Mitch Daniels has kept everyone in suspense about his potential presidential run – well those who care anyways.  He has followed the old adage I remember from high school, “she ran so fast he caught her.”  Daniels has played games like a coy teenager in his run up to whatever decision it is he will make.

Daniels cleverly hesitates when asked about his plans, and he always ensures that his answer includes a conditional phrase or two.  His appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was an opportunity for Daniels to show his stuff and to test the percentage waters.

With his speech late in the evening, he certainly did not engender the enthusiasm that earlier participants received.  He gave a solid, no-nonsense speech, and, as I watched a video, I couldn’t help but think that he just doesn’t instill excitement with his demeanor or his voice projection.  A run for the presidency requires not only competency but also enthusiasm and excitement.   While he has generated support from a group of Yalies, these youngsters won’t get him elected.

Daniels just doesn’t have the necessary ingredients to win the nomination.   His poor showing in the straw poll – 4% – also indicates that many are just not ready to get behind him.  However, it should be noted that Ron Paul has won the poll before and has gone nowhere.  His 2008 run ended in March of that year, well before the actual nominating process ended.

The straw poll really is not an indicator, but it does show that those who voted are looking for name recognition and strict adherence to conservative principles – something that Daniels muffed when he suggested that the conservative social agenda take a back seat to the economic issues.

Prediction?  No run for Daniels.  And, if he does, he will not be in for long.



About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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  1. Tim Zank says:

    The CPAC Convention has never been a real barometer of any kind except for the Dems to mine a few new disparging talking points.

    It’s way too early to bet on any horse…..

  2. Tim:

    If you notice, I did say Daniels gave a solid speech, and I acknowledged that the CPAC has not been a barometer given Ron Paul’s showing and his actual run.

    I am just saying Daniels – while he may have some solid positions to Republicans – does not generate the excitement necessary, and he has very little charisma. Unfortunately, in today’s world you need those to win. You might get by with one or the other, but if you have neither, it will be an uphill battle.

  3. Tim Zank says:

    I’ll grant you he doesn’t really come off as “Mr. Excitement” but it’s way too early to rule anybody out. As we get closer to economic armageddon, a boring guy that can actually balance checkbook may turn out to be real attractive to a lot of folks.

    Your assumption it takes “charisma” to win is contradicted by George Bush’s two wins isn’t it? Or did you consider him “charismatic nd exciting”?

    Barry won on charisma & excitement, but, as is painfully obvious, that doesn’t translate well to actually doing the job.

  4. I think W had the “Texan swagger” that so many latched onto. I think he had more charisma than Daniels although, as to W’s presentation, his press conferences were painful to watch when he had to come up with his own responses. Was W exciting? No, but he could at least hold an audience of his own party.

    I also think W’s second win in 2004 was not necessarily based on his charisma but rather on the state of the war on terrorism. We had just gone into Iraq in March 2003, and I think the public was skeptical of changing horses in the middle of the stream. Kerry did not lose by much.

    In the limited view of the audience during Daniels’ presentation, it looked many of them were bored. I will give him the fact though that it was late, and the crowd was probably ready to leave.

  5. Tim Zank says:

    “In the limited view of the audience during Daniels’ presentation, it looked many of them were bored. I will give him the fact though that it was late, and the crowd was probably ready to leave.”

    Keep in mind, CPAC audiences aren’t even close to being representative of the majority of voters that will turn out in 2012, the audience is stacked with Paulnutz.

    All I’m saying is, there are lot of voices out there, and there is lot of time before it boils down to 2 candidates. Early prognosticating is always fun, but rarely accurate.

  6. Jim says:

    Hello Charlotte! Hi there Tim!

    Is it possible you are both correct?

    Mitch Daniels strikes me as the sort of Republican who will animate primary voters in New England or on the west coast. These are still relatively conservative folks, especially on fiscal issues. And his “crush organized labor” and gut the “gubmint schools” screeds will sit well with them. Too, they’ll like his tendency to back away from the invective and irrational polemics of the religious right. Not that Daniels can be classified as a Jack Javits liberal, by any means. Hell, I’m not sure he’d even fit with Gerry Ford. (Sadly, that wing of a once-great party seems gone for good.) But in saying, several times, he things the GOP needs to take a step back from hot button social issues, he does two things —

    1. He probably ticks off a lot of Republican primary voters in places like Iowa and South Carolina. (Though watch what he says about ethanol and how much he brings it up as Iowa approaches. His status as a corn belt Governor could help him, particularly if Pawlenty opts NOT to run.) Even so, don’t expect him to win these all-important, early states.

    2. He probably does quite well in New Hampshire, presuming a decent warchest.

    So whither Mitch? A lot will depend on how well he plays the game The Decider played so well. The old shuck and jive is hardly unfamiliar. If Mitch can persuade primary voters he’s a true conservative…and then persuade general election voters he didn’t really mean ALL that…then he’s good to go.

    Of course, we Democrats can sit on our high horse (or donkey, if you prefer) and pretend we don’t know what that’s all about. But we do. Our guy did the same thing. He’s a liberal in the primary (at least in most states) and in the general, not so much. Turns out, at least in my view, the President has proven to be the corporatist and compromiser of the general election. Would that it were not so. And there you have it. Cheers!


  7. Mark Andrews says:

    I remember when Mitch said during his 2nd run foe Govenor that this was the last election he was doing.HMMMM And didn’t Gore win the 2000 election by 300,000 votes?
    I would love to see Daniels run at least we would see some Mid-West sensibilties brought into the fray.

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