David Brooks: Let’s face it, Mitch Daniels is likely to be the GOP nominee

posted at 8:52 pm on October 1, 2010 by Allahpundit

He hath seen the crease in the man’s pants and pronounced it good.

Whitman is representative of an emerging Republican type — what you might call the austerity caucus. Flamboyant performers like Sarah Palin get all the attention, but the governing soul of the party is to be found in statehouses where a loose confederation of über-wonks have become militant budget balancers. Just as welfare reformers of the 1990s presaged compassionate conservatism, so the austerity brigades presage the national party’s next chapter.

Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana who I think is most likely to win the G.O.P. presidential nomination in 2012, is the spiritual leader. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is the rising star. Jeb Bush is the eminence. Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Rob Portman, a Senate candidate in Ohio, also fit the mold…

Whitman has the personality type that you’re seeing more and more of these days. Not big picture, like Reagan. Not an idea volcano, like Gingrich. Not a straightforward man of faith, like George W. Bush. The quintessential New Republican is detail-oriented, managerial, tough-minded, effective but a little dry. If Whitman wins her race, she’ll fit right in.

I’d be mighty curious to hear Brooks describe Daniels’s path to the nomination. Social conservatives are famously influential in the Iowa caucuses — ask 2008 winner Mike Huckabee — and Daniels did himself no favors with them by famously calling for a truce on cultural issues until America’s finances are sorted out. So Iowa’s a lost cause. That leaves New Hampshire, which loves mavericky moderate dark horse candidates like Daniels. The only problem? Romney has the home field advantage and knows only too well that his own candidacy will live or die depending on the outcome there, so he’ll go all out — at any price — to win it. If he does, where does that leave Mitch? Gasping for life in South Carolina, another social con stronghold? If he’s serious about running, he’d better move to Concord tomorrow and start dumping on RomneyCare to anyone who’ll listen. That’s his only, and very long, shot.

Speaking of Romney, at 41/40, he’s running just one slim point behind Obama in Fox News’s new poll out today. Huckabee — the tea-party candidate? — trails 43/40 and Chris Christie lags at 42/30, mainly because many people don’t know who he is yet. As for Palin, it’s … 48/35, and she’s the only one of the big three who trails Obama among independents (by seven points). But never mind that; here’s the race we all want to see, and if Captain Wonderful manages to steer the economy back to 10 percent unemployment, we just might see it yet. The very thought of it, the sheer abundance of daily blogworthy content it would bring, makes me unsteady on my feet. Think about it, Hillary. America needs this.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

LOL, Brooks just put the last nail in the coffin for Daniels’ 2012 prospects. Kiss of Death. Anyone Brooks or Frum endorses will be avoided like the plague by millions of conservatives.

What’s with the RINOs salivating over Daniels, anyway? He is not that great of a fiscal conservative. Take the latest CATO Institute’s Rating of Governors this year:

South Carolina Mark Sanford (R) 74
Louisiana Bobby Jindal (R) 71
Minnesota Tim Pawlenty (R) 66
West Virginia Joe Manchin (D) 66
Wyoming Dave Freudenthal (D) 63
Rhode Island Don Carcieri (R) 62
Oklahoma Brad Henry (D) 62
Nevada Jim Gibbons (R) 61
Texas Rick Perry (R) 61
Alabama Bob Riley (R) 61
Montana Brian Schweitzer (D) 61
Georgia Sonny Perdue (R) 60
Missouri Jay Nixon (D) 59
Idaho C. L. “Butch” Otter (R) 58
New Mexico Bill Richardson (D) 57
Vermont Jim Douglas (R) 56
Indiana Mitch Daniels (R) 56
Maine John Baldacci (D) 55
Maryland Martin O’Malley (D) 55
Kentucky Steven Beshear (D) 54
Michigan Jennifer Granholm (D) 53
Mississippi Haley Barbour (R) 53
South Dakota Mike Rounds (R) 53
Tennessee Phil Bredesen (D) 53
Nebraska Dave Heineman (R) 51
North Dakota John Hoeven (R) 51
Hawaii Linda Lingle (R) 51
Florida Charlie Crist (R) 49
Ohio Ted Strickland (D) 49
California Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) 47
Delaware Jack Markell (D) 47
Arkansas Mike Beebe (D) 47
Iowa Chet Culver (D) 47
Massachusetts Deval Patrick (D) 43
New Hampshire John Lynch (D) 41
North Carolina Beverly Perdue (D) 40
Arizona Jan Brewer (R) 40
Pennsylvania Edward Rendell (D) 40
Washington Chris Gregoire (D) 39
Wisconsin Jim Doyle (D) 35
Colorado Bill Ritter (D) 35
Illinois Pat Quinn (D) 30
Connecticut Jodi Rell (R) 28
New York David Paterson (D) 25
Oregon Ted Kulongoski (D) 19

Daniels is not even among the Top 15 Governors. Six Democrats (!) score higher. Heck, why not nominate Bill Richardson in 2012? He scores higher than Daniels.

Aside from being poison to most social conservatives after his idiotic “truce” proposal, Daniels has zero charisma. I saw him on Stossel the other night and was not impressed. The guy is painfully shy and horrible in front of a camera. Not exactly what is needed for a dark horse candidate to break out in a debate and raise the tens of $millions needed to be competitive in a nationwide primary.

I starting to think the only real reason why Brooks and other DC Establishment RINOs pump this guy is because he is one of them. Daniels has gone to elitist Ivy League schools and has been a DC Bureaucrat. You know, unlike that unsophisticated rube Sarah Palin.

Norwegian on October 2, 2010 at 12:47 AM

Brooks shows his bile by his omission of Sarah Palin from that list: any fair look at her record in Alaska shows her as…

detail-oriented, managerial, tough-minded, effective

…too.

Though anything but “dry.”

irishspy on October 2, 2010 at 1:02 AM

Huckabee, the tea party candidate? That’s rich.

AshleyTKing on October 2, 2010 at 1:07 AM

Jindal is my first choice+I have a thing for wonky, Gen X guys.
What a huge brain he has!
*swoon*

annoyinglittletwerp on October 1, 2010 at 11:49 PM

And he’s got guts, passionately taking on the President this summer.
Many conservatives dropped him from their POTUS lists after that perfunctory speech in January, but he gave some fiery speeches this summer!

itsnotaboutme on October 2, 2010 at 1:19 AM

Mitch Daniels, is indeed boring. He is certainly not a RINO. CATO is a Libertarian think-tank, not a Republican one. Daniels would be a horrible candidate but probably a fairly good president.

jones on October 2, 2010 at 2:02 AM

Daniels is the Bush Family role player whose job is to be nominated and loose. That blocks a Palin 8 years and insures a Jeb Bush term beginning in 2016. Palin is the unstoppable force that has come into the GOP with the Tea Party in her arsenal…not splintered into a third party a la Ross Perot. The Bush/Rovian insiders are fit to be tied. Palin has skillfully trapped their queen. That has lead to the Tokyo Rove’s angry assaults on O’Donnell as a Palin surrogate that can be wiped out while a similar Rovian seek and destroy mission on Palin is too late. People love Palin now. Mitch, the bean counter with no popularity, cannot win anything except possibly a nomination away from Sweet Sarah.

jimw on October 2, 2010 at 4:13 AM

What gets me is the great disdain Brooks has for those who actually get the work done, as opposed to people like himself who imagine the future and solve the puzzles of how to institute utopia. In another timeline he’d be a telephone sanitizer.

flicker on October 2, 2010 at 5:48 AM

I know Mitch is on his knees, praying that it’s true. Too bad, I’m not too hot for Mitch, but he could have brought something to the table…before ‘Creases Dave’ knee-capped him.

AUINSC on October 1, 2010 at 9:21 PM

For Mitch to get kneecapped Brooks would have to be playing cricket. That guy is tiny!

I met him a couple of years ago and it amazed me at how small he is. I’m pretty sure that even Rahm “Luca” Emanuel is bigger than him. He regularly rides his motorcycle in parades and charity rides in Indianapolis. I crack up every time I see him on his bike because he looks like a little kid.

As someone noted earlier, chances are he would be a good president but a bad candidate. He has done great things for Indiana but to get the nomination he had better start moving quickly and strongly.

Mitch on his bike

Eprider on October 2, 2010 at 7:57 AM

Thanks Ms. Brooks for pointing out the top candidate who should not receive the repub nomination. We see how your boy toy Obama worked out. Fool us once, shame on you, fool us twice, shame on US.

eaglewingz08 on October 2, 2010 at 8:16 AM

Brooks shows his bile by his omission of Sarah Palin from that list
irishspy on October 2, 2010 at 1:02 AM

Maybe it is because the list of sitting governors for this year. She hasn’t been a governor for over a year.

Everything really isn’t about Sarah. You want her on the list ask her why she quit. I know I know the lawsuits – the same ones the RNC agreed to pay 129K to help her with. Don’t think she mentions that pesky little fact all that often though – in fact I am not sure if she has ever mentioned it.

Bradky on October 2, 2010 at 8:23 AM

Alternate headline: Mitch Daniels receives the David Brooks kiss of death.

exdeadhead on October 2, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Oh those RINO politicians in Indiana are too cute by half! This one started my memory banks smoking – And RINO history is trying to repeat itself. Sounds like a stop Mike Pence with an Indiana RINO spoiler in the making to me. Same thing that Lugar did to Quayle in 1996 when he was considering running for Pres. And guess what? It seems the RINO Lugar may be behind this one too!

Check out a story by Darcy G. Richardson at; http://www.uncoveredpolitics.com – entitled; “Richard Lugar Encourages Gov. Daniels to Seek GOP Presidential Nomination” http://tinyurl.com/2et4xzu

Done That on October 2, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Speaking of pre-election nominee polls, remember back in ’06, it was Rudy who was hands down gonna be the nominee?
Instead we got TAFKAM. I’ll take Mitt any day over TAFKAM or is it now The Artist Formerly Known as TAFKAM … Anyway, good luck Mitt and AP. I’m rooting for Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie.

JimP on October 2, 2010 at 8:46 AM

Bradky on October 2, 2010 at 8:23 AM
It was the lawsuits that would be coming until the end of her term. Non-stop frivolous lawsuits that she and the taxpayers of Alaska would have to pay for. The 129K from the RNC would be a drop in the bucket. I kinda like that she saved the state all that money.
Funny, you don’t have a problem with Barry leaving his senate gig midway. You’re an idiot.

mnmom on October 2, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Oh MANNNNNNN! They’re ALREADY trying to dump another McCain setup on us?

Sheesh!

44Magnum on October 2, 2010 at 9:25 AM

I’d rather have Daniels than Sarah Palin, who is guaranteed to give Obama a second term. It’ll be a lot of fun watching SNL spoof her every week leading up to the 2012 Election while the Chosen One, “on the comeback trail” per the MSM, takes 45 states. Ronald Reagan was a RINO under this logic and the GOP will blow the opportunity of a lifetime if she wins it on the basis of the alleged purity of her convictions.

ephfan on October 2, 2010 at 10:17 AM

It’ll be a lot of fun watching SNL spoof her every week leading up to the 2012 Election while the Chosen One, “on the comeback trail” per the MSM, takes 45 states.

ephfan on October 2, 2010 at 10:17 AM

B.s. I can think of about 20 states right now that won’t be going for Obama under any circumstances. And if you want SNL to choose your candidate, be my guest.

ddrintn on October 2, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Palin cannot win and you are off your rocker if you think she can. It will be a mistake of biblical proportions to nominate her in a year when a Republican who is articulate and good on fiscal issues such as Thune or Daniels or even Romney can win big. She lacks the depth and intelligence necessary for a presidential candidate and all of the pounding the table to the contrary doesn’t change that fact. I don’t want SNL to choose the nominee but I don’t want to hand the opposition the rope to hang me with either. She is not presidential timber. Period.

ephfan on October 2, 2010 at 11:17 AM

ephfan on October 2, 2010 at 11:17 AM

And Thune and Daniels are? Daniels has already torqued off any Conservatives that actually know who he is by his idiotic “truce” comment. Thune is not that well known by average Americans. Now is not the time for John McCain, Part Deux.

kingsjester on October 2, 2010 at 11:21 AM

a Republican who is articulate and good on fiscal issues such as Thune or Daniels or even Romney can win big.

ephfan on October 2, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Talk about off your rocker. All 3 would lose in a close one. They don’t have the support of the GOP rank and file.

ddrintn on October 2, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Palin cannot win and you are off your rocker if you think she can. It will be a mistake of biblical proportions to nominate her in a year when a Republican who is articulate and good on fiscal issues such as Thune or Daniels or even Romney can win big. She lacks the depth and intelligence necessary for a presidential candidate and all of the pounding the table to the contrary doesn’t change that fact. …
ephfan on October 2, 2010 at 11:17 AM

BZZZZZT! Wrong. But thanks for playing.

You obviously haven’t read what she’s written. She continues to impress those who evaluate her seriously, rather than pre-judge her as you do. Her policy book will be out next month, which will make it harder for her opponents like you to keep making these empty evidence-free assertions.

Palin 2012, there’s no stopping her now :)

ornery_independent on October 2, 2010 at 12:54 PM

I think the GOP will be making a huge mistake if they nominate her. I don’t think she had the depth to do much besides mouth conservative platitudes. We don’t need 20 states, we need 270 electoral votes. In either event, if the GOP cleans the Dems clock in November like they should, people will be coming out of the woodwork to run against Obama. Its an eternity between now and 2012, I just don’t think she has the right stuff, and it’ll be very difficult to overcome the inital impression she left with independents. You can’t win just with the base, there has to be at least some cross over appeal.

ephfan on October 2, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Kiss. Of. Death.

Saltysam on October 2, 2010 at 1:32 PM

I agree with those who think Brooks’ imprimatur is the kiss of death for Daniels. Anyone Brooks is for is automatically suspect IMO and will not get my vote.

JimP on October 2, 2010 at 1:37 PM

You can’t win just with the base, there has to be at least some cross over appeal.

ephfan on October 2, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Good luck in winning without them. If I remember correctly, McCain was supposed to appeal to all those blessed independents and moderates.

ddrintn on October 2, 2010 at 2:19 PM

Its an eternity between now and 2012, I just don’t think she has the right stuff, and it’ll be very difficult to overcome the inital impression she left with independents.

ephfan on October 2, 2010 at 1:05 PM

By the way, the “initial impression” was that McCain took a lead over Obama in the polls for the first time in the campaign.

ddrintn on October 2, 2010 at 2:20 PM

She made an excellent impression at the RNC…..and then performed horribly during the series of interviews she did with ABC, CBS, etc.. I like her, she was a great governor, but there is no way she can win the White House. You cannot win with just the base. You need to secure the base and then at least break even with the independents. By your logice you might as well nominate Rush.

ephfan on October 2, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Seeing Brooks declare Daniels as the GOP candidate is almost as funny as seeing Allahpundit declare Huckabee as the Tea Party candidate. They are both delusional.

Anon Y. Mous on October 2, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Of course David Brooks likes Mitch Daniels, Daniels is the Democrat’s tax collector. In the last week or so, he suggested that tax increases would be the grown-up thing to do.

So the Democrats foolishly send a mountain of money we don’t have, then Daniels, the Democrat’s tax collector raises taxes and pays for the Democrat spending spree… enabling another mountain of foolish Democrat spending.

Mitch Daniels, the Democrat’s Tax Collector for President?

- No Thanks!

RJL on October 2, 2010 at 3:53 PM

As someone noted earlier, chances are he would be a good president but a bad candidate. He has done great things for Indiana but to get the nomination he had better start moving quickly and strongly.

Mitch on his bike

Eprider on October 2, 2010 at 7:57 AM

That is a nice bike.

AshleyTKing on October 2, 2010 at 5:00 PM

She made an excellent impression at the RNC…..and then performed horribly during the series of interviews she did with ABC, CBS, etc..

ephfan on October 2, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Bobby Jindal’s first national speech was decidedly subpar. Ready to throw him under the bus? Of course not.

You cannot win with just the base. You need to secure the base and then at least break even with the independents. By your logice you might as well nominate Rush.

ephfan on October 2, 2010 at 2:52 PM

By your logic we might as well nominate Hillary. You can’t win with only the base, but you sure as hell can’t win without them, either. And if you think the base is going to fall in line for some vanilla allegedly parody-proof centrist, think again.

ddrintn on October 2, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Where’s T-Paw in this analysis? He’s the one who’s got the real shot. He has the conservative credentials and that Tony Blair roguish thing going on that the indys will love.

RomneyCare? Please.
Huckabee – the tea party candidate? Laughter.
Mitch Daniels is a good governor, but he sure is boring. Boring would be good, but not electable.
Palin? Negatives too high. Leave her as kingmaker. She’s doing beautifully – and drawing fire from the candidates themselves. Nice job.

Pablo Snooze on October 2, 2010 at 6:16 PM

Mitch Daniels is a good governor, but he sure is boring. Boring would be good, but not electable.

Pablo Snooze on October 2, 2010 at 6:16 PM

Pawlenty isn’t exactly Mr Excitement.

ddrintn on October 2, 2010 at 6:59 PM

Huckabee – the tea party candidate? Laughter…

Pablo Snooze on October 2, 2010 at 6:16 PM

I see very little chance that the Huckster will be endorsed by any significant number of state chapters of the Tea Party in 2012 if he should run. There will be several much better candidates from the Tea Party’s perspective.

slickwillie2001 on October 2, 2010 at 8:06 PM

@ephfan: Soooo when Palin does become the GOP nominee in 2012, you will be pushing the button for her in the voting booth, right?

starman on October 3, 2010 at 10:50 AM

The list of despised pundits is long and getting longer, but Captain Trouser Crease remains at the top of the list. The sad thing for Daniels is, he generates so little buzz, he’s probably thrilled that Trouser Crease has endorsed him. Kiss of death.

james23 on October 4, 2010 at 8:38 AM

Comment pages: 1 2