Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mitch Daniels: A Good Republican Choice for 2012

I've been pondering the possible Republican nominees for 2012 and here are some thoughts:

Firstly, a candidate who is too socially-conservative is not going to be a contender nationally.  Although I admit a bias against social-conservatism-as-government-policy, it's not just my personal distaste coming into play here.  American demographic trends are against social-conservatism.

And those are just magazine articles.  The Emerging Democratic Majority and Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South also corroborate this position.

Huckabee, Palin, etc. will probably win the South and Midwest, but they will probably lose urban areas and due to increasing urbanization in the United States, they will be doomed.  Look at Clinton's 1996 victory-map--Dole won the "heartland" and still lost.  Bush nearly did so in 2000 and McCain did lose in 2008.

Now, this does not mean I am suggesting the nominee not be socially-conservative personally.  A president who lives their values as opposed to paying lip service to them while violating them in private (Gingrich and Vitter come to mind) would be much better for the cause of social-conservatism than trying to use the government to impose these values on a society that increasingly rejects them and provoking a backlash.

Secondly, Republicans should nominate a candidate who can be taken seriously.  It is very hard for me to take Sarah Palin and Donald Trump seriously as politicians due to them being reality-TV stars, despite other accomplishments they may have had.

(I'm thinking more about Trump when I say that, although I'm not going to hate on Palin as being a "quitter" like some leftists will.  She quit because defending herself against her political enemies' lawsuits cost the state money--the same people calling her "quitter" are the ones whose behavior led to her resignation in the first place.  My beef with Palin has to do with her misreading part of the health-care bill and getting the "death panels" meme started.  If that comes out in a debate, she's dog meat.)

Furthermore, Trump is a Birther or is at least pandering to them with his "I'm sending investigators to Hawaii" routine.  I don't think conspiracy-theorists are going to do well in the general election--look at how people look down at the John Birch Society, for example.

Also, the candidate should not be too inexperienced.  I rather like Bobby Jindal, but I don't think he's experienced enough quite yet.

Right now, I'm thinking Mitch Daniels would be the best candidate.  As governor, he turned around the financial situation of the state of Indiana and his call for a truce on social issues should help make him more electable at the national level.  I notice some similarities with Ron Paul, although Daniels seems to support the drug war (he cites his own arrest for smoking weed as a college student as a good thing, or at least he did in 1989).

Getting him through the Republican primaries, however, could be rather problematic.  The "truce on social issues" thing has already gotten a lot of people upset.


  1. What about Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty?

  2. If ObamaCare becomes an issue, Romney is not going to be able to credibly campaign against it because he created something similar himself. Plus there's the Mormon thing--many people might refuse to vote against him on religious grounds.

    There'd also be concerns about Romney being a phony that Romney himself even joked about--he referenced somebody wanting to punch him in the face and said "please, not the hair." And then there's the time he said his sons were serving their country by helping in his campaign rather than serving in Iraq.

    About Pawlenty, I don't really know too much about him.

  3. BTW how about Nehemiah Scudder? ;)