And the only two things holding me back are:
- His lack of interest in even running (which is a good thing, especially if you ask the Founders).
- Something that can't be helped for quite awhile, time. The 2012 campaign won't really begin until early 2011. A lot can happen.
But if Daniels ever changed his mind about running--or if persuasive citizens convince him to do so--he would possess a quality most of his potential 2012 GOP opponents lack: a substantive record that can directly challenge Barack Obama's vulnerabilities and make him a formidable challenger. And that is why his potential as a serious GOP presidential candidate, despite his repeated utterances and reassurances that he does not want to seek that office, should never be underestimated.Mitch Daniels. He's dreamy.
To voters concerned about America's growing budget deficit, Daniels can tell them that he inherited a deficit and is now one of the few governors presiding over a budget surplus. He is, after all, referred to as "the Blade."
For the Hoosiers who want a government that is lean but user friendly and efficient, he can tell them that he even increased the approval ratings of Indiana's DMV by making it more efficient.
To voters concerned about health care, he can tell them that he insured Hoosiers who weren't poor enough to qualify for government assistance and not wealthy enough to purchase private insurance with his Healthy Indiana program, which utilized personal health savings accounts in a way that promoted personal responsibility and was consistent with free market principles while providing a safety net for catastrophic medical emergencies. And his plan was fully paid for by raising cigarette taxes and reallocating some of the states Medicaid funds, for which Indiana had to get approval.
For those who want a bipartisan consensus builder, Daniels can tell them that he won reelection by winning Indiana's independent voters and over-performing among young voters, Democrats, and minorities even in an election year when Obama surprisingly won Indiana.
If you want to join the Mitch Daniels fan page on Facebook, click here.