Why Mitch Daniels Is Either Smart or a Fink, or Both

Indiana governor generating buzz with potential candidacy
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2011 1:01 PM CDT
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels puts his tongue in his cheek while listening to a question about the possibility of a 2012 presidential run.   (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

(Newser) – Two different views today on Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels as a potential presidential candidate:

  • Dana Milbank, Washington Post: He praises Daniels as a "shrewd tactician" who is wisely "portraying himself to moderates as a non-threatening choice" and as the "grown-up in the room" who avoids fringe issues. He's got aw-shucks charm to him and even dares to praise the Obama administration when he sees fit. "So funny, so folksy, and so friendly to the disadvantaged: It is eerily similar to how another Republican governor presented himself to America a dozen springs ago."

  • Gail Collins, New York Times: Forgive her for falling out of her chair. Sure, Daniels famously called for a "truce" on social issues, but he's about to sign into law a bill that "is a compilation of the anti-abortion movement’s greatest hits." Among other things, it strips Planned Parenthood of Medicaid funds and requires doctors to give women information that is "questionable, theological or totally wrong." Daniels "is a real prototype of the peculiar strain in the political right that trusts people to make their own informed decisions without government intervention except when it comes to the most exquisitely personal choice a woman could ever face."

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