Mitch Daniels: If I run, my fundraising and “letterhead” will blow your mind

posted at 9:49 pm on February 10, 2011 by Allahpundit

Not only will he happily run as an establishment favorite, he might even show you his big-name Republican autograph collection. Damn.

“If I were to decide to do this, we would have an unbelievable letterhead,” Daniels predicted in a POLITICO interview Wednesday, lighting up as the hour-long conversation turned to why he could win.

“I don’t know if we’d raise the most, but for whatever reason, there are an awful lot of people standing by who I think know how to do this a lot better than I do,” he said, noting that he’s being pushed to run by an array of business types and political figures…

He wouldn’t say it, but those who have spoken to him indicate Daniels doesn’t see anyone in the current GOP field focused on the fiscal issues that motivate him. If such a person doesn’t emerge — and Daniels said he’ll announce his decision “no later” than May and potentially in April — the chances of him running will increase…

“We have to do a lot of things [fiscally] that all the political wise guys said were impossible, grab these third rails and so forth,” he argued. “I’m an optimist that people, that the American people will support doing what is necessary, once they understand the facts.

I’m an optimist about that too, but only because the possibility that they won’t support doing what’s necessary even after they do understand the facts is too terrifying to grapple with.

When asked what sort of “broad spectrum” of people he expects to draw his support from, here’s what he said. Quote:

“Political figures and business people,” he said, “you know, thought leaders. Even at this late date, that would not be a stopper.”

He’s not off-base about that — remember this Politico piece from a few weeks ago? — but if there’s any single phrase more ill-suited to the bottom-up populist independence on the right at the moment than “thought leaders,” I’d love to know what it is. (“Truce on social issues,” maybe?)

Exit question: Grassroots conservatives will laugh at Daniels cultivating the candy-ass RINO establishment for his campaign, but what does he have to lose? I made this same point yesterday vis-a-vis Romney’s cynical revisions to his new book. The base obviously isn’t going to back him in the primaries, so there’s no sense pandering to them. Better to focus on the many, many centrist Republicans out there for whom electability is a key issue and use big-name endorsements to get their attention. In fact, although some Republicans grumble about Palin hogging the spotlight among right-wing media, one useful side effect of that for moderates like Daniels is that it raises awareness of polls measuring her own electability, especially head-to-head against Obama. The more dire those numbers are, the more even those who might prefer her to the Daniels types in the primary will feel pressure to vote strategically. “Say what you will about Karl Rove,” Mitch the Knife might say, “but at least he knows how to win national elections.” Not a message that’ll win him fans among the grassroots, but not necessarily a losing message either.


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An Unknown Known

“Sarah Palin is what I like to call “An Unknown Known.” While everyone knows who she is, opinions of her are mostly derived from media accounts of her, rather than by her own actions and words. If you poll 1,000 people about Sarah Palin, you have a built in percentage who follow her closely and like her, you have a percentage who may or may not follow her closely and loathe her, and then you have “the 70%” the vast majority of people polled will be those who pay attention to politics 2 weeks a year and all other information comes from soundbites and brief media reports, not by a regular interest in politics (non political junkies).

The 70%: Most people polled about politics are not politically active or interested. When their information is derived from the media and soundbites, their opinion is skewed by the media. Most media reports about Palin reflect a common theme that she is “divisive” and “controversial” and “fringe” and “unelectable.” Therefore, the end result is that is what people know about Sarah Palin, and it negatively effects polling outcomes. This is not to say that the polls are inaccurate when they show Palin with low favor-ability and election poll numbers. Indeed, they are accurate because it takes a snapshot of the public’s perception at that time (even if that perception is crafted by the media). But that is what creates the opening for people to change their minds about her.

While I will discuss polling data on Sarah Palin on this site, it should be noted that she will likely have the biggest upside in long-term polling data, should she run for President in 2012. Where she currently sits poll-wise should be considered the bottom. People who like her or support her now (with all the negative media reports out there) are unlikely to be deterred. The question is, how moved people are when (and if) they see Palin run and actually see her.”

“Polling is most accurate when the subject/person has had major, unfiltered visibility by the public. While Sarah Palin has been everywhere over the past two years, and in just about every major story, her persona has been defined by the media. Polling will remain volatile until Sarah Palin begins her expected run for the White House. At which point, her poll numbers will likely rise as the 70% of the population (non-political independents, non-political junkies, and “moderates”) see her in a more favorable light and she is able to present herself to a broader audience.”

http://pollinsider.com/2011/02/08/polling-palin-an-unknown-known/

Viator on February 11, 2011 at 3:29 AM

A Letter from a Fearfully Concerned Muslim

“Just ponder how a third-rate community organizer — from the most incestuously corrupt political region in the U.S.; with a record of participation in the most vulgar gathering of Jeremiah Wright posing as a reverend, spouting Fanonian rhetoric and bigotry; with mentors such as the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers; channelling the teachings of Saul Alinsky and Rashid Khalidi of the Chomsky school of self-loathing and sophistry — could advance through the ranks of American politics at an astounding speed, with little or no record of experience in government, to become the 44th president.”

“The fault, as Cassius reminds Brutus, is in ourselves, a decaying civilization that will be saved (if it will be) not by the snobs in Washington and New York, London and Paris, Rome and Berlin, but by our version of the unsophisticated children of truckers who are now waking up from the drug-induced stupor of their parents’ and grandparents’ generation. I have hope, the eternal hope of a fearful heart, that the West will survive and yet again gather speed, but how sad are the losses and tears that have piled up — with more to come. They could have been avoided if we, as a people, were not so irresponsible or unfaithful to our history as to place at the head of our societies leaders so unworthy and clueless as the one who so unfittingly occupies the seat of Washington and Lincoln, at the head of this great republic.”

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/a-letter-from-a-fearfully-concerned-muslim/?singlepage=true

Viator on February 11, 2011 at 3:40 AM

–and then he woke up.

leftnomore on February 11, 2011 at 3:41 AM

Well-qualified Daniels is a loser of a candidate but one half of one term governor of Alaska/reality TV star who won’t even dare give interviews to anyone but Fox News is somehow a god send?!?! Honest question- are some of you intoxicated when you comment?

I live in Indiana, and Daniels is hardly a RINO. I fear that anyone with a pulse who isn’t Sarah Palin is considered a RINO by many of you. This Palin messiah worship has become downright scary. Scarier even than the dumb college kids who worshipped unprepared, unqualified, and clueless Obama.

The closer we get to 2012, the more I fear we’re doomed with a second term of Obama. If it isn’t the Paulnut idiots, it’s the Palinistas who have such blinders on that a serious candidate will never have a chance.

TheBlueSite on February 11, 2011 at 4:38 AM

“…we would have an unbelievable letterhead…”

Wow! The freakin world is falling apart, the socialists are in charge and encroaching on our freedom permenantly, and this guy thinks leadership in these dark days is about having great looking letterheads?

Why the left is in power with no-shows on the issues like this, is no surprise. Who’s could beat a man with an unbelievable letterhead – a man with a cool tattoo?

Groan….

Don L on February 11, 2011 at 6:39 AM

TheBlueSite on February 11, 2011 at 4:38 AM

Gotcha. You believe the msm when they say Paul, Palin, or whomever, is unelectable. I guess that includes most true conservatives?

So in your opinion, only a Rino can save us?

Squiggy on February 11, 2011 at 6:47 AM

If electability is truly the key issue and principle(especially moral principles) must be set aside in order to win, then why not cut to the chase and all vote for Obama, because when one pollutes principle for victory, then the victory is that of our enemy – evil.

How much of what we loathe is acceptable to get the victory for the principle doesn’t matter crowd? How many little HIV critters in a body is acceptable? How many sperm are necessary before pregnacy, how many bubonic plague carriers are acceptable, or how many nuke secrets can we give our enemies without fear? Some things demand total resistance. Our creator (nature’s God) says that we are either with Him or against Him. As out forefathers understood, there is no room for gray on moral principle (social conservatism) and relativity is suicide when it comes to freedom and the dignity of man. Compromise is a sword made in heaven but tempered in Hell. We’d better wake up with this silly game of thinking we can inject a little of their evil into our veins and still be any different in the end then they are.

Don L on February 11, 2011 at 7:01 AM

Mitch The VAT
with apologies to Bobby Darin

Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear
And it shows them pearly white
Just a VAT tax has old Mitch Daniels
And he keeps it, ah, out of sight
Ya know when that shark bites with his teeth, babe
Scarlet billows start to spread
G-O-P, babe, wears old Mitch Daniels
So there’s never, never a trace of RED

Now in the toilet, huh, huh,
whoo sunny morning, un huh
Lies the economy just fallin’ flat, eek
And someone’s sneakin’ ’round the White House
Could that someone be Mitch The VAT?

There’s a budget, huh, huh, down by the Potomac dontcha know
Where the deficit’s just a’draggin’ it down
Oh, that deficit is just, it’s there for the left, dear
Five’ll get ya ten old Mitch is back in town
Now d’ja hear ’bout the taxpayer? He disappeared, babe
After losin’ all his hard-earned cash
And now ole Mitch spends just like a sailor
Could it be our boy’s done somethin’ rash?

Now Maxine Waters, ho, ho, yeah, Hill’ry Clinton
Ooh, Miss Lisa Murky and Olympia Snowe
Oh, the line forms on the right, babe
Now that Mitch is back in town

I said Maxine Waters, whoa, Hill’ry Clinton
Look out to Miss Lisa Murky and Olympia Snowe
Yes, that line forms on the right, babe
Now that Mitch is back in town…..

Look out, old Mitch is back!!

Kafir on February 11, 2011 at 7:07 AM

Excuse me, but these canstant condemnations of Mitch as a RINO are ridiculous. The porkers in Congress hate his guts and they have for a long time. He is their worst nightmare, to say nothing of the public employee unions, especially since he is in the process of decertifying the teachers unions in Indiana AS WE SPEAK. RINO. Why? Because he’s not interested in talking about abortion or gay rights? Our fiscal house is in flames because of the arsonists in Washington and you’re worried about the landscaping? Spare me.

DocinPA on February 11, 2011 at 7:49 AM

Yep…I’m certainly with the knowledgeable crowd here that knows full well Daniels is no RINO. And I’m actually a bit taken aback at Allah’s assessment, but it is what it is. Had this been about Palin, the ‘nistas would be on full outrage alert.

JetBoy on February 11, 2011 at 8:02 AM

If Daniels is such a fiscal guru how come he got fired as GW Bush’s budget director just two years into his first term?

tommyboy on February 11, 2011 at 8:06 AM

Well-qualified Daniels is a loser of a candidate but one half of one term governor of Alaska/reality TV star who won’t even dare give interviews to anyone but Fox News is somehow a god send?!?! Honest question- are some of you intoxicated when you comment?

TheBlueSite on February 11, 2011 at 4:38 AM

Palin is under contract with Fox which doesn’t permit her to give interviews with other news companies. That restriction will be lifted if and when she announces a run for 2012.

darwin on February 11, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Yep…I’m certainly with the knowledgeable crowd here that knows full well Daniels is no RINO. And I’m actually a bit taken aback at Allah’s assessment, but it is what it is. Had this been about Palin, the ‘nistas would be on full outrage alert.

JetBoy on February 11, 2011 at 8:02 AM

Huh? There are people here defending Daniels. Why aren’t you attacking them as Danielistas? In fact, it seems many use Daniels as a reason to attack Palin. See: TheBlueSite

darwin on February 11, 2011 at 8:21 AM

If Daniels is such a fiscal guru how come he got fired as GW Bush’s budget director just two years into his first term?

tommyboy on February 11, 2011 at 8:06 AM

Do you have a link to an article, blogpost, or anything at all that even suggests the remote possibility that Mitch Daniels was fired?
He left OMB in June 2003, won the GOP primary for Indiana Governor in May 2004, pretty sure he probably campaigned a little in the 11 intervening months.
DOH!

Raisedbywolves on February 11, 2011 at 8:24 AM

This Palin messiah worship has become downright scary.
TheBlueSite on February 11, 2011 at 4:38 AM

Boo.

davidk on February 11, 2011 at 8:29 AM

“…we would have an unbelievable letterhead…”

Wow! The freakin world is falling apart, the socialists are in charge and encroaching on our freedom permenantly, and this guy thinks leadership in these dark days is about having great looking letterheads?

Why the left is in power with no-shows on the issues like this, is no surprise. Who’s could beat a man with an unbelievable letterhead – a man with a cool tattoo?

Groan….

Don L on February 11, 2011 at 6:39 AM

Good point.

davidk on February 11, 2011 at 8:36 AM

Ah hahahahahahaha!

james23 on February 11, 2011 at 8:39 AM

For those Mitch doubters out there, remember Daniels is right now pushing for real education reform and just passed a huge victory for charter schools with more on the way. This man balanced a budget, privatized the toll road to actually make money, decertified the unions, created a supermajority in the Senate and House, and reformed the BMV with amazing results. This guy is the real deal. He may not be as fun to watch as Christie, but he accomplishes the same results.

lionofzion on February 11, 2011 at 8:43 AM

lionofzion on February 11, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Correct. People were drooling over Christie but think Daniels is a RINO loser, when in fact Daniels is to the right of Christie on his signature issue. Daniels decertified the unions, he didn’t just talk tough to them.

Chazz on February 11, 2011 at 8:56 AM

My husband in west Texas for the next week or so-hopefully convincing his Chicago-based employer to transfer us there.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 10, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Got my fingers crossed for you. That’s a nice place to be.
However, I was not impressed with El Paso. When I saw it in the early 90s, it was a dump, IMHO.
You know the nicest town in TX IMHO after living in E. TX & S. TX-it is San Antonio.

Badger40 on February 11, 2011 at 8:58 AM

I can’t wait for the primaries. Just think of the possibilities:

The Hair (Mitt)
The Stache (Bolton)
The Donald
The Combover
The Cuda

fossten on February 11, 2011 at 9:13 AM

How about Sharon Angle for president instead? She sure ain’t no candy-ass RINO! LOL!! I am glad he is my governor. I would vote for him again. Like DocinPA said, he is getting down to brass tacks on our dysfunctional schools here, doing the heavy lifting that needs to be done. My Man Mitch has street cred on fiscal responsibility, and would not embarrass us on the international stage. He is an excellent manager. I am not saying he is the best choice, but he is looking pretty good given the choices.

RudeMechanic on February 11, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Why make such a big deal about an innocuous joke about letterhead? Daniels may be our one chance at getting some adult supervision in the White House.

IU_Conservative on February 11, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Better to focus on the many, many centrist Republicans out there for whom electability is a key issue…

The better term for these people is “sinecure-seeking whores”.

Crawford on February 11, 2011 at 9:25 AM

“If I were to decide to do this, we would have an unbelievable letterhead.”

Well, it better be good there has been a precendent set.

Fallon on February 11, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Oh God, please tell me we’ll have SOMEONE worth a damn to run in 2012.

jnelchef on February 11, 2011 at 9:50 AM

For any President to get a VAT he or she must have a Congress willing to give it to them.

Stop electing those sorts of Congresscritters for both Houses and drive home the idea of a clean-sheet, no exemptions for anything, everyone pays something tax code that is applied equally upon all and NOT collected by retail/wholesale transactions. Let people know what their good feelings towards government costs them and why investing is prudent and you will see candidates drop a VAT tax like a hot potato.

The few things I like about Daniels are what he did to the unions and selling off parts of government that were moneypits. Those are good things worth emulating at the federal level… they are also things that should not be foreign to ANY CANDIDATE as an active issue.

I don’t like any ‘thinker’ who wants taxes to be hidden in transactions so that spendthrifts in Congress can raise them with little direct ‘pain’ on the people. Taxes are a reminder of what our government costs us in the pocket book, so that when it over-reaches on liberty it hits the bottom line directly for each and every citizen. It is a means of accountability… stop trying to make the government unaccountable on any front. Taxes should never be painless and easy to collect, but a constant reminder of the cost of supporting spendthrifts with public funds. On that Daniels needs to rethink what the role of government is, exactly, in all venues because it is a way of looking at government that goes far beyond balancing the budget.

ajacksonian on February 11, 2011 at 10:00 AM

He cannot win. He is single.

roux on February 11, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Grassroots conservatives will laugh at Daniels cultivating the candy-ass RINO establishment for his campaign …

Yes we are!

HondaV65 on February 11, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Why make such a big deal about an innocuous joke about letterhead? Daniels may be our one chance at getting some adult supervision in the White House.

IU_Conservative on February 11, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Daniels is built in the same mold as G.W. Bush – or any other Republican establishment President who helped to run this nation into bankruptcy. He talks a mean deal – and pounds his chest about fiscal issues and all that – and how he can fix them.

But, if given the chance, he’d quickly cower in the face of the Dimmocrits and I totally see him striking a deal with them that gives them a VAT while he in returns gets token cuts in spending.

And then he’ll declare victory.

It’s time people woke up and smelled the coffee – we’ve been doing the same thing for over 100 years – with the same results. You elect a Republican, he talks “big” about cutting the size of government during the campaign – then GROWS it in office.

It’s time to elect someone new – someone from outside the fold. Someone who’s not in this for egotistical reasons – but is truely motivated by a sincere desire to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to save this nation. That person will NOT come from the rank of the established politicians – but from the grassroots.

HondaV65 on February 11, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Out of curiosity, why is Daniels considered a “moderate” while Huckabee is considered a “conservative”? I don’t think that you know what these terms mean.

besser tot als rot on February 11, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Mitch Daniel: “If I were to decide to do this, we would have an unbelievable letterhead”

So Mitch hired the awesome team that created Obama’s -

Possum quote and Seal of the President-Elect????

W(inning) T(he) F(uture)??! over.

Sir Napsalot on February 11, 2011 at 11:17 AM

The next Repub candidate needs to be:
1. electable
2. small govt guru
3. willing to significantly roll back the debt.
All else is window dressing. If Mitch can roll back the VAT talk he deserves a good look.

humdinger on February 11, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Wow, is this the guy who the Bushes like? That would figure.

Palin 2012!

Done That on February 11, 2011 at 5:41 PM

I think Daniels looks like Eisenhower, an excellent administrator.

I think the one who gets the nomination will have to convince people that this really IS a crisis and that we really MUST reform entitlements, if not eliminate them completely. That’s a tall order with the media and the Democrats ready to use fright tactics.

But it needs to be someone who can also show us a way out, that there IS a way out through an improving, vibrant economy. Someone who can demonstrate hope, not just use it as a slogan, and help us understand why Obama has been such a dismal failure. Reagan wahs a leader like that, but it took him several tries to get nominated, and he only succeeded in delaying this hour, not turning it back.

I don’t know if of the current candidates can do that, but whoever comes closest, I’ll support, and it won’t be the ones who go negative on other Republicans.

flataffect on February 12, 2011 at 1:18 AM

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