Wednesday, March 16, 2011

5 reasons why Daniels should run for president

From Matthew Tully at The Indy Star:

But here's a better question: Should he run for president?
Today, less than a year before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries, let's discuss the five most compelling reasons for Daniels to make a run for the White House. (On Friday, we'll discuss the five reasons he should not.)
Timing is crucial in politics, and there arguably has never been a time when the issues that set Daniels apart -- his laserlike focus on government spending and his long-standing crusade against deficits -- enjoyed such a prominent role in the political debate.
This could be a rare opportunity for a bottom-line politician, one who looks more like an accountant than a presidential candidate, to grab a sizable chuck of the electorate. If voters truly are concerned about the federal debt and the nation's long-term fiscal situation, they may be willing and even eager to embrace a number-cruncher with a history of cutting costs.
In many election cycles, voters are attracted to charisma, charm or the guy with whom you'd like to have a beer. There's a chance many Republicans in 2012 will look for the candidate you'd hire to do your taxes.
He would enter the race with full credibility as a presidential candidate. Daniels has run a state, worked in the corporate world and served in two presidential administrations.
He understands the inner workings of government and how D.C. policies affect states and businesses. He has the resume and, importantly, the national media and political worlds long ago deemed him a serious contender. Attaining credibility is the first hurdle many candidates have to cross. Many never do. But Daniels has. It'd be a shame not to take advantage of that.
As many pundits have said, Daniels would add a much-needed adult voice to the political conversation. In a world of sound bites and pandering, he'd be a rare politician willing to talk frankly about entitlement and Pentagon spending. While other GOP candidates would attempt to play the role of America's preacher, he likely would be the most articulate voice on the dangers to the nation of increasing debt. If his time in Indiana is a gauge, he'd also be willing to take the harsh criticism that often comes with talking seriously about serious issues.
He would enter a Republican primary marked by one of the weakest fields in recent history. Look at the cast: Mitt Romney, who appears to be trying to run as the anti-Mitt Romney. Mike Huckabee, a funny guy who is hard to take seriously. Sarah Palin, who would be destined to carry a whopping 35 percent of the vote in a general election. Newt Gingrich, a visionary whose personal life and management style guarantee he'll never win national office.
And those are the front-runners.
While his call for a truce on social issues could hurt him in the primaries, it would endear Daniels to millions of independents who long ago tired of such debates, and who often swing national elections.
And remember, the main goal for Republicans in 2012 will be winning the White House. If social conservatives factor the issue of electability into their primary decisions, Daniels could be a likely choice.
That is why he should run. Come back Friday for why he shouldn't.

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