New Republican Governors Association video: Second look at Mitch Daniels?

posted at 4:50 pm on January 24, 2012 by Allahpundit

Via Daniel Halper at the Standard, where Bill Kristol’s umpteen-thousandth plea for Daniels to jump in and rescue the party was published this morning. This isn’t a campaign ad, just an (unusually long and polished) RGA promo keyed to Daniels’s SOTU rebuttal tonight. But let’s face it: If he does well, the “second look at Mitch?” murmurs will be deafening tomorrow and this video will operate effectively as a campaign ad, and the RGA surely knows it. Just as Daniels himself surely knew that his spotlight turn tonight, starring the great what-might-have-been of 2012 positioned opposite Obama on national TV in the thick of the early primaries, would get people talking — and yet he agreed to do it anyway. Intriguing. Romney, at least, must be shivering at the optics of GOP leaders inviting this guy to do battle with The One in primetime. It’s practically a vote of no confidence, a tacit reminder of who the establishment would be backing if Daniels’s decision not to run hadn’t stuck them with Mitt.

But as I said yesterday, it’s too late now for Daniels. If Romney and Gingrich had both ended up disliked and distrusted by the base, then Mitch might feasibly jump in as a Not Romney/Not Gingrich whose pedigree as a Beltway favorite and Bush veteran is easily forgiven. As it is, though — and this is the true significance of Gingrich’s rise in South Carolina — Newt has used his own media-bashing plus the disdain of traditional conservative opinion-makers to turn the race from “Romney vs. Gingrich” into “establishment vs. anti-establishment.” If Daniels got in tomorrow, Newt would cast him as a pawn thrust into the race at the eleventh hour by panicked elitists to hold back the populist tide after Romney failed to do so. He’d point to Daniels’s “truce” talk from months ago as evidence, and suddenly you’d have Romney and Daniels splitting the centrist vote while the grassroots consolidates behind Newt. The only way Daniels would be viable is if Romney dropped out, which wouldn’t happen unless/until Mitt finished third consistently on Super Tuesday, and even then I’m not sure Daniels would win head to head against Gingrich if Newt turned the race into an “a vote for Gingrich is a vote against Republican business as usual” campaign. (He’d have lots of fun noting that Daniels, for all his talk of red ink, was big-spending George Bush’s budget director whereas Newt helped balance the federal budget.) The only viable late entrant now would be someone with both establishment and grassroots credibility such that he/she could neutralize Gingrich’s inevitable strategy. Paul Ryan could do it but he genuinely doesn’t seem to have the appetite and, as a congressman, would have difficulty convincing voters that he had the right experience. I think Jindal could do it but I don’t know if establishment Republicans would line up behind him. Short of that, who?

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What is this? Newt is trying to portray himself as ‘anti-establishment’? LOL!
And people are buying this? Have we lost our minds?

Romney is establishment and Newt was establishment before it was cool.

We all know who AP was referring to…lol. That clever linkbaiting bastard!

rightConcept on January 24, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Why are they stuck on Daniels? What about John Thune!

CTSherman on January 24, 2012 at 7:23 PM

What if the chants of Run Sarah Run break out at CPAC? hahaha!

Damn that will be LOL-worthy!

rightConcept on January 24, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Why are they stuck on Daniels? What about John Thune!

CTSherman on January 24, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Too bad Clifford Huntsman dropped out! Damn I was ready to give him a second look…. /s

rightConcept on January 24, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Somebody needs to get in. We’re screwed with Romney or Gingrich.

therightwinger on January 24, 2012 at 7:36 PM

rightConcept on January 24, 2012 at 7:23 PM

That will/would be followed up by the Ronulans freaking out about Ron Paul winning the CPAC straw poll..:)

Dire Straits on January 24, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Mitch Daniels … “The Veteran”???

I just scanned his wiki page and I didn’t find any military service there – so how’s he a “veteran”?

I did see he’s a “veteran” marijuana and LSD user though.

Not sure that’s what they mean here though.

HondaV65 on January 24, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Somebody needs to get in. We’re screwed with Romney or Gingrich.

therightwinger on January 24, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Dude … I’ve been in combat … bad combat and I tell ya – RELAX DUDE!


It’s in the bag. We could nominate Tom Delay and win this one.

Ogabe is DONE.

HondaV65 on January 24, 2012 at 7:51 PM

The GOP is worried about a party switch in congress. ( Good bit on this from Limbaugh here) It would be nice to have the executive office, that is not their primary concern however. The GOP wants to be handed enough congressional seats then they can re-entrench the proper authority vested in Congress. Then apply full court PR pressure that will hopefully wake people up a little more about congress and their role and responsibility to the country. Unlock the legislature and cripple the executive power grabs.

It is easy to look at congress and blame them for inaction, but do you want a “fast” congress? Quick laws are dangerous, and I would hope that people would expect congress to be exactly what they are: frustrating. Our government is constructed in such a way as to make it (theoretically) very easy for “the people” to cripple the process and we should celebrate that. If you have any questions as to the true intentions of the founders, their acknowledgement of the power of lawmaking, and the need to hinder it more than enable it, look at the Senate. Senators are very powerful and any one can hobble a bill severely. (Also they are meant to represent the state, not “the people” who have the HoR, but that is a different line of thought altogether)

As far as why Gingrich is gaining like he is might have something to do with this:

If the best thing the GOP is hoping for is congress, then the message that hoisting up Gingrich sends the GOP freshman/incumbents is that they are upset that nobody substantial in the GOP stood up to take on this President. The “there is no way we can beat this incumbent President” mentality looped itself around the neck of the professional politicians and now the GOP is paying for it.

I honestly feel this sets a bad tone, too much CYA (cover your a**) as a party begs the questions “If the situation is so dire, where is the sense of urgency? Why are the best foots not coming forward?”

This is turning into a TLDR post so I will stop.

sublibertate on January 24, 2012 at 8:35 PM

If Romney and Gingrich had both ended up disliked and distrusted by the base

Both of them HAVE ended up disliked and distrusted by the base. Without another alternative, one has to win, but neither has any substantial hard support at this point.

The climate is perfect for a late entrant with a successful record of conservative executive governance, and an uncompromising message of fiscal sanity.

Arnold Yabenson on January 24, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Do we really have to go over this again?

He has no charisma, he is short, has a very bad combover. Again, he has no charisma.

Did he go to a charisma coach and is NOW ready?

On second thought, let him enter the race – I’m with Palin –
the more the merrier! Let Christie, Jindahl, etc. etc. etc.
Hey, let the moderate Scott Brown in, let Rubio, Jeb Bush
and even Rand Paul in – debate between him and his father might be interesting – let them all in.

Enough of this shouda been, coulda been _________fill in the blank.
Let them all duke it out.

Amjean on January 24, 2012 at 10:26 PM

I think Jindal could do it but I don’t know if establishment Republicans would line up behind him. Short of that, who?

Rick Perry – that’s who.

It sure didn’t take long for buyer’s remorse to set in, uh?

Some of us cautioned conservatives/tea partiers on this forum and elsewhere that there was only one candidate that could have bridged the establishment-base divide and satisfied social, fiscal, and national defense conservatives.

Unfortunately, the base decided that gaffes he made at the beginning of his campaign were unforgivable.

So Newt vs. Romney – make your pick.

TheRightMan on January 24, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Santorum figures out he won’t win and goes to Mitch Daniels and asks him to take his place. Rick gives all his delegates to Mitch and joins him as VP. Thus Daniels is in and registers for all the rest of the primaries, Santorum is Veep and Romney and Ginrich disappear.

CoyoteAz on January 24, 2012 at 11:12 PM

TheRightMan on January 24, 2012 at 10:27 PM

In a sane world, Rick Perry, the soon-to-be nominee, would’ve delivered the rebuttal to Obama’s SOTU address–a warning shot across the bow of the sinking ship that is Obama. And then we’d all sleep soundly for the first time in years as we considered the employment statistics in Texas and thought maybe, just maybe the country could be back on its feet in only a couple of years.

But no.

I weep for my country.

butterflies and puppies on January 25, 2012 at 12:04 AM

Palin/Perry That was my ticket. Bolton as SofS, Nwt as Chief of Staff. They would’ve kicked ass.

lonestar1 on January 25, 2012 at 1:35 AM

Stop this nonsense Allahpundit. I watched Daniels State of the Union rebuttal, he’s not stellar or telegenic. He’s ok, better than a Democrat, but nothing more. He does not live up to the hype at all.

scotash on January 25, 2012 at 1:56 AM

scotash on January 25, 2012 at 1:56 AM

but the party keeps trying

too bad Cain blew him out of the water. Tea Party is better at picking live fish

entagor on January 25, 2012 at 2:26 AM

Screw Daniels! He’s W with twice the compassion and only half as conservative!

insidiator on January 25, 2012 at 7:52 AM

Iis the same Mitch Daniels who appointed one of the judges in the recent Indiana case where the Indiana Supreme court ruled 3-2 that cops can enter your home without search warrant or even knocking?

No thanks-we get enough of that crap from O’Communist.

dave_ross on January 25, 2012 at 8:09 AM