evidence of WMD in Iraq is conclusive proof that Sadaam had run out of Rumsfield and Reagan supplied WMDS, mostly chemical, long since. WMDS are of the nature that the products used to make them, and the manufacturing facilities cannot be hidden. They are hard enough to camouflage when you have the willingness of the whole world to look away, and they simply cannot be hid from diligent search, especially when the searchers have on the ground access to any area they wish to search.

No Factories, no hazardous waste dumps, no serious health defects related to dealing with the hazardous materials needed to make WMDs equals conclusive proof that the WMDs don't exist.

The last time Sadaam had WMDs they were taken away from him after Gulf war II.

When Cheney had the ability to release classified material to cover his butt, he did so quite handily, even when it WAS a violation of the law as well as compromise of highly classified information.

He knows that there aren't any documents out there that will exonerate him on torture, but as long as he can claim they exist but are classified, the twenty per-centers can keep saying "Iraq is a big country..." It ain't that big and there ain't any such documents that show that torture works.

But those twenty per-centers also believe that a few miles from here at WPAFB in some SECRET hangar there are corpses of aliens.

Almost ALL sources of personal beliefs are totally immune to obviously contradictory facts. After all, the descendants of the Millerites haven't yet accepted that the world didn't end in 1843 or 1844. And the masthead of most Watch Tower publications have proudly proclaimed, for the last 94 years, "Millions are alive today who will never die.

ASo don't expect the Republican die hards to give up on WMDs or those wonderful SECRETS that Obama won't declassify.

Posted by: ceflynline | May 12, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, I thought Jindahl was supposed to be the GOP's next shining light. Or was that Canter who is supposed to be the GOP's next light? Steele, now he is the bright future. No, Sarah Palin is the GOP's next super nova! Now you're telling me the Governor of Indiana is the GOP's next big light. I guess when it is really dark just about everything looks bright-- even a paper match.

Well, Daniels *is* extraordinary -- he got re-elected in 2008 even though he's a Republican. And look, he gave a well-covered speech! Well, it was mostly the kind of vague, finger-pointing, scolding palaver the Republicans specialize in, but it *was* well-covered!

Drink some warm milk and calm yourself down, Chris. He's been a good governor for beleaguered Indiana, and he has an intelligent approach. Given time, the national GOP will figure out something about him that is intolerable and he'll go on the scrap heap (or stay happily home, like Tom Ridge).

Posted by: margaretmeyers | May 12, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitch_Daniels

Doesn't seem like too much of a nutjob, his hateful Obama comment notwithstanding.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 12, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

If the memos existed the Cheney stay-behinds would have leaked them. They don't exist. Period.

Let me hand it off to Pulitzer Prize winner Gene Robinson:

"The fallacy lies in the fact that it is impossible for Cheney to prove that anti-terrorism methods within the bounds of U.S. law and tradition would have failed to prevent new attacks. Nor, for that matter, can Cheney demonstrate that torture and other abuses were particularly effective."

Out.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 12, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

You just can't face the truth, Jake. Bush and Cheney broke the law. Not just once but MANY times. They should be indicted and prosecuted.

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 12, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Can this guy save the GOP? No.

Mainstream Repubs think Limbaugh (who, hate to tell you, is just doing all this for the money, he's an entertainer and should not be taken seriously) is closer to the mark than Colin Powell. That's a party that's beyond saving. That's a party with a death wish.

Basically all Obama had to do to win is say, I'm not Bush and I'm not Sarah Palin. That message will win in 2012. It may be played out by 2016, but since Repubs are acting as if they have lost their minds, I'm not thinking they're going to offer a candidate with a compelling message to mainstream America. So I'm thinking you'll see a President Clinton through to 2021.

Posted by: gbooksdc | May 12, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe and jasperanselm (again, I think it would be better to take this debate to the appropriate thread):

Obama is selectively declassifying and releasing memos. If the IG's report is released, will the two (2) CIA memos arguing that "torture" does work also be released?

Posted by: JakeD | May 12, 2009 8:26 PM
__
'Cause they probably don't exist. In any event, unlike the cherrypicked memos you reference, the IG report is a comprehensive study of the topic. Again torture is a crime. See Nuremberg. BTW, when is Herr Hannity going to keep his promise to get waterboarded?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 12, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

jasperanselm:

The absense of proof is not proof of absense. There are plenty of reasons why Cheney is pushing for release of the CIA memos now that Obama is slectively releasing everything else.

Posted by: JakeD | May 12, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

You're just ignoring the point, Jake. If they had proof, they would have released it while they were still in office. They didn't because it doesn't exist. Next....

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 12, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe and jasperanselm (again, I think it would be better to take this debate to the appropriate thread):

Obama is selectively declassifying and releasing memos. If the IG's report is released, will the two (2) CIA memos arguing that "torture" does work also be released?

Posted by: JakeD | May 12, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

"CIA Waterboarding Report: Appears to Debunk Cheney’s Claims That Torture Worked"
May 11, 2009

Excerpt:

"(ChattahBox)—A CIA Inspector General’s report, completed in May 2004, is about to be declassified and released by the Obama administration, and is said to cast serious doubt on the usefulness of waterboarding in preventing specific and imminent terrorist attacks.

The report was also critical of the extreme waterboarding techniques used by Bush administration interrogators that violated the Marine Corps’ Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape or SERE training, and appeared to also violate U.N. torture conventions.

In light of many torture proponents claiming waterboarding saved lives by extracting useful information from Al-Qaeda detainees, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, this report is the strongest evidence yet that torture didn’t work."

Full story:
http://chattahbox.com/us/2009/05/11/cia-waterboarding-report-appears-to-debunk-cheneys-claims-that-torture-worked/
_______
Thank you for coming, Jake...Next

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 12, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Jake, you're an even bigger fool than I think you are if you think those memos actually exist. The entire premise of preventing another 9/11 is bogus. Do you actually think that Goofus and Doofus would not have released memos like that when they had the chance if it supported their decision to torture prisoners?

They didn't have the goods; that's why they lied about it.

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 12, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Um, isn't the Governor some 13 years older than the President?

That's the thing about today's GOP -- they never let reality damp their enthusiasm for propaganda.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 12, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Mitch ELIAS Daniels -- 49th Governor on Indiana -- with about 6.3 million residents, it is ranked 15th in population among U.S. States. Next question?

Posted by: JakeD | May 12, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Mitch who????

Posted by: mghuloum | May 12, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe:

I would love to discuss the "torture" issue with you on that thread. Perhaps you can start by answering how NOT releasing the CIA memos that show "torture" prevented another 9/11-style attack (or worse) would be a fair debate?

Posted by: JakeD | May 12, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

tallertapas311:

While there's some disagreement about classifying everyone born during the post-war baby-boom (1946-65), the best you can argue is that Obama is in the Generation Jones (1954-65) classification. Gov. Daniels's point about a selfish, me-me-me, generation is still the same.

Posted by: JakeD | May 12, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

If anyone wants to "honestly" discuss the "logic" about the possibility that Cheney could be right that torture prevented another 9/11 attack:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/05/12/liz_cheney_joins_her_dad_in_cr.html

Posted by: JakeD | May 12, 2009 7:14 PM
___________
1. It does not matter whether torture works. Torture is a crime under the Geneva Convention and the International Treaty against Torture. BTW, there's mucho precedent: the US has prosecuted many foreign individuals for engaging in...waterboarding of American troops. See Professor Jonathan Turley's blog. http://jonathanturley.org/latest-column/

Despite what lazy MSMers may suggest, this is not a debatable point in the legal community.

2. Bloggers have been reporting the BHO Administration will soon be releasing a comprehensive official report documenting that torture does not work and Cheney's fables were just that, fables. The report will blow Cheney's my-torture-kept-you-safe argument right out of the water. Gene Robinson's oped in today's Post talked about how delusional Cheney's torture campaign is.
__________

Major shoutouts to superpatriots Jesse Ventura and Janeane Garofalo.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 12, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Since when was Obama a baby boomer?????


He is the opposite of a baby boomer. No drama Obama

Posted by: tallertapas311 | May 12, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Mitch: "As a group, we have been self-centered, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, and all too often just plain selfish," Daniels said in the speech. "Our current Baby Boomer president has written two eloquent, erudite books, both about . . . himself."

Whatever.

Mitch left out the rest of the script: tax cuts for the rich, no universal health care, allowing Alaska to melt into the Arctic, the pro forma flag waving, race baiting, unhinged nativism, fear mongering, war profiteering, unlimited Ponzi schemes, and of course God, guns, and...you know.

This act is way too lame and tired; Jack Kemp (a great AFL quarterback) must be turning over his grave. BHO writing two NYT best sellers is a bad thing? Come again? What kind of Bizarro world is Mitch living in?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 12, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

seems to me bobby1424, that Indiana almost turned blue in Nov./08. And the numbers Daniels got are only state wide, he has little or no national coverage unless being part of the Bush administration counts, which would probably be a detriment on the National stage. And while him and his ilk were busy being selfish, self centered, etc...or whatever his words were, Pres. Obama was being a community organizer instead of a big law firm stooge. And let us not forget that McCain also wrote two books, and that vain attempt at trashing the Pres. was pretty lame. Sorry GOP, more mea culpas are needed than what Mitch Daniels has to offer. Is this what Chris is going to write about from here to 2012, the next great white hope for the GOP?

Posted by: katem1 | May 12, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Former Vice-President Cheney will also deliver a May 21st speech on "keeping America Safe" at the American Enterprise Institute in D.C.

Posted by: JakeD | May 12, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Q: Can Mitch Daniels Save the GOP?
A: No.
_______
Time's Mike Grunwald's recent assessment of the future of the GOP--There is no future given the certain demographic changes in the US.

Excerpt:
"These days, Republicans have the desperate aura of an endangered species. They lost Congress, then the White House; more recently, they lost a slam-dunk House election in a conservative New York district, then Senator Arlen Specter. Polls suggest that only one-fourth of the electorate considers itself Republican, that independents are trending Democratic and that as few as five states have solid Republican pluralities. And the electorate is getting less white, less rural, less Christian — in short, less demographically Republican."

Full story:
http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1896588,00.html

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 12, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

If anyone wants to "honestly" discuss the "logic" about the possibility that Cheney could be right that torture prevented another 9/11 attack:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/05/12/liz_cheney_joins_her_dad_in_cr.html

Posted by: JakeD | May 12, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

For anyone to claim that the Audacity of Hope is all about Obama himself is to admit that they have never read the book. I have not read the first of his books, but I remember the second one filled with great insights and policy proposals.

Republicans can get somewhere by simply lying and distorting the truth. A certain percentage of the population will believe everything sprouted by Rush and Daniels as gospel, not matter how distorted, biased and down right untrue it might be.

I certainly have read and heard enough Demo lies to understand that truth and honesty is not owned by either party, but Republicans have to understand that the majority of the population associates, fairly or not, their party as the party of lies and untruth. The only way back from this is scrupulous attention to reality and integrity. Otherwise they are lost.

That might not be such a bad thing.

Posted by: reussere | May 12, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Gov. Daniels should read the president's second book. It is not really about himself any more than Gov. Daniels' attacks on Baby Boomers are about himself. It is about what our country has been, is and can be. I can't argue with Gov. Daniels' call for reflection by Boomers on Boomers, but I would call for the same by every generation. Complacency is never a good course and our country hasn't been anything if not complacent since Pres. Reagan foolishly convinced us we were a shining city on a hill and we started acting as if we were Olympians instead of part of the human race, with weaknesses, subject to pursuing excesses and temptations just like any other mortals. Reagan flattered Baby Boomers in order to get re-elected and sadly we succumbed to his flattery. I believe Pres. Reagan and Gov. Daniels both belong to the same party, no? Now that Gov. Daniels has identified a problem, I wonder how he is going to distance himself from his own party, the party that glorifies excess and has, for thirty years, encouraged us to pursue it.

Posted by: gnirol | May 12, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, Fox, your apparently blind hatred means that you add little to nothing to the discussion. I'm not sure what your goal is in posting here. Your opinion is clear and it doesn't matter what topic is on order for today. You'll be serving up another heaping platter of venom. Even Zouk uses a bit of humor from time to time.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 12, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

"Their idea of "honesty" and "logic" is to shut down any possibility that Cheney could be right that torture prevented another 9/11 attack. If that's true, their entire house of cards comes falling down."

Well, the idea of "honesty" and "logic" is that the burden of proof is on Cheney to show this is true. Of course Cheney has no control over the memos now, but its not like these charges were levied January 21st. Cheney had ample opportunities to provide some evidence that torturing didn't work. Instead, the Bush administration pretended that they didn't torture. Then they said that it was necessary to do these things, but they never provided evidence citing National Security.

Only now is Cheney calling for a release of memos that prove torture works. Why didn't he do it himself? There was most likely no such memo. Most likely what Cheney is asking for would compromise national security. Of course Obama can't release a memo that would do that, so Cheney gets to play politics with the whole thing.

That's fine. Cheney has probably less credibility with the American public than pretty much anyone. There's very little chance that this will work to sway anyone. I could talk about how despicable this behavior is and stuff, but its nothing that you guys don't know already.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 12, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

That hurts.

bsimon:

Regardless of whether "torture" can be misused, it is still possible that Cheney is right and "torture" prevented another 9/11-type attack (or worse). Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Posted by: JakeD | May 12, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Chrisfox,

I seriously doubt you are “hung up on honesty an' stuff.” You are fairly partisan and full of wrath, which typically jettisons the “honesty stuff” especially if it gets in the way of their agenda. When I look the R when they were in power they sold themselves to both Wall Street and K Street and for the last two election cycles (maybe a third) they paid the price for their arrogance and stupidity. However, since the D have taken power arrogance has swung a different way with people like yourself who believe they have a lock on “truth and justice.” You believe that you can be intolerant to those you consider intolerant; however, that is the same as being intolerant regardless of your twisted logic…but then again you think you own logic as well.

Posted by: sltiowa | May 12, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

JakeD writes
"Their idea of "honesty" and "logic" is to shut down any possibility that Cheney could be right that torture prevented another 9/11 attack."

Jesse Ventura says
"You give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders."

http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/senate/44783427.html

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 12, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"Just ignore "drindl" and "chrisfox8". There's no use talking any sense to either of them.

Posted by: JakeD "

Might be best to avoid all three of the aforementioned people if time is of a premium. JakeD isn't as mindnumbingly angry, but he is as mindnumbingly dim as the other two.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 12, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that he says "...WE have been self-centered, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, and all too often just plain selfish." but then when he goes looking for a specific example he uses President Obama as an example instead of himself.

Posted by: roboquinno | May 12, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

sltiowa:

Their idea of "honesty" and "logic" is to shut down any possibility that Cheney could be right that torture prevented another 9/11 attack. If that's true, their entire house of cards comes falling down.

Posted by: JakeD | May 12, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I think that’s because you are stuck in a ditch.

Posted by: sltiowa

==

Yeah I'm all hung up on honesty an' stuff. I really need to work on that and just embrace and cherish the fact that some people love to lie and stop being so like judgmental about it.

Uh-huh.

Go suck eggs

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 12, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Just ignore "drindl" and "chrisfox8". There's no use talking any sense to either of them.

Posted by: JakeD

==

And speaking of lousy human beings, right on schedule

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 12, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Daniels is nothing more than another Bush hack. He has no chance of ever been president.

Posted by: lumi21us | May 12, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"Just ignore "drindl" and "chrisfox8". There's no use talking any sense to either of them."

pretty funny coming from a dittohead.

Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

What a self-loathing a-hole!

Aren’t we (yes, I’m a boomer) also the generation that marched against, agitated against, and voted against illegal devastating mindless wars, stood up for and suffered for our support for minority rights? Aren’t we the generation that built on the industrial and educational systems of the 40s and 50s and created this modern wired truly connected global village? And aren’t we the generation that meant what we said about human rights, and are making it stick?

Funny this conservative down-home republican jackass seems to forget that. I think he was one of those butt-licking Young Republicans who never participated in the wonder of a new world being born.

In the 50s, they railed against African-Americans and civil rights; in the 60s, hippies; in the 70s, women; in the 80s, gays; in the 90s and 00s, Hispanics and anyone with brown skin. I guess class warfare between Boomers and Gen Xers is their next gambit. What sleaze.

(btw, Drindl, keep posting. I appreciate your insights and clarity.)

Posted by: Ichristian | May 12, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

Just ignore "drindl" and "chrisfox8". There's no use talking any sense to either of them.

Posted by: JakeD | May 12, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I sort of assumed that Obama has adapted his political leanings from his merry band of spin doctors and gurus (and I don't mean this with any disrespect).. he is sort of an amalgam (IMHO).. he seems way to flexible to have any strong personal political preference..

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 12, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama isn't a Baby Boomer, in any way that counts; demographers have argued that that era ends in the early 60s, but the Late Boomers are so culturally different from the earlier ones that there's not much in the way of worthwhile comparison. Particularly when you consider that Obama's mother just missed being a Boomer herself. The typical "Boomer" was born in the period between World War II and the end of Korea and came of age and political consciousness in the 1960s and early 70s. Obama's political consciousness is far more clearly defined by the 1980s (Reagan, the beginning of the culture wars, Harold Washington, etc.).

Posted by: SeanC1 | May 12, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Chrisfox,

I think that’s because you are stuck in a ditch.

Posted by: sltiowa | May 12, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

"drindl - Do you ever bother reading what Cilizza writes, or simply preface your comments with calling him a stooge for the right? If so, just say dittos and get on with it."

Yup. I never comment without giving him a fair shot. I have been visiting this site longer than anyone on here. I was, in fact, the 3rd person to comment when he first posted. The other two have ngone away and never came back.

I don't really blame him for it; just the Beltway tilt-to-the-right mindset.

And Bobby, the republican party is bleeding young people and women. That's just a fact.

Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I can see from your last post you are quite the “open-minded” person who embraces alternatives. It is your blind hatred that will lead to your demise since you will not accept criticism of your views. Talk about someone who only sees monotones (i.e., black and white). I am glad I can see the nuances of issues.

Posted by: sltiowa

==

Your response has no point of intersection with what I wrote

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 12, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Chrisfox,

I can see from your last post you are quite the “open-minded” person who embraces alternatives. It is your blind hatred that will lead to your demise since you will not accept criticism of your views. Talk about someone who only sees monotones (i.e., black and white). I am glad I can see the nuances of issues.

Posted by: sltiowa | May 12, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol is an idiot.

Posted by: havok26 | May 12, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

1. If it quack like a duck, it must be a duck. Mitch is neither a redeemer nor a saint. He is one of the bush/cheney/rove cabal that gave us Iraq war and torture.

2. Wasnt' this guy the same Bush/Cheney budget director that wrecked our economy? We will never forget the destruction of our nation by Mitch and his likes from $8 trillion supplus to $13 trillion deficit.

3. Mitch was the one that proposed 2 tax cuts to the wealthy despite pending war and deficits, to an extent that even bush asked him "I thought we gave them tax cuts before?", then cheney said "shut up George".

4. Tigers never shed their spots, GOP will likely say anything to decive us again, but the problem is that it will never work this time.

Posted by: dressypink | May 12, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

ChrisFox, civil discourse requires debating of ideas, not name calling.

==

Granted. But as long as you brought up debate, allow me to bring something more fundamental than civility: honesty.

Debate is predicated on all sides accepting a few basic ground rules:

(1) honesty

(2) logic

Since the GOP types have no use for either and in fact delight in lying and irrational reasoning, how can we debate them?

For example: no WMDs were found, despite extravagant claims of precise knowledge of their existence and location. Refusing to accept that all this was a lie, the goopers (don't noodge on that) compound with another lie .. they were moved to Bekaa Valley, they're still there somewhere, Saddam let himself be handed over to a lynch mob and executed rather than use them in his defense .. to make Bush "look bad" and cause Rick Santorum to go down in defeat.

How do you debate uh people like this if they can't even come up with a *credible* lie? You can't. They've violated the most basic predicates of debate. So we settle for belittling them.

And there remains the fact that the 21-percenters are all-around LOUSY HUMAN BEINGS.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 12, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I was sort of proud of being a member of Generation Swine.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 12, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

ChrisFox, civil discourse requires debating of ideas, not name calling. Characterizing one's opponent as contemptible, or worse, beneath contempt, is not only counterproductive but speaks poorly of the one who only can manage sputtering rage in every instance.

There are times when "sputtering rage" followed by quick action is an appropriate response. But there are too many of you who think of it as the first obligation of a morally concerned citizen, and that it applies in every discussion, and that you have the high moral ground. This can be cheaply characterized as the "Cheney Flaw" - do not let it become the ChrisFox flaw, too.

Posted by: MoreAndBetterPolls | May 12, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we live in parallel universes since I see considerable hate on the D side as well. I only called out Drindl for her content in posts.

Posted by: sltiowa

==

I'm not going to pull any punches with the GOP; they are sickoes who deserve to be hated for what they believe. The fact that they're OK with torturing people and with causing mass extinction, or even a single extinction, is enough for decent people to despise them.

Being liberal, being open-minded, embracing alternate viewpoints, doesn't require anyone to respect the despicable.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 12, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Chrisfox,

Maybe we live in parallel universes since I see considerable hate on the D side as well. I only called out Drindl for her content in posts.

Posted by: sltiowa | May 12, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

he's correct in one sense our two boomer presidents did their darndest to destroy the country, that's Clinton with his alley cat morals that allowed the silver spoon moron george W to be elected. Mr Obama is a gen x not my generation, not shaped by vietnam war. Boomers are 46-60.

Posted by: chet_brewer | May 12, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Drindl,

“I can guarantee you that this boring, balding, shriveled, pasty-faced old man is NEVER going to generate any appeal whatsoever for the young.

Nor is the republican party, as long as its 'values' are selfishness and greed.”

--------------

Hate to tell you Drindl, but Mitch won the 18-24 and 18-29 demographics by nine points in 2008. He won the 30-44 year old demo by a margin of 58-40.

He also won 20% of the black vote.

And the 60% who said the economy was the #1 issue voted for him 56-42.

All those numbers should cause the national GOP to take a long, hard look at what Mitch is doing in Indiana.

Posted by: bobby1424 | May 12, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

It's rather sad to see him try to cast Obama as an icon of baby boomer self-absorption seeing as y'know... he's not a baby boomer and this is a guy who worked as a community organizer. But I guess you gotta figure he needs to put that cheap shot in there to make the medicine he is offering to his party go down sweeter.

Gov. Daniels has perfectly spotted the problem with the GOP platform. More perverse then any culture war or military adventure or gross incompetance is this root bastardization of their ideology into the message of "me first, country last." For politicians to be selling such a message is frankly disgusting and the GOP is going to have to ditch that message if they are ever going to be viable nationally again. However they've spent 30 years developing that message and it didn't start to blow up in their face until 2006. Flushing this attitude out of the party is NOT going to happen overnight or even by 2012.

Posted by: theamazingjex | May 12, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

That's funny. Expand the definition of boomer to include Obama so that he can attack the guy.

If the world were as self absorbed as our president is, it would be a much better place.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 12, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

This is a story because ... Bill Kristol wrote a blog post about it?

Meh. Giving commencement speeches to small private liberal arts universities in IN isn't the most effective way of getting a political message out.

Posted by: mnteng | May 12, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

He may be a R that value only “selfishness and greed” at least they don’t value HATE

==

I must come visit your planet sometime. Down here on Earth the GOP is all about hate. From alpha to omega, dawn to dusk, Kether to Malkuth, hate is what they're all about.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 12, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Drindl,

“I can guarantee you that this boring, balding, shriveled, pasty-faced old man is NEVER going to generate any appeal whatsoever for the young.

Nor is the republican party, as long as its 'values' are selfishness and greed.”

He may be a R that value only “selfishness and greed” at least they don’t value HATE as it appears you gravitated toward in most of your posts.

Posted by: sltiowa | May 12, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Another old man, espousing his old ideas. Duh, we've all heard this same commencement address before. The one that talks about challenges, opportunities, rising to our greatness, blah, blah, blah. Why is this old bald man using a college graduation ceremony as a means to make a political stump speech?? Sorry old dude, but your words of encouragement won't get any of those new graduates a job.

Posted by: aharvard | May 12, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

drindl - Do you ever bother reading what Cilizza writes, or simply preface your comments with calling him a stooge for the right? If so, just say dittos and get on with it.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 12, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

bulldog6 writes
"If the Crist-Rubio primary campaign happens, it will be interesting to see which candidate nearby leaders like Barbour and Jindal and Sanford (or Larry Craig) will support--or demur."

Don't forget the NRSC. Will they back one or the other? If so, which?

Its too early to know, but it will be interesting to watch who shows up for primaries next year. Within the GOP, I suspect the base will be far more motivated than the moderates - whichever ones are left. For a guy like Crist, the argument may have to focus on his ability to win the general, coupled with the ability to turn out moderates for the primary.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 12, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Mitch Daniels would outsource his mother if he could make/save a buck. IN managed to survive all these years because it was bordered by IL and OH. Good luck to any IN resident as he/she will need it based on the paltry unemployment benefits or workman comp benefits.

Posted by: ILDem | May 12, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

" "As a group, we have been self-centered, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, and all too often just plain selfish," Daniels said in the speech. ...Daniels went on to offer a sweeping indictment of his own generation's financial and moral selfishness, concluding: "It's been a blast; good luck cleaning up after us."

I left out the snide remarks about Obama for a reason.

The OTHER half of the Boomer generation worked hard all their lives, expecting as a fair portion of their wages to have enough to retire on, either through sel;f funded retirement programs, (most of which are broke) or Company provided retirement systems (most of which are broke because the companies NEVER actually funded the systems as they had agreed to, or because COPOORATE policies aimed at increasing the values of stock holders equities, very short term, wrecked the companies.) and as a last resort through Social Security. Many of us on the other half of the boomer generation sank years of poorly paid labor into serving our country, (eleven years in the military cost me the most important twenty years of my working life) or in serving the world, in the Peace Corps, or in many comparable service organizations.

Now we see all of the private means of retirement devastated, and had the Republican Party had its way would also been without even Social Security.

We followed the advice of those good Republican moralists, "Work Hard, Save for Retirement, life will be good..." and Mitch and his half of the boomers tell us, "It's been a blast; good luck cleaning up after us."

Hey, Mitch, that "WE" is only the Elephant in your pocket, and the rest of us intend to remember that at the polls, for as long as we live!!

Posted by: ceflynline | May 12, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

The new GOP line of attack: Writing books is bad.

No wonder these guys are losing college-educated voters in droves.

Posted by: profyle424

==

It's not just college-educated they're losing, it's anyone with a GED or better.

Never forget Sarah the Snake-Handler sneering at "thick resumes" of "Washingont insiders." Get stupid, folks, brains are for talkers.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 12, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party doesn't want to be saved, they want to die pure. They'd rather lose elections than admit any new ideas, so on they will go about free markets, torture, preemptive invasion, and prosperity from the top down.

America has written them off.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 12, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Jim Lehrer is one of a dying species, mark.

Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I can guarantee you that this boring, balding, shriveled, pasty-faced old man is NEVER going to generate any appeal whatsoever for the young.

Nor is the republican party, as long as its 'values' are selfishness and greed.

Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Your yearning for the rebirth of your dying party is so poignant, Mr. Cilliza. Not to mention obvious.

"Daniels went on to offer a sweeping indictment of his own generation's financial and moral selfishness, concluding: "It's been a blast; good luck cleaning up after us.""

Actually that's a pretty good description of what republicans did in office -- had a blast, blew a fortune, and now expect dems to clean up after them -- as we always have to do.


Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

A call to selflessness and the value of community and family and nation is always appropriate at a commencement address. Telling the graduates to do better than their parents and clean up after them is probably, on balance, a good thing.

But there is no political statement here, Chris. That is not to say that I am not curious about what high profile politicians say at commencement. I thank you for the report, while suggesting it has no substance for defining the speaker or his politics.

The best commencement address I ever heard was a high school valedictory from a Vietnamese born young woman - who told her classmates that she, and they, were all children of pioneers. The next best one I ever heard was Jim Lehrer at OU in '95 bitterly but definitively describing the descent of broadcast journalism into the Hell of entertainment. The best one I ever read was Kurt Vonnegut at some little east coast lib arts college, Bennington, I think.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 12, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I thought Limbaugh and Cheney were the GOP's dual saviors...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | May 12, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Demographers maintain that the baby boom period began in 1946 and lasted until 1964, although some (including myself) argue that it persisted until 1968. This may be a minor point, but it is still a valid one.

Posted by: thephd | May 12, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

So now Daniels is using a college graduation to attack President Obama? Plus, the guy doesn't even have his facts correct. Obama is NOT a baby boomer. Also, people have been writing books about themselves for years; its not a generational thing. Daniels is just desperate for some attention. How this bozo got re-elected last year is beyond me.

The new GOP line of attack: Writing books is bad.

No wonder these guys are losing college-educated voters in droves.

Posted by: profyle424 | May 12, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"Our current Baby Boomer president has written two eloquent, erudite books, both about . . . himself."

Obama is not a Baby Boomer. He was born in 1961. By all definitions, he is either a member of the Jones Generation or Generation X.

This guy needs to get his facts straight!

Posted by: ericadenita | May 12, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I've said the same about most Baby Boomers too.

Posted by: JakeD | May 12, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

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