Why Mitch Daniels Should Run in 2012
He's got a handle on debt and a record of substance: David Brooks
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 25, 2011 11:45 AM CST
Gov Mitch Daniels, R-Ind. speaks during the Ronald Reagan Banquet at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Friday, Feb.. 11, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(Newser) – Here’s a name that should be among the GOP frontrunners for 2012: Mitch Daniels. The Indiana governor says there’s an “excellent chance” he won’t run—but he “would be the party’s strongest candidate,” writes David Brooks in the New York Times. He “can restrain debt while still helping government efficiently perform its duties,” and an Obama-Daniels contest would prompt a much-needed “debate about the role of government.”

At this year’s CPAC, Daniels “spoke for those who believe the country’s runaway debt is the central moral challenge of our time”—but he also said Republicans “will need people who never tune in to Rush or Glenn or Laura or Sean.” Meanwhile, as governor, he’s helped make Indiana the only state to have reduced its debt since 2004. Infrastructure spending is up, and job growth is “twice the national average,” Brooks notes. Daniels “couldn’t match Obama in grace and elegance, but he could on substance.”