May 20, 2011


Gov. Mitch Daniels may be GOP's best presidential bet (Vincent Carroll, 5/18/11, Denver Post)

The most attractive contenders to best Romney: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who says he won't run, and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who says he might. Daniels has stirred the ire of some on the right for calling for a "truce" on social issues until federal spending is reined in and for refusing to press a fight over right-to-work legislation, but the indictment is moronic. Unlike Romney, Daniels is indisputably pro-life; just ask Planned Parenthood how happy it is with him. And as for unions, Daniels rolled back collective bargaining for public employees years before it became an issue in Wisconsin and Ohio.

Daniels also has lowered taxes and enacted sweeping education reform, which The New York Times says will "expand charter schools, end teacher tenure, narrow teachers' collective bargaining rights and introduce a taxpayer-funded voucher of up to $4,500 for students to attend private schools."

His feats with the budget may be even more remarkable. "When Daniels took office, in 2004, the state faced a $200 million deficit and hadn't balanced its budget in seven years," explained Andrew Ferguson in The Weekly Standard last year. "Four years later, all outstanding debts had been paid off; after four balanced budgets, the state was running a surplus of $1.3 billion, which has cushioned the blows from a steady decline in revenues caused by the recession . . . .

"No other state in the Midwest — all of them, like Indiana, dependent on a declining manufacturing sector — can match this record."

Daniels has called the federal deficit "the new Red Menace, this time consisting of ink." Nice metaphor. But unlike some big talkers about deficits, Daniels can match his rhetoric with his record.

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Posted by at May 20, 2011 5:52 AM

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