Monday, May 9, 2011

Mitch Daniels: The man who could reshape the Republican field

I felt early on that Mitch Daniels would be one of the more serious Republican candidates, and after his CPAC speech, many people jumped on board. His apparent failure to take on the public employee unions in Indiana is disturbing to me, but it may help him in any run against Obama.

Daniels is regarded (and regards himself) as a candidate of considerable gravity, willing to focus on making tough choices about the nation’s financial future even if that conversation is politically unpopular. (At a February speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, he said that “purity in martyrdom is for suicide bombers.”)

A Daniels candidacy probably would be taken as a sign that the games are over for the Republican Party, that it is time to buckle down and organize to beat President Obama.

“He will turn a race that is about less serious politics into a race about more serious policy,” argued Alex Castellanos, a Republican media consultant who is not aligned with any candidate heading into 2012. “Daniels is the adult in the room saying the party is over, it’s time to clean house. That contrast in maturity is how a Republican beats Obama.”

What Daniels decides may well serve as a telling signal of whether Republicans are ready to get serious about beating Obama.

Read full Washington Post article here.

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