As we at ALO have tried to see what needs written about, we have looked again and again at the Evan Bayh abdication and sought to provide words wise and soothing and found ourselves lacking anything to add that has not already bound-up the internet ether.
But, as he reliably does, Governor Mitch Daniels stepped up to seek attention like the schoolboy who repeats his jokes ad nauseum hoping for attention at recess. We don’t know if it was from having nothing of consequence to discuss at his state-of-the-state or all Evan Bayh’s attention, but we think it might have been this Ron Elving NPR piece entitled Presidential Futures Market Downgrades Stock Of Current Governors:
Members of the National Governors Association are meeting with President Obama today after a weekend black tie affair at the White House. It’s fair to guess that more than a few of the guests took the opportunity to check out the place with an eye toward future occupancy.
One or more of them may live at 1600 someday. Before President Obama, four of the previous five presidents were governors. As recently as the last presidential cycle, the major Republican contenders included two former governors: Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. A sitting governor, Sarah Palin, wound up as the vice presidential nominee.
But if the NGA has long been a forest of presidential timber, the current crop seems suddenly rather sparse.
Over the weekend, this gang of governors looked more like a battered raft of refugees than presidential contenders. Hard times are no kinder to governors than they are to presidents, and right now the sputtering recovery and stubborn unemployment numbers are weighing heavily on the state’s most visible leaders.
Consumed with problems close to home, the governors have not been big players in the health care debate or other national issues in the past year. And the same dynamic affects their own personal ambitions.
Beyond the bad economic numbers, intraparty unrest and just plain bad timing seem to be putting the ultimate political prize beyond the gubernatorial grasp.
When this piece was brought to his attention it had to bring he and his cult of impersonality to the brink of derision when it then goes on to name almost all the Republican governor’s by name and doesn’t even think to mention him. Neither as a good candidate or a bad one. Actually they didn’t even mention him as a governor.
So, in a matter of minutes he finds his way to making a coy, even dainty flip-flop for attention by dipping his toe into the 2012 pond. Never mind that he has been wholly adamant and even pointedly campaigned on never running for another office.
Key Daniels for President 2012 Campaign Strategies
We at ALO will let all that go for now. But we will, however, take a little time to list just a few of the crowning achievements of which this Governor can proudly boast all the way to the 2012 convention:
- Certainly, Daniels will want to lead off with Indiana’s record 9.9%, worse than the national average, unemployment rate that plummeted on his watch and continues its doldrums even as the Governor continues to tell Hoosiers, even those in 16% unemployed Elkhart County that this state is doing better than all the other states.
- He will of course want to point out his role as budget director for the last Republican presidential administration, where his budget slashing included defunding agencies that protect the American people, including the very financial watchdog agencies that should have helped prevent the national, and now international (does that count as foreign policy experience?) economic meltdown.
- Since Indiana has long been an auto manufacturing leader he will want to tout his long-standing support of automakers and workers. Unfortunately, during the economic meltdown thousands of Indiana jobs were lost, likely forever, due to General Motors’ implosion, Daniels stood practically silent, except to criticize the federal government’s role in stopping the bleeding. Of course, when foreign-owned Toyota sees a slip in sales and image he mounts an all out campaign to shine up the company’s image. Even though the number of GM workers in Indiana was, at the beginning of the crisis, triple that of Hoosier Toyota workers.
- It’s tough to win the presidency without showing your commitment to education and students. So to appear presidential he will want to point out that, in order to provide a sufficiently knee-jerk response to a property tax hike, he forced the entire school funding burden from a long-standing system of state and county shared funding to sole state funding all as the real estate market was in free-fall, certainly knowing that the real estate crash would force the state to seek severe cuts, ultimately ending in the forced firing of thousands of teachers statewide.
- Of course, he will want to prove he has clean associations. You know, show that he’s never been tight with any criminal types or tainted the office of Governor by accepting inappropriate campaign donations. So he will want to lead off with the sizable campaign contributions from suspected Ponzi schemer and all-around D-bag Tim Durham. And of course to show his character he will refuse to pay back any of Durham’s ill-gotten booty so it can be returned to their victims, even as he spends the same time period raising a half a million dollars for his Aiming Higher PAC in hopes of spending his last two years as Governor with absolutely no impediments to his imperial governorship.
- Since he’s running as a fiscal conservative he will want to show he is tight with the public dime and doesn’t waste dollars on untried schemes that will ultimately provide worse service to the public. So he will lead off this argument with his FSSA crony privatization debacle and how it helped his staffer Mitch Roob give a billion-plus dollar contract to his former company less than 3-months after he left. Of course, he will want to point out that hundreds of former public employees were summarily shifted over to work for IBM who low-balled the cost of providing the high-tech new screening system only to add costly change order after even more costly change order. Many of those aforementioned change orders exponentially benefited Affiliated Computer Services, the also aforementioned commerce secretary and former head of the FSSA Mitch Roob‘s previous employer. He will, of course, remind the world that he was forced to scrap the deal sending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to the sunk-cost scrap heap.
He will want to discuss all these virtues and more.
As will we.