In today’s installment of his WaPo column “The Fix,” Chris Cillizza profiles Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels: “Republican Revolutionary.”
The good news is: the profile is interesting and instructive. The bad news is: Daniels has foresworn any further political officeholding.
What lessons can the national GOP — still struggling to find its identity and leaders after two devastating elections cycles — take from what Daniels did?
First, that Republicans must regain the high ground as the party of new ideas. “We need to be conceiving ideas all the time, not just sit there and hold office,” said Daniels.
Second, that reflexive partisanship and name-calling rarely brings about those ideas and solutions. Daniels insisted that during his five years in the governor’s mansion he has not said the word “Democratic” more than three times and has never uttered the words “liberal” or “conservative.”
Third, and this goes to Daniels’s populist streak, “use your own words.” Daniels staked his political career on convincing voters that he was not a consultant-driven phenomenon — he wrote his own ads — nor was he angling for some other office.