May 19, 2011

Daniels: We Need to Avoid “Wedge” Issues

  1:18 pm

Jen Rubin points to a Daniels 2009 video, where he opines about the necessity of avoiding wedge issues.

At one point Daniels says, “The whole concept of a wedge issue should be foreign to us if we really want to come back.”  Coming off a very bad year, it is no great surprise that one of the party’s few electoral successes laid out a blue-print for a comeback.  Nor is it much of surprise that the blue-print was conciliatory, not retaliatory.  But this speech, coming before the truce comments, points to the Daniels style and, if his actions since are any indication, it’s a style he seems incapable of jettisoning.  The real Mitch Daniels is conservative but not rigidly- or even ideologically- so and preternaturally averse to conflict.  In a state setting, where folks care more about keeping the trains running then they do about bombast, this is a decided asset.  At the national level, it looks like a fatal flaw.  Here’s how Redstate’s Leon Wolf reacts:

I am not really sure what is wrong with Mitch Daniels. Two years ago, you would not have found a bigger Mitch Daniels booster in the United States than yours truly. He had bucked national trends to win an landslide re-election and was doing all the right things to demonstrate administrative competence, which is something our party badly needed to demonstrate after the last two years of the Bush administration…

So, as Republicans were gearing up for their biggest electoral victories in 16 years by fighting Obama and the Democrats tooth and nail on every aspect of their agenda, Mitch Daniels was telling everyone that the way to victory was to forget what a wedge issue even was, and just be nice so that people will like us again. Since then, Daniels has demonstrated that having a political tin ear in his case is a congenital defect rather than an isolated occurrence, telling social conservatives repeatedly to get to the back of the bus and indicating that he would pick Condi Rice – widely vilified as a miserable SecState by Republicans of all stripes – as his VP.

Mitch Daniels, by all accounts, was a very good governor of Indiana. By all those same accounts, he is very bad at understanding what it takes to build a coalition that could win a national election. In another candidate, this shortcoming would not necessarily be fatal. But let us face facts: Mitch Daniels is short, bald, and boring, and he is running against the Central Casting President…

Mitch Daniels has shown, again and again, that he has no understanding of how to build such [a political]  army. Thankfully for the GOP, the people he is now busy alienating at every opportunity will be able to prevent him from having the opportunity to lose in a landslide to Obama.




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someone make a post on Mitch's mandates


He squishes when he walks!

He squishes when he talks!

He's the squishiest one to run!

No wonder they love him so...


This thing could be over before it starts.


and indicating that he would pick Condi Rice – widely vilified as a miserable SecState by Republicans of all stripes – as his VP.

This sentence alone is indicative of his lack of FP credentials. Frightening...


So many insane wingnuts are upset that Daniels doesn't foam at the mouth. Sorry nut, he's just really, really good at governing as a conservative and isn't a jerk about it.

In 30 years as an operative, campaign manager, and candidate Daniels has never run a negative ad......and he is undefeated.

Soon we will have to understand that a lot of the talkers who complain do so because they want Obama to WIN, because Obama helps them sell insane birther books and driving ratings. They are greedy, selfish, and couldn't pass the reforms that Daniels has even if Zombie Reagan was there to hold their hands.

Daniels, like always, will simply out-smart, out-campaign, and out-debate all of the frothing loons and look like a President while doing it.


I have to agree about the national mandate thing.


Look, Daniels is a David Frum, David Brooks Republican, speaking at the Ripon Society that's for liberal Republicans. After 2006, you never heard Pawlenty say that social conservatives should go, despite being in a much more liberal state than IN. Look, the only reason why Daniels is getting anywhere is because the DC establishment is working overtime for him, and he still remains at 4%. He's never going to catch on at any real extend and certainly will not overtake Romney in NH.


#5, notice how this asinine commenter calls anymore more conservative then himself a "wingnut." Go back to the Daily Beast you schmuck.


Daniels is correct about the need to avoid wedge issues. When I think of a wedge issue, something like the flag burning amendment comes to mind. Wedge issues to me are issues that purposely polarize the electorate for political gain, and that have little substance behind them. So Daniels is right that we're better off talking about tax and entitlement reform than about, say, a balanced budget amendment that will never be passed.



Just as a quick aside, don't you find it amazing that only 2 years into Obama's Presidency, an author can refer to a black man as "the Central Casting President" and not prompt bemusement or eye rolling?

It's about the only good thing I can think of that Obama has accomplished.


Pass the popcorn. This is fun.


I guess it boils down to what Daniels considers a "wedge issue." To my mind, a "wedge issue" is one that has little impact on people's real lives, and is not a matter of fundamental justice.

DaveG gives a perfect example with the flag burning amendment.

Now, if Daniels is referring to abortion- whereby 1 in 3 unborn children lose their lives- as a "wedge issue" (as some people do), then that leaves me pretty cold.

Matthew Kilburn

"Wedge issues" almost always include such important social concepts as life and family, and even if I were looking for a new candidate to support, those would not be something I could give up on all in the name of political expediency. These things are not just polarizing political topics, but they are the very heart of our society. They HAVE to be talked about, and they HAVE to be advocated.

And it does not seem like Mitch Daniels is all that big on doing that - acceptable to some people now, but the next eleven years are not only going to be about the unemployment rate, and unless we work to get our cultural fabric back in order, to the point that we're actually producing enough kids and raising them properly so they can lead America forward for another 2 1/2 centuries, then any talk about keeping our fiscal or foreign policy house in order is really irrelevent.

As for the flag burning - I do think we should ban it, because it is a direct assult on freedom of speech. The flag does not represent one specific President or policy set, but it most certainly does represent freedom of speech and expression. And you can't justly exercise those freedoms by attacking them.


I don't think the man who just slashed Planned Parenthood's budget was speaking about abortion as a 'wedge issue'.



"They HAVE to be talked about, and they HAVE to be advocated......And it does not seem like Mitch Daniels is all that big on doing that."

You know Mitt has gone, like, totally silent on those issues, right? No more talk about 3 legged stools..... I mean, the guy goes before the Values Voters Summit and all he wants to talk about are taxes, trade, and economics.

Once again, I am truly mystified by your attachment to Romney.


I'm going to laugh when Jennifer Rubin's wet dream candidates of Chris Christie and Paul Ryan are campaigning for Daniels after they both endorse him. What bulls*** smear will she come up with then? "They're all RINOs YEEEAAAARRRRHHHHHH!".

Matthew Kilburn

"I don’t think the man who just slashed Planned Parenthood’s budget was speaking about abortion as a ‘wedge issue’."

But I think the man who called for a truce on social issues, was.


"Wedge issues"?

Some folks around here react as if issued wedgies.



This was '09, before he even advocated the "truce". Plainly, he meant that social issues were "wedge" issues. What he has signed before or since has no bearing on what he'd emphasize and what he thinks the party should avoid.

Matthew Kilburn

"You know Mitt has gone, like, totally silent on those issues, right? No more talk about 3 legged stools….. I mean, the guy goes before the Values Voters Summit and all he wants to talk about are taxes, trade, and economics."

There is a major difference between talking about the issues people most care about at the moment, and saying that social issues need to be put on the back burner for the long haul.

I've explained my attachment to Romney - I see him as the most qualified, with substantial public and private experience, and a determination (whether it be from self interest or true belief, though I think the latter) to advocate the conservative line.


Daniels' near unblemished conservative record: He passed the largest tax cut in Indiana history, ended government unions on his first day in office, passed the nation’s largest school voucher program, and signed a bill cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood.

So let's see, tax cuts for the rich, busting government unions, major education reform while taking teachers' unions head on, slashing funding for the nation's largest abortion provider. Yea, not really a guy afraid of big fights on controversial issues. More like a guy annoyed with small issues, like flag burning and ear marks, that eat up too much time and mean nearly nothing in the grand scope of things.

Limbaugh's OxyHeads can try all they want, but a guy with a record like that can't be morphed into John McCain no matter how hard you spin.


His support for health care mandates existed before 2 years ago. The Mitch Daniels myth is being popped.


Mitch seems pretty level headed - I think this may come across as boring, though (just ask TPAW).

I'll be watching to see how he does in a National debate.

I think what he's saying is... don't campaign on wedge issues. Get those done after we get the presidency, house, and senate. Until then, focus on things most Americans agree on (the ECONOMY, duh!!).


Stick a fork in little shorty.

He's done before he starts.

I'm telling you,RINOS are dropping like flies.





Who is next?!



We don't post Sam Stein propaganda. Sorry.

But there are posts about Indiana's conservative Healthy Indiana plan in the archive, in case you want to compare it to RomneyCare.


Here's my general rule of thumb on these things. I am inherently skeptical of people who are less conservative, rhetorically or substantively, than they need to be to succeed in their states. Indiana is still a conservative state which Obama managed to win solely because of his regional bump. It is a good bet that Daniels lack of emphasis on social issues, either substantively rhetorically, and his occasional distancing from social issues, comes from ideological priorities, not any political calculus. I'm skeptical of Huntsman for the same reason though Huntsman is, admittedly, far less trustworthy on a whole range of issues, by this rule of thumb.

Matthew Kilburn

#22 -

So Mitch Daniels would sign anti-abortion legislation, appoint Conservative judges, and go to the mat over protecting the traditional family?

Just because a man took away funding from an interest group doesn't mean he's suddenly a SoCon warrior, nor does advocating the Conservative line on some issue (taxes) mean he is unquestionably dedicated on other issues. Giuliani was unashamedly conservative on foreign policy questions, but most of us NEVER got to the point of being able to trust him on questions like abortion and marriage.

Do I think Daniels is pro choice? No. Do I think he is the advocate we need when the next SCOTUS justice can overturn Roe? No.


What do you call an Indiana governor likely to collect the endorsements of Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Paul Ryan, and Mike Pence?

F R O N T RU N N E R :)

Matthew Kilburn

"But there are posts about Indiana’s conservative Healthy Indiana plan in the archive"

There is also a fair bit of evidence that Daniels has an ideological objection to broad-benefit health insurance, the kind that permits mothers to take their first graders to top-rate clinics when they come home sick from school.

Count me out.


Sarahcuda is watching the spectacle of self-demolition of "moderates",

with her trade-mark big smile,waiting for the right moment!



Daniels was part of the political team that selected Robert Bork for Associate Justice in 1987. And his Indiana justices hold up nicely when compared to Scalia/Roberts/Alito.

Take a look at his record on social issues, you'll find not another candidate in the field comes close to comparing what he has accomplished on those issues.


Sarah Palin is sitting around wondering "what the hell happened to my daughter's face" and trying to figure out why she has the worst poll numbers in the field. Poor Sarah.

Matthew Kilburn

"What do you call an Indiana governor likely to collect the endorsements of Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Paul Ryan, and Mike Pence?


This has officially morphed into complete BS. No man polling below 10%, who has not even been put under the spotlight, who has a drug conviction, and who wants to charge people an arm and a leg for going to the doctor with a cold, can possibly be called a frontrunner.


Max, I thought we weren't allowed to talk about Sarah's spawn?



There is a fair bit of evidence that Daniels wants all mothers to be able to bring their kids to any clinics rather than no clinics. In fact, that's what he accomplished.


"What do you call an Indiana governor likely to collect the endorsements of Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Paul Ryan, and Mike Pence? "

An inside the beltway, effete, elite, establishment squish!

(and he will drink Romney's milkshake)

I'm all for splitting the squish vote.

Mighty Mitch Daniels, Come On Down!



Still clinging to early polls? Such a shame. President Giulaini and President Huckabee advise you to learn a little bit about how presidential elections are won before commenting.

I wonder what Rush's face will look like when Ryan, Pence, Perry, and Christie are all campaigning for a man they have praised effusively without prompting for years.



There is nothing very interesting in Daniels' decision to sign so-con legislation in his conservative state. He ran as a pro-lifer. He was bound to sign pro-life legislation. And, as a red state governor, he was bound to receive pro-life legislation to sign. Charlie Crist, flake extraordinaire, showed gave every indication that he'd sign the conservative ultrasound bill which came before him in '10...but sadly for pro-lifers, it came to his desk 2 weeks before he left the party. So-cons are looking not for pro-forma social conservatism but commitment to the cause. And in that vein Pawlenty, who signed pro-life legislation, uses strong pro-life language, and was the first Minnesota Governor to routinely attend pro-life rallies, looks like a much better bet.

"What do you call an Indiana governor likely to collect the endorsements of Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Paul Ryan, and Mike Pence?"

No doubt the establishment loves Daniels. You can't spend all that time in NY and DC without making a few friends. We'll see if it does him any good.

Matthew Kilburn

"Take a look at his record on social issues, you’ll find not another candidate in the field comes close to comparing what he has accomplished on those issues."

And yet this falls far short of guarenteeing to people that he will be the kind of strong conservative advocate on abortion and gay marriage that we need.

If he comes out and explains himself, says that it was a mistake, or that he did it for the purposes of focusing on an ongoing crisis in the state - then perhaps.

But for now, he looks like a man who could really care less about social policy.


26 - Try actual quotes from Daniels



Poor teledude, I bet you're still sitting around thinking how on earth can Sarah defend putting a Planned Parenthood member on the AK Supreme Court while Mitch was slashing their funding.

BTW, that sound you hear is not 'squish', but rather 'splat', as in the sound Palin's poll numbers made when they crashed through the pavement.

Matthew Kilburn

"There is a fair bit of evidence that Daniels wants all mothers to be able to bring their kids to any clinics rather than no clinics."

Then he needs to explain his criticism of the current insurance system, and his attacks on "overconsumption"


Here you go 26:

From the Southbend Tribune:

"The candidate said he favors a universal health care system that would move away from employee-based health policies and make it mandatory for all Americans to have health insurance.

"Daniels envisioned one scenario in which residents could certify their coverage when paying income taxes and receive a tax exemption that would cover the cost.

"We really have to have universal coverage," Daniels said."

Matthew Kilburn

#44 -

I was not familiar with those comments, but it certainly seems that Daniels might have to be chalked up as a flip flopper if those statements are true, because just a month or so ago, we had a video on here comnplaining about hte "overconsumption" that broad-benefit insurance brings.


31. Sarahcuda is watching the spectacle of self-demolition of “moderates”


Urgent message for Mr. Tex!

As governor, Palin demonstrated many of the qualities we expect in our best leaders. She set aside private concerns for the greater good, forgoing a focus on social issues to confront the great problem plaguing Alaska, its corrupt oil-and-gas politics. She did this in a way that seems wildly out of character today—by cooperating with Democrats and moderate Republicans to raise taxes on Big Business. And she succeeded to a remarkable extent in settling, at least for a time, what had seemed insoluble problems, in the process putting Alaska on a trajectory to financial well-being. Since 2008, Sarah Palin has influenced her party, and the tenor of its politics, perhaps more than any other Republican, but in a way that is almost the antithesis of what she did in Alaska.


45 - They are true. Southbend Tribune, October 23, 2003

Now that Daniels is a supported of an individual health insurance mandate, what does he have that Mitt doesn't have?


It took 45 comments, but we finally got around to hearing the word flip flop. It's not quite up to the standard of Romney haters but its close. Adam X where are you? I thought you hated this kind of "insincere" change.


47. what does he have that Mitt doesn’t have?

A candidate's record lacking in bombastic pronouncements of ultra--über-super-conservatism and three-legged stools and long-ago visions of dad holding hands with MLK, perhaps?


Max Twain,

So you're saying we should look at Mitch's RECORD and not what he's said?!?!?!

OK, if those are the rules then no conservative has any grounds to dislike or distrust ROmney on the issue of Abortion, since his record while governing is 100% pro-life. Nevermind what he said on the campaign trails in 1994 and 2003, right?

Yeah, that worked for Romney last time around and I'm sure you'll be able to sell that for Mitch this time (hey, their names are even similar!)


49 - LOL! You are flailing now


46. She governed as a common sense conservative and was able to work with the democrats because so many of the republicans in Alaska were corrupt and she brought down their corrupt bastards club.

Democrats, honest Republicans, and independents alike loved the way she governed, they just don't like the false caricature of her since the 2008 campaign.

She is NOT a strict fire breathing ideologue as the left portrays her now, shooting wolves from helicopters and banning books at the library.

Saying she 'raised taxes on big business' is misleading and not a factual statement.

She renegotiated Alaska's resource royalties that gave great incentives for increased drilling and production at the same time increased revenues to the treasury. It was a historic win/win for all parties. Production skyrocketed, oil companies have had record profits and the state of Alaska has a $12 billion dollar surplus because of it.

This is not the same as just "raising taxes" on big business.

Palin is a common sense conservative who has a spine of steel and is unflinching in her resolve, fearless in the face of adversity.

Part of being a moderate squish is their willingness to fold at the first sign of dissent. - See the recent budget battle and attempt to cut $100 billion, er $60 billion, I mean $38 billion, um $354 million? It's pathetic.

You guys denigrate conservatives as just wanting to throw red meat or go negative on Obama, but the point is not to cave all the freakin' time. Read my lips -we are sick of squishy moderates!


Mitch Daniels is a WAFFLER.

He was supposed to be decided on a campaign THREE WEEKS AGO.

Do we want a reluctant nominee, reluctantly campaigning against someone he barely disagrees with?

And he won’t use wedge issues?

And he calls for a truce on social issues?

And he admittedly has no clue about foreign policy?

And has not weighed in on most important national issues yet?

And he worked for the Bush Administration, and claimed the Iraq War would only cost $60 Billion

And he's short, balding, unattractive, boring, and uninspiring.

Do we want a little wuss to go against Obama, or a strong, bold, distinctly different person, who can be president on day 1?

*** Do we want a WAFFLER in the White House when there is a terrorist attack or a major natural disaster? ***

No Mitch. NEXT!!!!


Well the Mad Max has come through in this thread.


Hmm... As I was stating last night, I was about to drop Mitch and adopt Pawlenty and Romney as my top choices. Now, everyone is attacking Mitch and I find myself right back in his corner. In fact, the Romneyites have been so full-throated in their attacks that I am now considering not even voting for Romney in the general if he gets the nomination. I suppose there is some truth to elementary psychology and the notion of feeling "protective" over the choices we make as individuals. I hope my feelings toward Romney change, but right now I'd like nothing more than to see him lose, and it's all because of the out-of-control antics of some of his followers on this website. It's a bit sad and doesn't make much sense, but that's the truth of the matter.

In any case, I'm still not sure Mitch will run. If he does, then great. If he fails to make a case for himself, then he will fade away and none of you will have anything to worry about. The fact that many of you are showing signs of outright despising an effective, good governor really makes me wonder what your true motives may be. It's very odd.


I think someone needs to go back to school and learn the difference between a royalty and a tax. If anyone had oil on their land would they give it away free to the oil companies? The article that was excerpted from was honest about her record as governor but the conclusions turned into a typical hit-piece on Sarah Palin from The Atlantic which has published other hit pieces. The Journo-list scandal showed how obsessed the media is with destroying Sarah Palin and why should we believe that has gone away? A

businessman in Long Island noted that she was not the idiot they made her out to be on tv. That gives us a good idea of what the media's agenda is.

As to the compromise, she got most of what she wanted and gave up very little. Democrats wanted some of the royalty payments escalated to confiscatory heights but she accepted a much smaller increase in some royalty payments. She got most of what she wanted whereas when Republicans usually compromise, they give the store away to Democrats. Palin was forced to select from a list of judicial nominees and she picked the least liberal.

A wedge issue can be anything that is controversial. The Democrats didn't throw themselves on the rail over the Planned Parenthood de-funding. They threw themselves on the rail over a right to work law. Daniels caved rather than fight for it. I have to ask myself given his refusal to raise taxes, if the democrats throw themselves on the rail for more taxes in a budget deal will Daniels give away the store to get a deal?

It seems all the talking heads want to put Daniels in the first tier the minute he runs. Just because the insider want him.


55 Shane

My comment at 53 is not despising. It comes out of frustration that the media elite and pundits are trying to force Daniels onto us. Why? What gives?

So I just ask myself, is he really that great? Can he win the nomination, can he beat Obama?

And comment 53 is my answer.

He is a nice guy. A good governor. But I don't think he is up for the job of beating Obama and being president.

No hard feelings.


57, JH4O -

Yeah, I see what you're saying, and I honestly can understand some of the animosity. After all, Romney (for example) was a good, effective, competent governor and he gets a lot of crap, too. I guess this is just politics. As I said before, I was not wedded to any particular candidate in '08, so I didn't understand the Romney/Huckabee/McCain/Giuliani fights, but now that I'm flirting with picking a candidate (Daniels), I'm starting to understand how attacks on a chosen candidate can feel like personal attacks. I guess it doesn't make any rational sense, but I suppose there isn't much rationality in politics anyway. haha. Anyway, no hard feelings, either. I was just feeling a bit picked on. I'm still hoping Daniels gets in the race, at least to make his case. If he makes a good showing, then great. If not, then I'll move on to Romney or Pawlenty. Either way, I also wish he'd hurry up and make up his damn mind - I want him to be in that NH debate!


# 55

Whoa - Slow down Shane to go jumping on the anti Mitt bandwagon just because some of the MittWitts on this website are a little over zealous not only in their support for him but animous for any one opposing him. None of that is Romney's fault.

You were right to consider him as your #1 but even if he doesn't end up being your #1 he should be an easy vote in the general if he wins the primary. He would make a great President. Not saying that some of the other candidates couldn't make good Presidents as well.

I keep hearing how weak the Republican field is and that we need somebody else. I like the field. I like Cain, Bachman, Santorum, Palin and am fine with Pawlenty and Daniels as well (So far as I know them). I even think Paul adds much to the debate and think it would be fascinating to see what he could do if elected. I like 2012 field much better than the 2008 options. That said I don't know that all of them are electable and I think a few of them are a bit short on experience and capability but like their values.

That said I'm a Romney guy and think he is not only the most qualified in terms of ability but despite the "flip/flop" "say anything" label that he always gets hit with, he is one of the most princepled as well. Don't give Romney the stiff arm just because some of his supporters are annoying.


Sorry post was a little late after reading #58. Should have refreshed before I submitted.


As far as Daniels' rhetoric goes, he reminds me a lot of someone who is very used to selling his message to liberal audiences. Much of his career was spent in the Beltway. If he lived in the Silk Stocking Suburbs of DC during his tenure there, for Lugar, Reagan, and Bush, pretty much everyone he interacted with outside of fellow GOP politicos was almost certainly a liberal. When you're the token conservative in the room, you get used to communicating your politics in a certain way, a far different way that when you've lived all your life in West Texas.



Um sorry, but Mitch was inside the beltway in the Bush Admin, not too many liberals there.

And he was governor in Indiana, not exactly a liberal stronghold.

We will just let the primary settle this thing. I'm not going to convince you.



You make a lot of good points, and our field definitely is NOT weak. I think we'd be saying pretty much the same thing even if Christie, Ryan, and Rubio were in the field, stating that they are too green without much experience and so could possibly not win. It's just easier to sit on the sidelines and say we have a weak field than to get out there and work for a particular candidate.



I think it is sad that you won't vote for a conservative simply because of the childish acts of some, such an act by you would be equally childish. You should use your own mind to make an important decision as to whom you will vote for.

I think it is funny that there is leaking information that Mitch Daniels is for universal healthcare, the alleged dealbreaker for Mitt, and yet Daniels supporters are flipping on the issue by not making it a dealbreaker for Daniels.

The problem with having an experienced candidate is that there is a voting record and numerous interviews and public speaking engagements. Not only can comments be distorted, but the news often fails to provide significant context to the information to establish the whole truth. Healthcare is a perfeect issue:

- The individual mandate was a conservative issue prior to Obama adopting and distorting it with the Heritage Foundation and conservative lawmakers supporting it.

- In politics, you rarely have the fortune of enacting a piece of legislation that is perfect.

- Not only does legislation take compromise (esp. if there is not a significant conservative majortiy or is heavily controlled by Dems), but oftentimes legislation is necessary to stop an alternative. This is demonstrated by Republicans in early 90s who were looking at alternatives to Hillarycare (funny how when GOP had control of both Houses under Bush 43, healthcare wasn't a priority issue) or in Mass. where the Dems were proposing healthcare reform by taxing businesses.

Finally, people need to take political reality into account. I personally support the idea of universal coverage, and any alleged Christian shouldn't argue against providing care for the poor or sick. However, the details are how it is implemented and with our current economic issues and the existing healthcare structure, it appears that a perfect model has not been achieved yet. However, that should not stop us from trying to establish a conservative solution to a serious and obvious problem.

I have no problem with Daniels or T-Paw, I believe they are good men and good governors. However, at the end of the day, it appears the only thing we can agree on in this site is that America cannot survive another 4 years with Obama (excluding the crazies that hate candidates and claim will vote for Obama over them: if you are one of the crazies, you are obviously not a conservative). This is why I support Mitt Romney. Mitt would do just as well as the other candidates in governing the nation, but I think Mitt has a legitimate chance of beating Obama. Not only do the polls say so (of course polls arent perfect, esp. this far out), but he can raise the money and has demonstrated the organizing skills that are needed to defeat Obama.

In closing, people should stop being hypocrites on this site. If healthcare is a dealbreaker for you, then apply that to all of the candidates, not just a single one.


#64 - ilfigo,

I think you need to read comment # 58. :)

As for the rest of your post, you make some good points. As I said in another thread, health care is a difficult subject to deal with simply because we (on the conservative side) have a number of options we like to put forward and consider. Liberals, on the other hand, have a much easier time selling their health care soltuions because all they have to do is advocate for single payer.

Mitch addressed health care in IN, and did so in a constructive way that did NOT result in mandates or in increased wait times. Mitt, on the other hand, addressed the issue in a different way. His way was more comprehensive, but it also comes with a set of consequences for those of us who shy from mandates. Either way, as I've said before, I will campaign for and happily vote for Mitt Romney if he becomes our nominee. Right now, however, I will continue to advocate for Mitch Daniels (if he ever decides to enter the race).


A few things on Mitch: He's very tight on government spending. He's a very smart executive who brings business skills to the job of government, yet he also understands coalitions. He's very good on education reform. Yes, he's short and bald, but he's also very likable, across class and even race. He's a guy you want to have a beer with. This is the main advantage he has over Governor Romney, who, despite his many talents, lacks the common touch.


55 - If you would pick a candidate based on such idiotic reasons, you aren't worth winning over. Go vote for Obama for all I care.


61 - You are so full of crap. What do you think Mitt was dealing with in Massachusetts? Daniels was dealing with a Republican Congress in 2003 (when he supported a health care plan that included a mandate). You need to work on your spin skills.

I have nothing against Daniels. I have nothing against the individual mandate (except at the federal level). I do have a problem with the double standard that seems to be applied in this situation.


#67 - Rombot,

Please read comment # 58, too. I tried to admit I went a bit overboard and explained my reasons why.


Not liking Mitch Daniels much. We need someone more conservative than that. We can do better.


I like MItch. He is reasonable and level headed. I don't need an idealogue. I agree that we need to avoid wedge issues. Mitt is still my guy, but I won't shed any tears if Mitch gets the nom.


Mitch is my #2 guy. He seems to be a sensible guy. A lot like Mitt.


This is a big reason why I am such a fan of Mitch Daniels - he puts the REAL issues at the forefront and leaves the divisive, "wedge" issues (i.e. the BS social issues over which the federal government can do very little) in the background. This is great policy-wise, social issues are merely a distraction that the politicians, and their allies in church, in the media, in interest groups, use to raise money and elevate their own political stature.

But it's a bad politics because, as I just said, too many (FAR too many) have allowed said issues to dictate their voting because of what they've been told by desperate politicians trolling for votes, by media types desperate for eyes/ears/page views and by interest groups looking to empty the pocket books of neophytes who know no better.



I don't know that the wedge issues i.e. social issues are the ones to run on because they have become so divisive however they are definitely not B.S. issues. They are the root of many of the ills we have in society today. In my opinion if we fix the social issues we have in the country primarily the disintegration of the nuclear family and the neglect of teaching values and morals to the rising generation the majority of the other issues disappear. Govenment may not be in the business of religion but they should understand and support the important role that religion plays in the society. With out the morals inherent in teaching of religion the society will disintagrate into chaos.

It would be a very dangerous and destructive path to go down to abdicate the responsibility to carry the social conservative banner. The social decay in the country is the problem the rest of the issues are all symptoms. I don't think Daniels statements necessarily put him at odds with that but to focus soley on the fiscal issues treat the symptoms and not the problem.

If everyone in the nation were well educated, hard working, self reliant, had integrity were unselfish and cared for each other we would be in a utopian society. Those values and qualities are best taught in a loving, nurturing and stable two parent (mother and father) families. I don't care how loud the left screams about acceptance, alternative lifestyles, freedom of choice / women's health(i.e. option to to kill unborn babies).


I wonder if the definition of "wedge issue" has changed significantly since I first heard of it. I had thought that a wedge issue was one on which one's own party was united but the other party was split, thus giving one's own party the advantage. It's the kind of issue where 60% or 70% of the whole country supports a particular position. Hence, if wedge issues of this sort were prominent in an election, it would help one's party, because it would enable the party to attract votes from members of the opposite party.

An example would be the death penalty in the 1988 election. Not only did almost all Republicans support the death penalty, so did a significant number of Democrats, thus making the death penalty a wedge issue in favor of the Republicans.

Or take opposition to tax increases in 1984. Republicans didn't want tax increases, and many Democrats didn't want tax increases either, thus making opposition to tax increases a wedge issue in favor of the Republicans.

By this definition, abortion would not be a wedge issue. There isn't really any position as to abortion rights which could get the support of 60% of the public.

I wonder if people are now using "wedge issue" to mean "an issue that the public is strongly divided about," which would be close to the opposite of the original meaning. It doesn't help win an election to focus on issues where only about half the electorate supports one's position. You want to focus on issues where your positions are truly popular.


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