Mitch Daniels

April 27, 2011

-- Ed Kilgore on the conservative establishment's adoration of Mitch Daniels. -- Sure, the White House may have released the long-form birth certificate, but that's not going to silence birthers. -- You can listen to my "On Point" appearance here.

The Daniels Dilemma
April 27, 2011

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour’s surprise announcement that he is not, after all, running for president in 2012 is sparking an incipient sense of panic in the self-confident ranks of Republican insiders. Ol’ Haley was so their type: solidly conservative without getting too carried away with it, innately at home with money and those who made lots of it, and always ready to cut a shrewd deal. But now, for whatever reason, Haley’s out.

Do Candidates Matter At All? Yes.
April 11, 2011

Andrew Gelman is clearly not amused by my New York Times magazine column wondering why Republican elites are trying to draft such poor candidates into the presidential field. Gelman's item has a lot of problems, beginning with the fact that it's aimed at an argument I didn't make anywhere in my column.

Mitch Daniels and His Health Care Elixir
March 29, 2011

My latest column for Kaiser Health News: Conservatives don't know whether Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, will run for president. But they know about the health care plan he introduced. And many of them are excited about it. The Healthy Indiana Plan, as it's known, is the Hoosier state's alternative to traditional Medicaid. It's also a viable alternative to the dreaded federal Affordable Care Act, if its boosters on the right are to be believed. Do they have a case? Heaven knows conservatives need such a proposal.

The God-Off
March 09, 2011

On Monday night, the 2012 Republican primary kicked off in earnest. The occasion was an Iowa forum sponsored by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, which is eager to ensure that the Christian Right (and Ralph Reed, who is launching his own comeback) maintains a prominent—indeed, an absolutely overweening—place in the decision-making process of the GOP. This “cattle call” was held in a brightly colored suburban megachurch in Waukee, Iowa, known locally for having a rockin’ pastor and praise band.

Why I'd Place My Bet on Tim Pawlenty
March 08, 2011

With few declared candidates and no clear frontrunner, the Republican presidential primary appears to be as muddled as ever. But I actually think things are shaking out in a way as to clear the path for Tim Pawlenty. My view of the primary selection system is that it consists of two basic constituencies, the elites and the base. The elites want to find a candidate who is electable and committed to their policy agenda.

March 03, 2011

After many feints in this direction dating back to 1996, Newt Gingrich seems to be finally preparing a run for president. Generally, he is not being taken as seriously as potential candidates like Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee—or even D.C. insider heartthrobs such as Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, and Chris Christie. I agree with this assessment of Gingrich’s potential, to an extent; he’s the opposite of a fresh new face, and the guy’s baggage rivals Charlie Sheen’s.

Labor Is Winning The Battle Of Wisconsin
February 22, 2011

We don't know how the battle of Wisconsin will turn out, but there are a lot of straws in the wind, and they all suggest labor is winning. Consider: 1. The polls show the public is siding with labor. One poll, by the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner but using straightforward questions, shows the majority of Wisconsin voters oppose Scott Walker's anti-union moves. Another national poll from Gallup shows a national majority of voters would oppose a change like the one Walker is proposing. (A Rasmussen poll found different results, but seems to be transparently cooked.) 2.

The Predictable Demise Of Dick Lugar
February 22, 2011

When you see a primary challenge against a long-time member of Congress, the incumbent usually enjoys the advantage of at least nominal support from the party establishment.

Culture Shock
February 19, 2011

Many Beltway insiders seem to have convinced themselves that abortion doesn’t matter anymore. Just look at the press clippings from CPAC, where Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels wowed his D.C. cheerleaders with a speech doubling down on his earlier call for a “truce” over culture-war issues like abortion. Chris Christie came into town a few days later, and excited a lot of the same people with a speech focused almost exclusively on the idea that entitlement-spending cuts are the nation’s top priority.