Posted by: Joe Eds | March 1, 2010

GOP 2012

A new name has been surfacing as far as GOP 2012 contenders go. And that name is Mitch Daniels (we haven’t heard of him either). Daniels is the current governor of Indiana (purple state), used to run the Office of Budget and Mgmt during George W. Bush’s first term and survived the 2008 Democratic year by defeating his opponent handily.

And just yesterday conservative Ross Douthat of The NY Times posted a column about Daniels calling him “the Republican surprise” and pointing out that Indiana’s state budget has the third-lowest gap in the country, and Daniels behind the podium is more earnest and plain-spoken where Romney and Palin are more fiery.  Mark Halperin of Time (and author of Game Change) posted this column about other GOP governors who could be in the race (aside from Romney and Palin), including Daniels.

Of course, Halperin and Douthat both point out two of Daniels’ short-comings. Namely, he’s short (at 5’7″). And he’s bald (last truly bald president was Ike). Sure, not deep political discourse about candidates and takes the shallow assumption that Americans only elect good-looking people to the big office. But denying that physical cosmetics make a difference in selecting candidates is denying reality. However, given the recent mayoral election in Houston, there is solid proof that Americans are very, very ready to look past cosmetics and elect someone who can get something done.

Still early. These are journalists spit-balling scenarios months and months before anyone has really analyzed the candidates. I remember back in 2007 the guy who I thought had the bona-fides to take down Hillary was Bill Richardson, and one televised debate shattered that pretty quickly.

Two things to take away from these articles. 1) The mainstream media doesn’t really think Palin is going to make it to the end zone as far as running for president goes. 2) They feel Romney is the front-runner and the plan now is to see who can give him the best run for his money or who can overtake him. And the focus on Governor’s is a continuation of the theme that country is upset at Washington and want an “outsider” behind the desk. Ironically the one person who clearly has the best take on the economy, most plain-spoken desire to see change and still fits conservative bona-fides is Jeb Bush. If his last name was Smith, this primary would be over in a heart beat.

My bet:  Still John Thune. Yes, he’s a Senator but when I see him on TV I see a guy who doesn’t scare the middle and has the plain-spoken talk to give Obama a run for his money.

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