Our neighbors to the north might want to pay attention to the growing speculation that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is on the GOP short list of potential nominees for president in 2012. The diminutive Republican (he stands just under 5’7″) has seen the states unemployment rate go down in the past year, along with property taxes and the state payrolls.
From Bloomberg News:
Daniels has the self-confidence of a politician riding high and the data-driven focus of a policy geek. Metrics thrill him, and not surprisingly most of his government tweaks started with an offending number. He saw the number of child fatalities and more than doubled the number of caseworkers, from 696 to 1,590, reducing each worker’s load and cutting the deaths by 40 percent. He assessed rising traffic fatalities and increased the number of troopers, cutting deaths to 680 in 2009 from 814 in 2008. The state was spending $37,662 in incentives to create each new job, so he ditched “the worthless” Commerce Dept. The outlay is now $8,701 per new job.
However, he’s got zero charisma compared to other GOP stars vying for the spot. And then there’s the “social truce,” comment that caused a stir amongst social conservatives. Maybe the number crunching conservative would make for an excellent vice-presidential nominee? Think about it, President Obama barely won Indiana’s 11 electoral votes back in 2008 and Daniels’ approval ratings are over 60 percent in the Hoosier state.