Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Mitch Daniels Links

Jeb Bush hearts Daniels.  I kind of thought Jeb Bush was a Romney guy.  Not much reason for that feeling.  I saw a 2009 event with Bush, Romney and Eric Cantor at some pizza shop taking questions.  They were all talking about the need for substantive, policy-based approaches.  Bush tended to overuse "dream" tropes in his remarks (pursuing dreams, working toward dreams, chasing dreams...)  Despite that, Bush came across by far the best prepared of the three.  I was thinking that he should be the one running for President.  Nah.

Run Jeb Run (for the Senate.)

I think Maggie Gallagher is mostly right about Daniels - but not necessarily totally right.  The social issues truce stuff is both silly and self-destructive.  If Daniels is going to be nominated he will need not only social issues positions (which he has and which are well conservative), but a social issues agenda - however incremental and deemphasized.  That being said, the social conservative critique of his CPAC speech is misplaced.  Daniels did not give a stump speech touching every issue of controversy and making a special appeal to every constituency he hopes to win.  Such a speech has its place, but it should not be confused with the speech Daniels gave.  Daniels' CPAC speech was a meditation on the chief contemporary problems of political economy and it was a powerful and honest statement of reality.  Daniels will have to answer on the other issues or (probably) doom himself, but that was not the time.

It is worth pointing out that Daniels' problems with social conservatives are of his own making.  It was not an actual flaw of his CPAC speech that he did not mention abortion, gay marriage etc. The problem was that many social conservatives saw his economics-centered speech through the prism of his earlier truce talk.  Daniels has earned suspicion and the suspicion has become self-sustaining.

Some guy saw how this truce talk was going to work out for Daniels when he wrote, "Ironically, Daniels' not talking about social issues will create a spiral of commentary on Daniels not talking about the social issues....the best way for Daniels to minimize having to talk about the social issues is for him to have something of substance to say."   

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