Mitch Daniels Makes Republican Caucus Sigh Dreamily After SOTU Response, Highlights Candidate Inadequacies
The field of GOP candidates that remain edging up to the election in November is problematic for Republicans to say the least, even if they did get a shot in the arm of enthusiasm after Mitch Daniels’ post-State of the Union speech Tuesday night.
Actually, Mitch Daniels opted early in the race not to seek the nomination. Since then, Republicans have contended with know-nothing options like Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain, all of whom have since exited the fray. What remains- controversial candidates Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich- is a less than ideal situation for the Republican base.
Santorum is a bit fringey, espousing some very conservative ideals that might not appeal to a wide range of moderate Republicans. Romney has kind of emerged as an uber-villain, drawing ire even among fellow Republicans for being a “vulture capitalist” and all-around difficult to like guy. And then there is Gingrich, a sometimes self-styled moral crusader who has certainly wife-hopped and perhaps tried to cajole his second wife into an open marriage, which is a very progressive-scented idea.
Mitch Daniels and his impassioned rebuttal to the State of the Union, calling on Obama to cut spending and reduce debt appealed to Republicans seeking a more reasoned voice for the party, and even went so far as to suggest that the GOP vision for the middle class is more fair than the alternatives- calling Obama’s administration “bossy.” After the speech, conservative writer Charles Krauthammer went on Fox to lament the contrast between Daniels and the current field of GOP candidates:
“I could hear sighs all over the country from Republicans [about] what might have been. That was one of the best speeches I’ve heard … and I think it was one of the best presentations of the conservative idea against the larger government of Obama.”
Do you think the GOP has already lost the election after choosing Romney and Santorum over a candidate like Mitch Daniels?