After going through Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Joe the Plumber, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Michael Steele, and others hoping to find somebody to renew energy and enthusiasm in America for dead Republican ideas, is it possible the key to solving Republican woes lies somewhere in the Midwest with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels who just may be able to use the four letter word that begins with a "j" with the same gusto and gravitas like the Obama Administration has been doing?
Republicans have drudged their way through the first months of Obama’s presidency shifting from one personality to the next looking for someone to make the party seem legitimate in the eyes of the American people again, hoping to halt the decline in America of those who claim to be Republican.
The GOP had Mitch Daniels deliver a weekly address recently where he came out against the Waxman-Markey legislation (the Obama Administration’s and Congress’ answer to concerns over global warming). He condemned the establishment of a cap-and-trade system, characterized the legislation as “a poster child for government that cannot work,” and went on to discuss what would happen to jobs in the Midwest and Midwesterners if passed.
“Even if one believes the administration’s own computer models, which they claim can predict temperatures 50 years away, the CO2 reductions from their bill could not budge the world thermometer by a tenth of a degree. It has become clear that the Pelosi bill has little to do with a cooler planet and everything to do with raising money for the out-of-control federal spending now underway in Washington. Please, excuse us Midwesterners for feeling a bit like the targets of an imperialistic policy, devised in places like California and New York and Massachusetts for their benefit and our expense.”
Mitch Daniels, who has been elected governor in Indiana twice now thanks to his “My Man Mitch” campaign where he travels around with a Winnebago and talks to Hoosiers one-on-one about how he will make government work for them, was the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director during George W. Bush’s first term as president.
He may be against cap-and-trade now, but on November 15, 2007, States News Service reported that Mitch Daniels was one of ten Midwestern leaders to sign a greenhouse gas reduction accord, an accord which aimed to “develop a market-based and multi-sector cap-and-trade mechanism to help achieve those reduction targets” and more.
Daniels led the charge against federal regulations and consumer and environmental protections that Clinton hoped to implement in his final weeks in office.
Digital Journal reported on Nov 2, 2008, the Sunday after Bush’s Inauguration Daniels told the Bush Administration, “'Let's pull back as many of these as we can.” This was part of Chief of Staff Andrew Card’s and others’ plan to modify or scrap last-minute regulations that did not wholly reflect Republican policy and some of the regulations scrapped addressed issues concerning airline safety, immigration, and indoor air pollutants along with other environmental issues as well.
Daniels has also worked to make it possible for the Bush Administration to pass their tax cuts for the richest 1% in 2001.
In Ron Suskind’s The Price of Loyalty, Suskind wrote of how Daniels, in the midst of Senate and House Republican cries for deeper tax cuts including capital gains tax cuts, helped make the tax cuts deeper:
“…Mitch Daniels in an internal memo he sent to [Sec. of Treasury Paul O’Neill] and others in mid-February he sent to O’Neill and others in mid-February, had written that “there are large opportunities and contingencies that could expand the surpluses over ten years,” above the current projection of $5.6 trillion. This assessment, which O’Neill argued in various internal meetings was analytically specious, was leaked to senators and strengthened talk of deeper cuts and various additions from child credits to marriage credits to the repeal of the estate tax.” (p. 31)
Daniels appeared on CNN’s Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields on March 17, 2001, he spoke about the tax cuts but he also took questions on the issue of global warming and the administration’s plans to deal with carbon dioxide.
NOVAK: Mr. Daniels, the paper this week have been fully of reports of the president pulling back from a campaign commitment allegedly to treat carbon dioxide emissions as a pollutant. And this has an effect of course on the question of global warming. There's been a lot of turmoil inside the administration on this. But can you tell was whether or not this administration considers global warming a serious problem or considers it an overheated claim by the environmentalists?
DANIELS: I think that the president believes that there are problems that demand close inspection. And he's commissioned people to do that. Science is not 100 percent clear in the judgment of the administration on most people. And we've got a lot yet to learn about this, but he's certainly committed to and committed his administration to working on it hard.