Mitch Daniels once again showed that he is not interested in running for president. And by doing so, he has shown why he should.
Governor Daniels has taken criticism for refusing to order Indiana state troopers to hunt down Democratic state legislators who have, like their Wisconsin counterparts, fled the state. If Daniels were truly interested in running for president he should forget the context of his job and try to one-up Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for the spotlight. Yet Daniels refuses to forget his context and his job, and it may serve his critics well if they took 30 seconds to consider it.
Daniels claims the Star mischaracterized his comments, insisting that he didn’t tell the legislature to drop the bill but merely said that, in his opinion, they should wait until next term. Why wait? Because, according to Daniels, the right-to-work bill is a big enough deal that it shouldn’t be taken up unless voters are expecting a debate on it. And because the GOP didn’t campaign on it last fall, voters aren’t expecting it this term. Which … is an interesting “good government” principle, but not a convincing one. If you have a legislative advantage, why not press it to advance your agenda and let the public deal with you at the polls next cycle? That’s precisely how the Democrats passed ObamaCare.
Except Obama did campaign on healthcare reform. Explicitly and clearly and in sometimes mind-numbing detail. Daniels' insistence, in contrast with Walker, that you should not impose a big change when you haven't campaigned on it, strikes me as the sensible position. And Daniels has as conservative a fiscal record as you can find in state government.