I can’t help but marvel at the audacity of Mitch Daniels. His commercials – with supporters touting his “achievements” ad nauseum – are nothing more than glorified efforts to pander to Hoosier voters with his farm cap and long-sleeved shirts.
With all the commercials floating about, it must be quite a shock that Indiana’s unemployment rate jumped in March to 5.1% – the highest seasonally adjusted rate since July 2006.
The half point jump from 4.6% in February put Indiana in a tie with California for the second highest month-over-month increase nationally – right behind Louisiana.
I am sure this can’t be welcome news for a governor who has tried to deflect attention from Indiana’s continuing job-loss predicament by news conference after news conference flashing announcements of new jobs two and three years down the road.
But Daniels is good at marketing techniques according to Jim Miller, Reagan’s OMB director from 1985 to 1988. On learning of Daniels’ appointment by Bush as OMB director, Miller commented that “Daniels would be an unconventional OMB director inasmuch as he would be much more a marketer than a number cruncher.
Apparently, Miller was right. Daniels left less than three years after his appointment when he saw his efforts to maintain some semblance of a budget unraveling before his eyes as Bush sank the the country farther and farther into debt. Daniels, try as he might, was unable to manipulate budgetary figures to cover the bloated deficit.
He came back to Indiana where he has, once again, succeeded at marketing his “accomplishments” in a way to cover the realities of job losses, failed privatization policies, and far-off promises of employment. His marketing techniques of smoke and mirrors certainly are suitable to his fantasy world where reality doesn’t quite seem to materialize.