Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Profile in Human Events

If you are a fan of the Governor, then most of this will not be news, but it is nice to see Human Events jump on the train.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Social Media, Trash Talk and More

Kudos for the Governor for expanding his social media presence to include his PAC --- but only 250 "likes" --- somebody needs to get on this. The CPA for a well run FB campaign is about 17 cents and with some nationwide targeting, Daniels should be able to get well over 10,000 quickly and move up from there (Romney is over 460,000).

Daniels finally showed some spunk (publicly --- he's been known to do it in private) while campaigning with OH Gubernatorial candidate John Kasich, by insinuating that with Ted Strickland as Governor, Ohio is easy to compete with. Also, a favorable article by National Public Radio (I know, I can't believe it either), points out that Indiana is in much better fiscal shape than Illinois, which, as we all know, means that Indiana pays their bills in cash. (I can trash talk Illinois, I grew up there.) Also, a favorable profile is here as well.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More 2012 Speculation, Thank You Paul Ryan

As time goes on, I begin to debate the necessity of the site, as Daniels speculation makes the rounds on both the pundit and talk show circuit --- and he continues a non-so-subtle outreach to key constituencies. The best news is that one of the handful of House Republicans that is both thoughtful and honest is not only on the bandwagon, but pushing uphill. Paul Ryan gushed about Daniels to the Weekly Standard.

Daniels cut a video puffing the NFIB, which would be a natural ally of  Daniels presidential run, given his focus on reducing hurdles to commerce in Indiana. CNN is arguing that his trip to Ohio for John Kasich is a campaign trip (um, maybe the geniuses didn't notice the whole "share a border" thing. Daniels went to Chicago before ... where was the speculation then? Also, Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO recently took on Daniels (guess that's what happens when your first act is decertifying the state employees union). But enemies like that make me like Daniels even more.

Last, although I normally only do puff here, this breakdown of all the problems with the current candidates is quite right.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Speeches and Budgets, Oh My!

"We adults and elders are immorally taking exquisite care of ourselves at the expense of the young."

This is exactly why I am a huge fan of Daniels --- at least he is willing to recognize the generational warfare that is being waged against the under 40 crowd. This was from a speech on May 4th (thank you for the prompt notification Google news) --- one other quote on paying government employees for performance:  "We shouldn't pay you more at the end of the year because you're still breathing."

Daniels also came out in favor of the Arizona immigration law this week and couched his support in the best terms: that America should always have open doors for best and the brightest, along with anyone that wants to invest here.

On a down note, the State Auditor said that Indiana revenues were down by $1 billion in FY2009 (made up by half spending cuts and half surplus funds) and that the next budget session is likely to be the toughest ever. More reaction to the budget here. Also, a generally transcribed set of canned remarks from a local outing here.

This story states that both Daniels and Haley Barbour are considering running, but may defer to each other.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Interviews and Indy Cars

This is a great interview that shows how willing the Governor is to be both thoughtful and complimentary. He admits that all of the stimulus is not waste, that he is willing to let local governments decide whether to raise taxes (and admits that half the time voters agree to raise taxes) and is always focused on solving problems. It's 48 minutes, but worth the listen.

In other good news, the Indy race series is bringing jobs to Speedway (for those unfamiliar, there is a town named Speedway where Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located) by building an engine plant.

On the negative side, this article discusses the issues that Indiana will face with the new health care law with some additional details that have not been well publicized. To end on a positive note, Indiana is bringing the environmentalists, property owners, state and federal governments together to protect a record amount of land for conservation.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Poll Shows Huge Approval

One of the interesting aspects of tracking news on Daniels (or any other politician) is to examine the charges and counter-charges leveled by supporters and detractors. And then go to the polls and/or election returns to get the verdict of the voters. As most governors struggle to maintain any semblance of public support Daniels' fav/unfav rating is 66/31 --- which is an improvement over the last reading. So, even though the economy is getting worse and more cuts are being announced, more people are approving of his work. Granted when your state is sandwiched between Ohio and the failed states (yes, use of that term is intentional) of Illinois and Michigan, your state has the advantage of looking brilliant if you can just keep the lights on and the checks don't bounce. Regardless of the favorable comparisons, the poll results are especially surprising because normally when politicians start getting WH speculation while they are still serving the voters that elected them, their approval ratings plummet. I'm still waiting for the inevitable poll question: do you want you governor to run for President? The answer is almost always negative (and Daniels intentionally painted himself into a corner with his last campaign ad), so if the people of Indiana give him a thumbs up, it would be a huge accomplishment. 

In other news, Sen. Lugar discusses how and why he works with Daniels to bring jobs to Indiana with the local press, the Oklahoma legislature attempts to pass a version of HSA's for state workers based on the Daniels plan (but is vetoed by the Oklahoma Governor), and this release discusses Arcadia's decision to add 930 jobs (its a little dated, but the jobs figure is higher than I have seen elsewhere).

For those interested in 2012 campaign news, I thought this was an interesting slogan: “Newt 2012: Like Mitch Daniels, but with lots more personal baggage!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Rollout Continues ....

The biggest news in the past few days has been that Cheri Daniels (the foil to all of Mitch's political ambitions as he tells it) was interviewed by the Indianapolis Star. At the conclusion of the interview, she is asked about the chances that her husband will run in 2012 --- and on a scale of 1-10, she gives it a 2. In other words, the wife of the guy whose final ad explicitly stated that he would never run for another office is now opening the door. So, in the last six months we've gone from "never, ever" to "I'm not saying I won't because other people told me to stop saying it" to a 20% chance.

Second, the Governor provides great insight into his intellectual perspective in his discussion regarding five books that have influenced his thinking. The most interesting part of the interview is that, at no point does he apologize for government --- it was generally pro-libertarian. It will be interesting if he is ever asked (by a competent and prepared reporter) to reconcile his philosophy with his governing style, as some of his policies use government resources as an integral part of the solutions. A review of the interview is here, with a hat tip for the appropriate comparison between Daniels, Huckabee and Palin.

This article demonstrates the depth to which political opponents of Daniels have to reach to find anything negative about his performance as Governor. The leading Democrat in the state is quibbling that Indiana is not the leading state for job creation, but rather the fifth leading. Really? You want to argue that the state is not in the 99th percentile, merely the 90th and that is a sign of weakness? Have at it, hoss.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rundown for the Week

Had a little less time than normal this week, so here is the rundown of Mitch Daniels news:

My favorite Daniels quote for the week was in response to the news that the federal government may not send states a check to bail out Medicaid funds (doing so was included in the federal stimulus). When asked if the feds should send money to the states (including Indiana) he responded: "Frankly, I think it'd be irresponsible of the federal government to borrow more money in order to bail out states that didn't handle themselves very well."

The larger theme of the week was one of accountability based on results-driven decision making. The Governor announced that the state of Indiana will be working with the Pew Center on the States to find methods to reduce recidivism among criminal offenders. Daniels was also interviewed on CNBC where he discussed Indiana's record, but also admitted that he has made mistake in Indiana, but has tried to learn from other states. This is exactly what makes him the best governor in the country: the willingness to find things that work, amend decisions that are not working and constantly be on the prowl for better ideas. Also, Democrats in Indiana are arguing that the administration is secretive concerning the state's budget --- specifically, where the cuts ordered by Daniels are being made. (Note: Daniels said that he instructed the agency heads to make the cuts where they felt most appropriate --- demonstrating his belief that people closer to the situation are likely to make optimal decisions). Indiana then provided a 476-page response, but little detail was included. However, not to be outmaneuvered, Daniels promised that by August the state will have a new website detailing where the state gets its revenue and where it spends taxpayer funds.

To be fair, there were a number of anti-Daniels pieces written this week, with the most politically significant coming from the Family Research Council in regards to Daniels' idea for a "truce" on social issues. This should have been expected --- and it is clear that by his refusal to back down --- Daniels welcomes the fight. Also, some people are trying to torpedo the Daniels freight train by raising charges of corruption. (Note: nothing in the piece implicated Daniels specifically.) Also, there is profile piece of the Governor in which the Andrew Ferguson (who wrote the gushing Weekly Standard piece) stated that he thought Daniels would lose to Obama because of his small physical stature. It's shocking that the Ds did not pick this up, but that just means Daniels is still under the radar.