Mitch Daniels/Paul Ryan 2012?

Around these parts, we’re all huge fans of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. They’re two of the smartest guys conservatives have fighting for us, and represent what I call the “Shut Up and Govern” wing of the Republican Party where they do just that…shut up and govern.

They’re also two cats whose names are consistently thrown around in conversation aboot 2012. I think with Ryan it’s more wishful thinking on our part, but with Daniels he seems to at least be making the moves that a dark horse candidate would make when he’s at least considering it. N.M. Guariglia writing for the Pajamas Media came to such a logical conclusion, I’m surprised no one has thought of it yet…

Mitch Daniels/Paul Ryan 2012?

I’m intrigued…

Why Daniels? Well, for starters, he’s the best governor in the country. That may seem like a subjective statement, but consider the financial state of the 50 states — and then look at Indiana. The fiscally competent manner in which Daniels has governed the Hoosier State has created recent buzz about a potential candidacy for the White House in 2012. Andy Barr at Politico writes about Daniels’ record: “Indiana has turned its $200 million deficit into a $1.3 billion surplus, paid all outstanding debts, doubled venture capital investment in the state and increased employment…”

Moreover, despite his tip-top conservative credentials, Daniels isn’t a lightning rod. He can’t be caricatured. He’s proposed a “truce” on contentious social issues until our economic house is back in order. “We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while,” he says. Refreshingly, he’s a constitutionalist, and he’s libertarian enough to make the Ron Paul groupies and tea party people happy, but disarming enough to appeal to a broad cross-section of fiscal and social conservatives, moderates, independents, and Democrats. The biggest dirt on Daniels is that he served as the director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush until 2003. But “he’s Bush!” won’t work for the Democrats…

As for the VP slot in ’12, I may be getting ahead of myself here. But can anyone name a single politician in America who has publicly challenged President Obama’s policies more forcefully and coherently than Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan? Ryan is young, just 40-years-old. But he’s as smart as a whip. A few minutes of watching him discuss monetary policy or the wonders of the free market on YouTube will show that. He’s conservative but, like Daniels, not a firebrand. Like Daniels, there’s not a threatening thing about Ryan’s personality. And like Daniels, he’s a doer — and a man of ideas.

Ryan uses stubborn things, like facts, to emphasize his arguments. He seems to know every stat and chart in the books off the top of his head, and there’s no debating statistics when they’re presented to you in a clear and concise manner. Ryan’s ability to articulate complex ideas, and offer long-term remedies to difficult financial problems, has made him a rising star in the Republican Party. Watch him here take President Obama to task over the health care bill. Obama looked bewildered throughout the entire thing. Can you imagine a Ryan vs. Biden debate? It’s been said that Obama has tremendous respect for Ryan as an opponent. Something tells me Obama doesn’t want to see much of Ryan on the campaign trail come 2012. All the more reason he should be on it.

They would definitely be the smartest ticket we would have in a long, long time, and unlike the current regime, have the experience to back it up. It’ll also be hard for them to be caricatured as right wing extremists; though I’m sure closed minded and intolerant liberal progressives will try to paint Daniels the same way they do anyone who doesn’t live in the Northeast or California.

I still want to get through 2010 first because the results of this election are going to have a major impact over who we run two years from now. Daniels/Ryan has definitely piqued my imagination.

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4 thoughts on “Mitch Daniels/Paul Ryan 2012?”

  1. Completely agree with your sentiment — and I’d also add that Daniels is a policy innovator: health care, infrastructure, taxation and education. He’s trying new ideas and making almost all of the work!

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