As he has contemplated a possible campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has managed to irritate key GOP constituencies: social conservatives by calling for a “truce” on social issues, national security conservatives by entertaining defense cuts and seeming generally uninterested in their issues, and economic conservatives by flirting with a value added tax. The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza speculates that Daniels is less interested in running for president himself than influencing the eventual debate.
That would make sense, except that the result of his comments has been for other potential candidates to emphasize the issues Daniels is downplaying rather than increase their focus on deficits and the national debt. I profiled Daniels last fall in the print edition of The American Spectator.
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