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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mitch Daniels Also Not Running - Open Thread

Via L.A. Times (h/t reader James), Mitch Daniels will not run for President:
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said early Sunday that he won't run for president because of family considerations, narrowing the field in the race for the GOP nomination.

"In the end, I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one," Daniels said, disclosing his decision in an e-mail to supporters. "The interests and wishes of my family, is the most important consideration of all. If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry."
So what does it mean?  Here are my random first thoughts, in no particular order and to be added to throughout the day:
  • Very, very good day for Pawlenty, the conservative who is acceptable to the Tea Party movement and the establishment, and who is launching his formal campaign tomorrow.
  • No real impact on Romney.
  • Increases likelihood that someone who has said "no I'll never run" may change his mind.
  • Just as well, we need someone who wants it and is willing to fight like hell for it, and then take on the Chicago machine like it's an "only one person leaves the ring standing" match, because that's how the other side treats it.
What do you think?

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  1. Good! As you said, Mitch never exhibited the fire in the belly, nor the thickness of skin to engage successfully in presidential political bloodsport.

    I tend to think that Herman Cain benefits from this as well. This is one more of the "serious" candidates down. If conservative and Tea Party support winds up being divided between Pawlenty and Cain, who do you really think wins that contest?

  2. My first thoughts:

    Romney is relieved (he and Mitch are very similar);

    Mitch heard Krauthammer talk about a "squish" when his name was being bandied about, figured he is not going to win it;

    What is in his family's past (or present) that they are afraid the merciless MSM will dig up and use against them?

    I agree with you 100% about the "last man (or woman) standing" during this election. I thought 2008 was brutal; I'm sure it will pale in comparison to this upcoming 2012 brawl.

  3. I think Palin's in and it would not surprise me if Perry gets in and don't count Bobby J out

  4. I was hoping he wasn't going to run. He definitely seems "squishy" to me. And is he, yet, another rino? I'm sick of the rinos who play nice with the looney left. They're doing our country in. We need someone who's not going to be afraid to take on O. Palin, Cain, and Bachmann come to mind.

  5. Rick Perry for President. I would love to see how the MSM would treat a strong forthright Texan. This could get very interesting.

  6. I think we now know who is the alpha dog in the Daniels' family. Good move. He was not going to be inspiring or fight. He was another 'it's my turn' candidate.

    I am disappointed in Cain. I would vote for him if he wasn't in favor of a national sales tax (which is what the 'fair' tax scheme is). I may still vote for him if he's nominated but would prefer he would champion a less regressive and less intrusive system of taxation to replace the mess we have now.

    Gingrich is toast (and always was except in his own mind). Mitt is now Obama's bitch. Pawlenty is a waste of time.

    Who knows what will shake out till it happens. I hope to see fewer debates run by the Left wing media this time around. Are the Reps smart enough to demand it? Tune in to find out.

  7. I believe that the Tea Party voters will return bigger than ever to vote against the GOP backed frontrunner and vote with their conscience.

    No, to Gingrich & Romney. No to Karl Rove and the GOP PAC money. Karl Roves opinion of everyone, outside his opinion, is so smug and condescending, I can't get past it, to even support the good old GOP.

  8. I'm starting to think the GOP Establishment powers-that-be may be sending different signals to potential candidates than the GOP donors or the GOP voters are. Some of the more interesting choices have dropped out one-by-one (Pence, Thune, Daniels, Christie, even Trump).

    If I were the RNC, looking for a traditional Establishment candidate, I'd like to see a frontrunner, with no "serious" primary opponents, around whom the GOP could circle the wagons and the fundraising dollars early. The candidate with the greatest name recognition, the best on-the-ground machine in place, and the most money in the bank. The one who polls best amongst overall voters, not just GOP primary voters. I'd want to avoid a bruising primary, but I wouldn't mind a whole bunch of "long-shot" Tea Party candidates, each vying with each other for the title of most extreme, populist. This would make my candidate appear even more "reasonable."

    Sure sounds like someone's teeing up Romney to me. Perhaps with a wink-wink to a VP spot for T-Paw, whose more conservative positions could shore up some of Romney's perceived weaknesses.

  9. Herman Cain, unfortunately, sticks his foot
    in his mouth...

    “The candidate for president who best stands the chance of earning the gadfly-with-breakout-potential trophy is Herman Cain,” John says.

    Maybe. On Fox News Sunday this morning, however, Cain imitated Sarah Palin’s blank stare when Chris Wallace asked him about the right of return. “The right of return?” he said. After Wallace explained the Palestinian demand to return to the homes they were “thrown out of” [sic!] in 1948, Cain said that would be negotiated between the Israelis and Palestinians. “I don’t think Israel has any problem with Palestinians’ returning,” he said.

    Even though Cain had told Wallace just a few moments before that he would offer the Palestinians “nothing,” because he is not convinced they are committed to peace and democracy, his cluelessness on the right of return suggests that Cain is more blowhard than gadfly."


  10. Part 1: FairTax discussion (skip if you don't want to read about tax policy)

    Jake308 - The FairTax is neither regressive, nor intrusive.

    Liberal-Statists have framed the debate as one of being regressive because it is considered LESS PROGRESSIVE than the current tax code. The FairTax calculates the tax in an ENTIRELY different way. It's like comparing an elephant to a rose bush: Yes, they're both "alive," made up of cellular structures, and need water to live but they are otherwise so different as to be mostly incomparable.

    I've put it this way before: Those who make LESS income are NOT going to consume more than those who make MORE income. If they ARE (even on paper), something is wrong with the economics of the situation. Is it POSSIBLE for a multi-millionaire to pay almost no taxes under the FairTax? Sure. He could eat Ramen noodles and canned soup forever, live in a tent and get his clothes second hand from the thrift store, but he would still be paying at least for the food (goods are only taxes ONCE). BUT that same Multi-millionaire (with just a LITTLE bit of planning) can now pay ZERO Federal Taxes if he solely invests in Municipal Bonds as an income stream, rather than starting or growing a business.

    Also, remember that those under the HHS Poverty guidelines by family size pay NO TAX AT ALL because of the because of the "Pre-Rebate" paid to EVERY household every month based on HHS poverty spending for expected household size.

    The FairTax is also not intrusive as it is collected at the point-of-sale of every "end user" transaction or service as an inclusive sales tax (meaning the "end user" never sees it as a tax, they just see the price they have to pay). The current tax system forces itself into EVERY business along the supply chain, taxing at each step. The FairTax would simply move that taxation all to the end of the chain and collect it in one transaction. That seems eminently LESS intrusive than the current model.

  11. Part II: Presidential Contender Analysis:

    Now that we've gotten that issue out of the way:

    I think that it has just become MUCH more likely that we will see a Romney-Pawlenty ticket. As I said before, Romney has RINO issues which he seems to be addressing, and Pawlenty lacks the star-power to get to the top of the ticket by himself (at least right now, 8 months from now might be a different story).

    Herman Cain WILL do well in the primaries in Iowa, South Carolina and Georgia, because the FairTax supporters will FLOCK to him in droves (which is, in large part, why Huckabee won Iowa LAST time). The FairTax has a HUGE grassroots organization in Iowa for exactly the purpose of influencing the Presidential debate about the issue. I'm not so sure that the gaff about the "Right of Return" is that big of a deal (which is a misnomer designed to mislead: it should be described as the "Right of RESETTLEMENT IN ISRAEL." Again, by letting the TERRORISTS (Palestinian Authority) frame the debate, the Israelis allowed an opportunity to quickly and clearly describe what terrorists want to go to waste.

    Unfortunately I don't think that Hermain Cain can win the general election. While it would be fascinating to watch the Liberal-Statists tie themselves into knots trying to call Cain an 'Uncle Tom' racist for opposing Obama (Liberal's standard tactic), the bigger issue will be what I call the "Old, White, Rockefeller Republican crowd." As long as they don't KNOW Cain is black, they would vote for him in a heartbeat. But that crowd literally CAN'T understand the concept of a "Black Republican." As I said, it's not that they WON'T, it's that they CAN'T. Most of that crowd isn't engaged enough to go vote unless there is someone on the ticket who represents their interests; it isn't sufficient to vote against Obama because he is OPPOSED to their interests, they have to have somebody to vote FOR, and the lower national races won't be enough of a draw.

    I think we will see Bachmann enter the race, but she will be UTTERLY savaged by the media, and I'm just waiting for that article that says "she's neglecting her biological and adopted children by running" (a la Sarah Palin). A Romney-Bachmann ticket is a distinct possibility. But be on the lookout for the MSM crowd to pull the "one heartbeat from the Presidency" trash again against Bachmann as "not experienced enough."

    It's going to be a VERY interesting 8 months.

  12. Family considerations, my foot. He's worried about his award from the Arab American Institute. Bowing out is a smart move on his part. Don't forget that Tim "I never knew about that Sharia-compliant lending fund" Pawlenty is no better.

    I hope Huckabee runs. He doesn't seem to have any jihad marks on his record.

  13. In the very short run, this helps Pawlenty and to some extent, Romney just because the squish GOP media is assuming that the Rove/Bush squish globalist money is going to recommit to one or the other. I believe that this opens it up for "Two-Ton" Christie or in desperation, Jeb Bush.

    My first read is that this is good for conservatives because it messes up the primaries for the squishes.

    And professor, where do you get the idea that Pawlenty is acceptable to the Tea Party? Trial balloon? A little over-exuberance from having survived the rapture yesterday? Let's not get carried away.

  14. BTW, watching Chris Wallace rationalize while working his way down the Rove/Bush depth charts, I sense dismay. The panel is demonstrating why the "field of squishy dreams" is going to be a very hard sell to not only conservatives but to the Republican base (the 23% of registered voters who have not yet fled) as well. Maybe the GOP leadership is cornered and cannot save the party with the "no conservatives" purity rule? Reality is finally finding its way into the official narrative.

  15. I agree, this is extremely good news for Pawlenty. I would put him as the dark horse frontrunner of the people who have announced or are obviously going to announce. He's the guy most likely to end up on top after we actually get into the nomination process.

    This hasn't been said yet in this thread, but I think it increases the chance Paul Ryan will run. Daniels was going to be a guy Ryan could get behind and excuse himself from having to run. There's no one that will carry his torch as strongly as Ryan himself in the field right now.

  16. Someone just said "I hope that Huckabee runs". ...... ???

    Christie has said "ti seems the only thing left I can do to convince you all that I'm not running for POTUS is to commit suicide." If Christie did reverse 'that' statement and jump in, Rush and Levin would start talking .... loudly .... about his non-conservative 'skeletons' which are presently still in his cupboard, although I think there are one or two wee bones kinda stickin out.

    I am shocked if Herman Cain blew 'the right of return' Q concerning the Palestinian issue. That is not an insignificant moment for him.

    The GOP know Romneycare is a killer with the GOP Base, they will not back him.

    Huntsman has some startling statements on his record concerning the wonderful and competent President Obama, and also Man-caused Global Warming. = no-go with the Base.

    Looks like the GOP Est. will have to back T-Paw as the dynamic and charismatic conservative candidate to take on "she who must not be named". .... uh .... except I believe there is a soundbyte that will likely come to the surface that will cause some consternation .... "the era of small govt is OVER." ..... oh my, T-Paw

    If both Huntsman and Romney decide to run, it will be a nice battle of the 'self-funders' with nice 'crony-capitalist' backup ..... maybe .... for a wee while .... but that battle will be a separate one and the Grassroots won't be involved.

    Their attention will be elsewhere I predict ..... they will be watching and participating in the huge cheering crowds, which will follow Big Mama Grizzly everywhere she goes. She said last night on a FOX interview with Pirro (see palin.tv) that "I see President Obama as a temporary leader, and intend to make sure he is not re-elected next year." .... hmmmm ...... and wow .... best restock the bulk supplies of DEPENDS at the WH I reckon.


  17. the big loser today is Mrs Daniels's ex-husband. His tell-all book deal just evaporated along with appearances on the View, 60 Minutes, a Barbara Wah Wah special etc. I wonder if he already had an agent.

  18. No real impact on Romney? Do you really think he won't get a bump from this, and a lasting one at that? Now there are only two former governors in or near the top tier. Pawlenty and Romney share an equivalent base of Tea Party supporters, perhaps a little more in Romney's camp. As for the big donors who were waiting for Daniels, they certainly won't move in bulk to Pawlenty after Romney's one-day haul. The ones that would weren't waiting for Daniels; they were waiting for any credible challenger to Romney, and given that Pawlenty was already in the race at that point, it means they don't consider him to be credible. Sure, a few might go to him, but most are going to either back Romney or wait for Huntsman to declare.

    It's too early to say who benefits "the most" from Daniels' declination, just as it's too close to Huckabee's decision. Wait at least until June to see how support begins to realign in the wake of all these announcements.

    One last thing: people try to spin Huckabee's and Trump's and now probably Daniels' decisions as fear of taking on President Obama in the general. Personally, I'm more of the opinion that they just don't want to take on Romney in the primaries. Huckabee could have done it, but I doubt anyone else can; especially now.

  19. Chuck; you can make statements as if they are facts but that doesn't make them facts.

    The 'Fair' tax is regressive because:
    Fact 1. The tax will take a larger percent of poorer people's available cash than those with more income.

    Fact 2. It is intrusive for the above reason as to correct this regressiveness (which therefore must have been implicitly recognized by the framers) it is proposed that those who are poorer will have to FILE WITH THE IRS to receive a REBATE OF MONEY THEY'VE ALREADY PAID.
    This means they will not have the use of that money during the filing period. It will be intrusive into the privacy of people who will have to justify to a faceless bureaucracy that they are 'poor enough' to qualify and it will also be a target of abuse which means that filing will become harder and more and more documents will be necessary to prove one's 'worthiness' to get one's own money back.

    Fact 3. See above. It doesn't remove the IRS or shrink it which should be one of the goals of any Tax Reform. It in fact increases the power and scope of an agency that has long abused it's power and terrorized citizens due to clerical errors, over complication of rules and confusion on the part of both the IRS and the taxpayers.

    Fact 4. The 'Fair' Tax taxes productivity by acting as a de facto National Sales Tax. A sales tax is BY DESIGN a tax on productivity and tends to reduce productivity AND encourages black markets and other forms of tax avoidance. (see all the states who's revenues GO DOWN when they raise their sales tax due to customers changing their buying habits or where they purchase their needs.)

    A FLAT TAX IS THE ONLY FAIR TAX. However it's difficult to formulate AND it's despised by the IRS and other Tax Professionals (actually ANY tax reform is despised by them).

    The Flat Tax would be easier to implement if spending was reduced and a balanced budget Amendment was in force. (sigh) So that's a dream that won't fly in my lifetime.

    The 'FAIR' TAX is not fair, is regressive, is more intrusive, does not rein in the IRS, does not aid in controlling spending, will not promote productivity, will not provide a fair (or equal) tax burden for everyone and will be used and abused in ways that the framers haven't foreseen or ignored and will finish off this country as a nation of freedom and liberty.

    Those are the FACTS ABOUT THE 'FAIR' TAX, CHUCK.

  20. Matthew, Huck's out. How did you miss that?

    And Cain (God bless him) just shot himself in the foot.

    Paul just reiterated that he is not running, no matter how many times you ask him.

    Gingrich might as well be starring in an episode of The Twilight Zone, he doesn't know he's already dead.

    Romney lost to the guy who got his butt kicked by the current president, in conspiracy with Huckabee. Plus, he was the governor of the state that started this whole health care debacle - his signature is on the legislation. He is going nowhere, folks, excepts perhaps a cabinet post (but I don't think his ego would allow it). Anchor. Ocean.

    Perry has said he ain't running.

    Long story short - it's the little lady from Wasilla. It's always been the little lady from Wasilla.

    She is the one with the fire in her belly. She thinks, no, she knows she can kill Goliath.

    And millions of people think so, too. They will come out in droves to work for her. They will come out in droves to convince their neighbors that we are on the wrong track, that they have been lied to and cheated by their government. They've been lied to about Sarah Palin and that if they love their country and don't want it to fail, they had better get out the Q-Tips and clean out their ears and listen to what she has to say - not what the media tells them - what she herself says.

    She makes a lot of sense. She is running a brilliant campaign thus far. She has everyone in politics wondering what her next move will be, or if there will be a move. Every time that she appears on TV she lets another drop fall.

    Drip, drip, drip...

    Keep them guessing.

    All the while, the field of the establishment candidates continues to narrow all by itself.

    Sarah has everyone guessing whether she bought a house in Scottsdale, AZ. "What's that about?" " Is she running for Senate?" " Is she moving out of Alaska?" Their questions are ridiculous but note well that she is playing right out of Sun Tzu's playbook.

    Sun Tzu has been advising Generals from the grave for thousands of years. His text is still required reading at West Point. It apparently was required reading along the shores of Lake Lucille as well.

    Obama's going down and Sarah Palin will be the one to do it. Palin is the Pugilistic Political Prognosticator. She knew exactly what kind of president Barry Soetoro would be and told us the night of her Republican National Convention speech. She landed punch after punch that night and hasn't let up since.

    And I will be elbowing people out of the way on the National Mall come January 20, 2013 so I can see both Mrs. Palin take the oath of office and to see the look on the face of Barry Soetoro, a failed president who took down the entire progressive movement with him.

  21. @turfmann - you said it all, and said it well.

    Bachmann, if she chooses to jump in (as many are saying will come this week) will struggle; she has the money/fundraising potential down, but too many people don't know enough about her. Pawlenty has lots of handicaps - and he would have to attack Bachmann. Not a good scenario for MN. Governor attacks Representative? Killer, for both candidates, IMHO.

    No, the field is wide open - enter Sarah Palin. And, as I've said before, my dream ticket of Palin/West....I would be fighting with you @turfmann!! I'd be camping out on the US Capitol steps to see that one!

  22. What I meant was I hope that Huckabee changes his mind and runs. Sorry for the confusion.

  23. DINORightMarie,

    West would be a very interesting candidate for VP, indeed. There is no question as to his loyalties or his courage. I am pretty sure he could straighten out our most savage enemies just by staring at them. I could get on board with him. And eight years as Veep would give him the requisite executive experience and time enough for us to know him through-and-through.

    It's OK, Matthew.

    I keep dreaming that Obama pulls an LBJ and steps aside. Then I wake up...

    My doctor keeps adjusting my medication and I feel much better now. ;)

    Seriously, if you don't follow this daily or hourly things change so fast - even this far out from the election. Sunday was a whirlwind all by itself.

  24. Jake308 (Part 1: Fairtax Discussion, Skip if not interested).

    Have you ACTUALLY read the bill, or are you just going off of "what you've heard," because MOST of what you suggest is outright wrong. Let me show you where:

    Your "Fact 1," while true, is misleading: is a standard tactic of those who think that the government is "entitled" to money as a progressively larger "percentage of income" rather than as a measure of what individuals CONSUME. A Tax policy that is based on the theory that a person should bear a tax according to his or her ability to pay it is open to all sorts of games as you define what constitutes an "ability to bear the burden" of the tax. The CURRENT tax system is SUPPOSED to approximate a level of EXPECTED CONSUMPTION based on INCOME (i.e. those with higher incomes are expected to consume MORE of that income and thus, more resources). The original Tax Law design chose income because it was easy to measure as a PROXY for consumption. If you don't believe me, find a decent history of tax policy book. My preference is Philip D. Oliver's "Tax Policy: Readings and Materials" 2004 (2.ed) from Foundation Press. However, the proper way to analyze the question of "who bears the burden of a tax" is to measure it as an absolute in TOTAL DOLLARS, not in relative terms of percentage of income, and by that measurement, under the FairTax the wealthy will almost always pay a higher amount because they will likely spend more total dollars on services and new goods.

    Your "Fact 2" is just outright WRONG: The money paid is paid IN ADVANCE TO EVERY HOUSEHOLD based on household SIZE according to HHS poverty guidelines. IN ADVANCE. In fact those households that can figure out how to limit their service and food spending can actually get paid MORE than they would have spent in tax. Thus, if you are a SINGLE PERSON, you get a payment at the beginning of the month of $199.33 (the expected monthly tax associated with consumption of $10,400.00 annually under the HHS Poverty Guidelines). A family of 4 (Husband, Wife, 2 children), would receive $536.66, based on an expected annual spending of $28,000 (due to the elimination of the "marriage penalty" of $6,800).


    Your "Fact 3" Doesn't account for the fact that the IRS, instead of having to police 330 Million individual people only has to police approximately 2 to 3 million businesses, and of those only about 300,000 of them make up 98+% of the transactions every year. Further the "prebate" noted above is handled by the SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, not the IRS. The IRS would be tasked to auditing BUSINESSES to make sure they collected the taxes, and the businesses have an incentive to do so, because the BUSINESS receives .0025 of the tax as a fee for its trouble, and then the STATE gets .0025 for handling the collection of the taxes from the business. The IRS could be shrunk by 90% and STILL be overstaffed under the FairTax proposal. There are no rules to abuse, no regulations to be interpreted.

  25. Jake308 (Part 2: Fairtax Discussion, Skip if not interested).

    Your "Fact 4" doesn't take into account the CURRENT INHERENT BURDEN of the Income, Corporate and FICA taxes ALREADY in the system, which adds (drum-roll please) a burden of 22% to the current cost of production. The FairTax proposal is SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED to eliminate those burdens and replace them with a single collected tax of 23% at the END USER point of sale. Meaning that EVERY EARLIER transaction can be reduced by 22%. It IS a national sales tax, but it is calculated in an INCLUSIVE manner (i.e. INCLUDED in the price on the shelf, not tacked on at the register like the STATE sales taxes). It CAN'T be avoided, because if you are the END USER, you pay it IMMEDIATELY to the company selling you the good or service. You can't play games with something that is due upon delivery. Exactly HOW does the FairTax encourage "black markets?" The BUYER has no control over "collection" of the tax, and the SELLER HAS NO INCENTIVE to cheat. Also, as previously stated, only about 300K companies make up 98+% of the annual transactions. It becomes VERY easy to police the vast majority of transactions, and then you just have to sort through the little companies.

    Further, if you want to discuss increasing productivity and sales, the FairTax acts as a World Trade Organization (WTO) legal trade subsidy. Goods that are IMPORTED to the US are taxed at the extra inherent 23%. Goods EXPORTED FROM the United States LEAVE TAX FREE (and WTO countries are generally prohibited from imposing "import" taxes on those goods, giving the US goods a competitive advantage). Rep. Bill Archer, R-Tex did an informal survey when he was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The Fortune 500 companies were asked "What would you do in your long-term planning if the US eliminated all taxes on capital and labor and only taxed consumption?" Of the 500 companies asked, 400 indicated they would build their next plant in the US and the remaining 100 indicated they would relocate to the US entirely.

    As for a Flat Tax: We HAD a flat tax. You know what it got us? This lousy tax code we have currently (the first income tax of 1913 was a Flat Tax). But again, that falls victim to the fallacy that "income was earned, it must be taxed." They did a survey of H&R Block's tax division, and a HUGE percentage of the tax staff said they would prefer to be helping clients CREATE wealth rather than "record historical transactions" (which is what tax staff does, they document LAST years transactions, rather than plan for NEXT year's goals).

    The FairTax is all about taxing CONSUMPTION (i.e. what you USE; your draw on society). If you want to get fully philosophical about it, if income is EARNED, but never SPENT, should it be taxed? (subtext: because the earner never received any "benefit" from earning it). A CONSUMPTION tax is appropriate because it taxes when the BENEFIT is conferred (not before, not after).

    So, in summary, I've shown that the FairTax is NOT regressive (in terms of total tax paid), is LESS intrusive, CUTS the IRS by roughly 90% (eliminating $400 BILLION in tax compliance cost in the process), provides a fair tax burden based on the BENEFIT conferred, and honestly CAN'T really be abused or circumvented. The SOLE AND ONLY criticism you have proposed I haven't addressed is that it doesn't control spending, and it doesn't because that's not its job. It's a revenue vehicle, not an anti-spending vehicle.

    Also, just for reader reference: My background is that I have a Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, with a concentration in Tax Law and my final Tax Project was an analysis of the FairTax proposal that covered just about every criticism you brought up.