Third Party & Independents Archives

Which version of presidential hopeful Mitch Daniels should we believe?

I could go on and on and on, giving example after example of why Indiana Republican Governor and former Bush II budget director should be laughed off the presidential ballot in 2012. I could cite a litany of his financial decisions and directives that were outright disasters – not the least of which being the gross naiveté and ignorance regarding Iraq and Afghanistan spending, nor his unfailing disregard for the long-term negative fiscal impact of the Bush tax cuts. But that would be subjective.

Instead, I’ll just provide you with a verbatim now-and-then from Daniels’ own mouth that exquisitely proves the point.

“Iraq will be a short, successful war; an affordable endeavor that will not require sustained aid and will be in the range of $50 billion to $60 billion. There should be no long-term costs resulting from our involvement in Iraq.“ ~ O.M.B. Budget Director Mitch Daniels [Forbes 4/11/03, Washington Post 3/28/03, NY Times 1/2/03]

“Mister (Lawrence) Lindsey (George W. Bush’s top economic adviser) estimates that the (Iraq) war could cost as much as two hundred billion. I think that figure is inaccurate and very, very high.” ~ Federal Budget Director Mitch Daniels, Press Conference, 3/18/2003

“I was proud to be part of the Bush administration. Yes, I think the original tax cuts were good and timely and helped the economy to recover very, very quickly. I saw no deterrent effects to consider when implementing those tax cuts. What killed the economy was two wars and a terrorist attack that led to a whole new category called homeland security. Implementing the Bush tax cuts was a good move.“ ~ Governor Mitch Daniels, Fox News Sunday, 2/27/2011

“Don’t focus on my time as President Bush’s budget director. I was only a member of the supporting cast then. I didn’t have decision-making authority over the budget. If you want to judge me on my financial abilities, look at what I’m doing now. I’ll be more than happy to tell you about my fiscal policies right now.“ ~ Potential 2012 Presidential Candidate Mitch Daniels, Fox News Sunday, 2/27/2011

So, yes, look at Mitch Daniels’ fiscal policies of today. Look into his privatization of the Indianapolis utilities to a company he has direct investment ties with. Look at his privatization of the famed Southern Indiana Toll Road with a construction company he has direct investment ties with. Look at his contract with IBM to manage the state’s Social Services. Look at Daniels’ environmental record.

Mitch Daniels is the perfect example of the man behind the curtain that SHOULD be watched, closely.

Posted by Gary St. Lawrence at February 28, 2011 10:39 PM
Comment #319377

Gary, I can’t believe you went there! I thought you were suppossed to be writing from a ‘centrist’s’ POV? I’ll be providing my own dish on Daniels forthwith.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at February 28, 2011 11:17 PM
Comment #319378

What did Gov. Daniels have to do with a subordinate’s decision to gain employment? Your first link states Gov. Daniels clearly was displeased and insisted Duke not have contact with the subordinate for 12 months.

Your second link was to a blog and your statement containing link didn’t even have the toll road’s location correct. Why should I pay any attention to that and why should I consider this post in it’s entirity credible?

Your third link is to another blog and it appears the author is using IBM as a teaser. The article addressed a third party that was working with IBM.

I don’t know, Gary St. Lawrence, maybe there is some smoke on this one, but I think it’s someone blowing it. Not a smouldering fire.

IDEM should be doing something. The Gary area may have needed IDEM when it was a thriving steel manufacturing city. It’s not a thriving steel manufacturing city now. Why should IDEM stay when the steel industry didn’t?

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 28, 2011 11:23 PM
Comment #319380

Kevin L. Lagola, please include Gov. Daniels VAT tax proposal in your “dish”:). If anything The VAT will be the issue that defines his candidacy.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 28, 2011 11:35 PM
Comment #319381

Kevin, yes, I went there.

I’ll grant you, the next-to-last paragraph in my post spun off-topic because my main gripe with Daniels is his “don’t look at what I did then, listen to what I’m telling you now” excuse.

Daniels was one of the chief architects of the fiscal decisions that have landed us exactly where we are as a national entity now, and he doesn’t have the balls, spine or integrity to admit it. Instead, he pulls the “Don’t blame me, I was just a pawn” card.

It’s despicable, and it sickens me no matter which party the person pulling it is a member of.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 1, 2011 12:09 AM
Comment #319383

Your first post puts then Daniels in a lower position, unable to make policy.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 1, 2011 1:53 AM
Comment #319384

Gary St. Lawrence, tell us where this “southern toll road” is.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 1, 2011 1:59 AM
Comment #319385

Where are your links, Gary St. Lawrence?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 1, 2011 2:00 AM
Comment #319386

WatchBlog Editor,

Gary St. Lawrence shouldn’t be able to throw shit links out in support of his post and then delete them when they embarass him. Gary St. Lawrence should not be allowed to edit his original post as drastically as that. Only the 16th amendment can do that!

He should defend his original post or he should print his retraction, not delete his foundation and still claim the high ground.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 1, 2011 2:11 AM
Comment #319390

Fine Willie. Your “sh*t links” are gospel, but anyone else’s are cause for public execution. We get it.

But just to placate you …

Southern Indiana Toll Road (SITR): The SITR was a proposed toll expressway through southern Indiana expected to be included as part of the 142-mile (227 km) Interstate 69 extension from Indianapolis to Evansville. Under legislation enacted by the Indiana Legislature in March 2006, the Southern Indiana Toll Road was to have run 117 miles (188 km) from Interstate 64 at the interchange with Interstate 164 north of Evansville to Martinsville. The remaining 25 miles (40 km) between Martinsville and Indianapolis were to be toll-free. Due to its unpopularity with residents and officials along the proposed route, plans for the SITR were scrapped in lieu of a toll-free I-69 expressway between Indianapolis and Evansville in November 2006. Supporting Link

Daniels’ connection to Utilities corruption: In 2006, Daniels forced Indiana natural gas utilities to enter int contract negotiations with a Louisiana based company with connection to former Louisiana Senator Bennett Johnston to provide syngas from coal. The company, Leucadia National is doing business as Indiana Gasification LLC. Supporting Link

Daniels’ connection to Duke Energy:
Indiana regulators won’t probe Duke Energy
Mitch Daniels’ utility adviser is hired by Duke Energy

I *CAN* provide more that aren’t “sh*t.”

Sorry for offending your delicate sensibilities with the truth about Indiana’s two-faced governor.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 1, 2011 9:08 AM
Comment #319391

And for the record, Willie, the “foundation” of my post was Mitch Daniels’ hypocritical flight from responsibility in his own miserable failures as Bush’s Budget Director and his claims that he shouldn’t be judged on what he has DONE, but instead on what he is now TELLING people.

The rest was just gravy.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 1, 2011 9:09 AM
Comment #319395

Your first paragraphs were right on Gary. I watched the Chris Wallace interview and he hit that same spot hard as well. Daniels used your last quote to try and distance him from the Bush Administration, but I agree with you on that being effective. That’s his baggage.

But what your Sierra Club gravy did was ruin a good piece of meat.

Posted by: George at March 1, 2011 10:48 AM
Comment #319396

Again, does center = left on this blog?

We know that the Democrats want to preemptively trash potential Republican candidates. I am sure they thank you for the service.

If you look at Gallup polls, you find that around 20% of Americans call themselves liberal; 40% call themselves conservative and the rest say they are moderate. In recent elections and polling, moderates have voted significantly more with Republicans.

So where would the American center be? If you take the median and go out in both directions maybe 15 percentage points (to make it around 1/3) the American middle includes mostly moderates, who supported Republicans more than Democrats, along with significant numbers of people who identify themselves as conservatives. None of the people in this groups would be self reported liberals. It makes me wonder why the middle column seems to lean left, when in the actual America, the middle is fairly conservative.

Perhaps some treatment of President Obama’s promises, kept and not, would be interesting from a “centrist” perspective. I know liberals claim to be disappointed in him and the recent elections indicate that moderates are not very happy with him either, so what would an independent say about the president?

Posted by: C&J at March 1, 2011 11:10 AM
Comment #319398

My posts are not “left.” I’ve consistently bashed *all* of Congress, I’ve maintained a very open dislike for many of Obama’s policies, and I’ve cited a few individual Democrats when they’ve face-planted into the public embarassment pool. It just so happens that - at least right now - Republicans are in the spotlight, and I’m sorry if you disagree that Republicans tend to have a glaring “hypocrite” kleeg light shining on them more often and than Democrats - especially Supreme High Grand Poobah of hypocrites, Boehner.

When I see a Democrat tell the American public to “forget what I’ve *DONE* as a politician, listen to what I’m telling you I will *DO* as a politician,” I’ll jump equally as far down their throat.

I give polls - regardless of the source - about as much consistent credibility as I do your random “end-is-nigh” streat preacher. Unless a poll is spread among a 100% equally random and absolutely blind survey population, the results are skewed depending on a variety of factors; location, time of day, wording of the question, etc.

And you seem to be of the opinion that Republicans are the upstanding, innocent victims in the “trashing the opposition” department. Take a look at headlines like “GOP attacks Michelle Obama on …” and the like. Even your own posts are constantly flooded with “liberals this” and “liberals that” as though you actually (and quite ignorantly if it’s true) believe that Republicans are flawless do-no-wrong white hats while every evil since Pandora opened the box is a Democrat’s fault.

And, frankly, I’m sick of the word “liberal” being used with the same contemptuous intent as “n*gger” or “scumbag,” which you do regularly, no matter how much you try to claim it’s “just a word.”

You want me to take a shot at Obama or a Democrat? Fine. I’ll find something today to throw some rocks at on that side of the aisle, if that will make you happy.

But you really need to stop drinking the Beck koolaid and recognize that being against the right on specific issues and circumstances doesn’t automatically make me “all liberal, all the time.”

Those blanket, bumper sticker convenience labels may be the easiest for the average Fox News watcher to understand, but they’re seldom, if ever, the truth.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 1, 2011 11:33 AM
Comment #319403

C&J et al are trying to push you to the right by accusing you of being left. They did the same with Remer and ran him off. The right likes to pretend they are no worse than anyone else.

Posted by: Schwamp at March 1, 2011 12:49 PM
Comment #319404

Most people are to the left of today’s conservatives. Everyone looks like a liberal. To be to the right of today’s conservatives means entering the independent world of Militias, White Supremacists, Birchers, and Birthers.

Quick check: just ask conservatives if Muslims want to establish an Islamic Caliphate in Spain, or the US; then, just sit back and watch the crazy happen.

While I agree with your overall point, it’s fair game for Weary Willie to call you on questionable sources. Gotta Represent.

As for the overall point, Mitch Daniels represents an Epic Fail. His last appearance on the national stage was simply a financial disaster. Really, Fail does not get much worse than Daniels. As Director at the OMB, he took a budget surplus and turned it into a huge deficit. When informed the Iraq War would cost $50 or $60 billion, he denied it. He was so completely, utterly wrong that it would laughable, except that it’s true, and hurt the country a great deal. You just don’t get it more wrong than Daniels did as Director of OMB.

Posted by: phx8 at March 1, 2011 1:43 PM
Comment #319409

Never denied that my first set of links were crap (after re-reading them following “the uproar”). I removed them, conceded, apologized, and then presented a new set of links … about which, ever-so-interestingly, C&J hasn’t had anything to say.

And … “Sierra Club”? Hardly.

Thanks Schwamp and phx8. I recognize the futility of fencing with one of the “agree with everything I agree with or you’re scum of the earth” crowd. I just can’t resist slapping them with the flat of the blade once in awhile.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 1, 2011 3:51 PM
Comment #319412

Gary, you’re finding out quickly why this site has diminished significantly in the last few months. Some of the ones responsible for the attacks and hijacking have merely been chastised by having been given editor privileges.
You’re a breath of fresh air….please persevere!!

Posted by: jane doe at March 1, 2011 4:26 PM
Comment #319418

Well, if nothing else, it shows just how desperate the GOP is becoming as the 2012 election nears. Even Mitch Daniels, Director of the OMB back when the country’s finances went to hell, floats a trial balloon for a presidenbtial run.

Obviously conservatives have no viable ideas, and they have drifted too far right to float a viable candidate.

Posted by: phx8 at March 1, 2011 5:22 PM
Comment #319421

Republicans have been having a hard time convincing the American people of the greatness of Bush so I can see how Republicans would what to forget the governors involvement with that Administration and support him for the now instead of the then.

He is a corrupt politician? So what! some partisans of both parties don’t have a big problem with it.

Gary, they believe that if your are not 100% in agreement with them you are the enemy.

They believe that compromise is surrender.

Some of them actually believe that 80% of the people think just like them and support them 100%.

If I am not mistaken, one of them actually said that 80% of the people support Governor Walkers positions.

If this keeps up, the Republican presidential primary debates will have to be TV and radio events only because the entire theater will be filled with candidates.

It’s official, the Newt is officially considering running for president.

Posted by: jlw at March 1, 2011 6:06 PM
Comment #319434

“I thought you were suppossed to be writing from a ‘centrist’s’ POV?”

Kevin, where did you get that impression? The green column is for independents and third parties.

“Again, does center = left on this blog?”

Only when your so far to the right that any criticism of a repub leaves you asking just that question. I don’t see where it says center, guys. Myself I am registered to vote as an independent and well… you know. Just saying.

Really guys the repubs are gearing up for a run at the presidency, the dems are not why take exception because someone wants to discuss these potential candidates?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 1, 2011 9:03 PM
Comment #319438


“ran off Remer?”

You really don’t have a clue, do you? Check out where Remer went and who he invited to go with him and why.

re the “right likes to pretend that they are no worse than anybody else” Actually, I think we have better arguments.


I use the word liberal as a descriptive. As I asked before, what word would you use to describe the outlook? Excuse me if I missed your earlier answer.

I am describing what appears here. Watchblog is divided into liberals, independents and conservatives in its structure. So far, what you have written seems to belong more in the liberal side. Since 2/3 of the government is currently controlled by Democrats, I would assume that an independent unhappy with the current government would concentrate more on them.

Your posts correlate with those on the liberal side. I don’t understand why you consider that an insult.

You are very quick with the labels, BTW. I don’t watch Beck, for example, yet you mention that all the time. Liberals, BTW, seem to love Beck. As far as they are concerned, he speaks for all conservatives and they can find things in his statements that they can ridicule. Conservatives do this with people like Michael Moore or Al Franken, but since Beck has bigger audiences than the guys on the left, it is more noticeable.


The site is divided into those categories. I am just being pragmatic and categorizing by characteristics.

Most people seem to think that they are independent and moderate. I believe that in my heart about my ideas, but my analysis tells me that what I believe tends to fall right of center. You & Gary probably feel the same way, but you should look to what you are writing.


I don’t think Bush was a great leader and I have never tried to convince you that he was. Some of the things he did were good, however. I also do not believe he was a corrupt politician. He did what he thought was right most of the time. You might think he did wrong, but that doesn’t make him corrupt.

re support - I think I fall in about the 40th percentile (moving right to left), i.e. around 40% are to my right and the rest are to my left. That is how I come to be classified as a conservative. Of course, it will vary on different issues. If you are a moderate-liberal, about 20% of the American people fall to your left and 80% fall to your right. A don’t consider the 60% who fall to my left as enemies any more than you would consider enemies the 80% that fall to your right.


We will see if Republicans come up with a viable candidate. They came up with plenty of them last year, engineering a one of the biggest ever shifts in the House. I bet your opinion of those candidates was not high, but the voters preferred them.

IMO - Obama will win if unemployment goes lower than the 7.2% it was when he took office. If it stays up where it is now, he loses. Between 7.2 and 8.2 it is a toss up. Unless Republicans put up a real great candidate or a really poor one, the result is more a referendum on Obama than it is on the other guy. That is always what it is for an incumbent president.

Posted by: C&J at March 1, 2011 11:24 PM
Comment #319445

The Center column is for those who do not have any particular loyalty to either party. Democrats and Republicans do not have the monopoly on Left and Right in this country. Greens and Socialists aren’t Democrats, no more than Constitution partiers and Libertarians are necessarily Republicans. Gary thinks outside the box of the Democratic Party, and he is free to, so knock it off.

And I mean, really, are you looking to consolidate your opposition? From a merely machiavellian perspective, I would say it would be wisest to keep your opposition divided. ;-)

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 2, 2011 10:41 AM
Comment #319467


The non-affiliated includes lots of sorts. We used to have some libertarians and unaffiliated conservatives.

I used to write for the conservative side. I am an independent and have even voted for Democrats. I do not identify myself as a Republican. Yet you always told me that I am using Republicans talking points. You also insist on referring everything Republicans do as “my people.” This is another case of where you are asking others to live up to standards you reject for your own side. The “no label” seems to apply only to those significantly left of center.

Posted by: C&J at March 2, 2011 6:08 PM
Comment #319475

C&J, were you given a choice as to the column you would post your articles in? Did you just naturally go to the red column or did you fret over which column would be the correct fit for you?

I just felt at home in the green column and therefore chose that column. It was a natural fit for me.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 2, 2011 7:36 PM
Comment #319479
They did the same with Remer and ran him off.

David Remer left WatchBlog voluntarily and has begun his own competing web site, where C&J are also authors. They are welcome to continue contributing to both web sites.

Posted by: WatchBlog Publisher at March 2, 2011 8:05 PM
Comment #319485

j2t2: I belonged in the conservative group. No worries with that. I am not a Republican, but it is disingenuous for me to pretend there some big difference. My positions overlap with Republican positions and I almost always vote for Republicans.

David (since we are remembering him) once asked me why I didn’t identify as libertarian, since it is more in line with my ideology. I told him that I like to choose realistic alternatives. I wish we had a more libertarian sort of government, but I know we won’t ever get one to my liking. There are lots of things I don’t like about Republicans, but they give me more of what I want than do the Democrats.

I like Democrats like Ed Rendell, former Mayor Daley and Clair Mckaskill. Unfortunately, that sort of Democrat has no future in the increasingly polarized party.

Cameron (WB Publisher): Thanks. It is currently complicated.

Posted by: C&J at March 2, 2011 9:30 PM
Comment #319495

C&J wrote: “Yet you always told me that I am using Republicans talking points. You also insist on referring everything Republicans do as “my people.”

And that’s different from you labeling anyone and everyone you disagree with as “a liberal” … how?

And I’m fairly certain that this thread of comments now violates the WatchBlog RFP.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 3, 2011 9:29 AM
Comment #319512

It is similar in its use but not as specific. If you call what I write “conservative” you are probably judging by the content. That is what I do when I use the term liberal, which you evidently find pejorative in a way I don’t feel about being called conservative. Being called a “republican” or being accused of using republican talking points is much more specific. It is less likely to be accurately deduced from what I write and also implies an additional motive. In other words, someone can agree with most aspects of Republican (or Democratic) thought and still not declare him/herself a member of the party. The party is something you join or identify with by a positive specific volition. You can write in a liberal or conservative fashion w/o joining.

Have I cleared this up for you? As I wrote earlier and repeatedly, I am willing to characterize your writing in a different way if you can provide me with a word that means more or less what “liberal” does in the American sense w/o being pejorative.

Re breaking the Watchblog rules, you are mistaken. A few people have indeed made some personal (and obviously erroneous) comments about me, but they do not rise to the level of attacking the messenger. I understand that you perhaps consider the use of the word liberal pejorative and hence and attack. Perhaps we can take a longer definition in “Likes involved & bigger government and usually against Republicans but ostensibly independent” group. It just doesn’t roll off the tongue.

BTW - there was once a thread on this blog where some of our erstwhile contributors debated whether I was evil or just stupid. It never evidently occurred to any of those participants that a conservative could be anything but one or the other. I wasn’t sure which side to root for.

Posted by: C&J at March 3, 2011 5:53 PM
Comment #319571

C&J, 40% left, 40% right means little. I agree, the issues are where the rubber meets the road.

NBC/WSJ poll— Should public-employee unions have the same bargaining rights as private sector unions?



It seems that 77% are to the left on this issue.

I guess the next issue will be, should unions have bargaining rights or should each worker have to bargain for pay and benefits on his or her own?

Posted by: jlw at March 4, 2011 4:52 AM
Comment #319572

From TPM:

“Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White (R) indicted on seven felony counts including voter fraud, perjury, and theft.”

Posted by: jlw at March 4, 2011 4:56 AM
Comment #319580


Polls are always interesting. Depends on who you ask and how you poll.

I suppose it is possible that most people in the U.S. support bargaining rights. I disagree, which is still our right of freedom in the U.S. We also have a system of representative government. The people of Wisconsin recently voted in the governor and the legislature. If they don’t like them, they can vote them out. Until then, we do not govern based on polling data, which can change from day to day.

If we governed on polling data, BTW, there would be no Obamacare.

Posted by: C&J at March 4, 2011 8:46 AM
Comment #319600

C&J, I agree, polling is dependent on who you ask and how the questions are worded. Some polls are more accurate than others and some are down right deceitful.

I think there are times when the government makes decisions based on polling data. For instance, in 2005, when Bush made the call to privatize Social Security, I think that Republican Congress was looking over it’s shoulder at the polling data.

I think that Walker may have had second thoughts if he was privy to the polling data before he made his move, unless he is a fanatic.

The people of Wisconsin elected Walker to cut the budget, not go after unions. Elect me governor and I will get rid of the state unions was not a campaign slogan of Walker and the Republicans.

I’m totally disappointed with Obamacare and almost so with Obama. For instance, I don’t think Obama would have any of our military anywhere near Libya if not for BP, Exxon and Halliburton. Things could change if they find oil in places like Darfur and Mugabe Land.

I understand the strategic importance of oil, but I object the use of words like humanitarian and democracy in that context while ignoring the need in places that have nothing we want.

Using our military to invade the Middle East to secure the oil supplies Is what Carter was talking about in the 70’s and that is why he is a better man and a better president than Reagan was. Reagan set the stage and the tone that has lead to all the deaths. We had an opportunity to possibly avoid all of this, but the market wouldn’t hear of it.

No president that is a slave to market forces can be a good leader.

Posted by: jlw at March 4, 2011 2:59 PM
Comment #319630


We agree that politicians should consult polls to try to figure out which way the people are going, but they cannot govern with them.

Another problem with polls is degree of commitment. Many people might have an opinion about something, but they do not feel strongly and/or are not affected. Polls usually cannot detect that. That is one reason why people’s behavior is a better guide to their true feelings than what they say.

re military in the middle east, oil is important, both defensively and offensively. We would be more concerned with Mugabe’s nuttiness if he had oil. You are right. IF he had oil, he would be able to buy weapons and friends and his evil would be multiplied.

W/o oil, Saudi Arabia would not matter at all. If not for oil wealth, Osama bin Laden would be a local bandit, w/o any ability or inclination to bother us. We cannot just ignore that.

Posted by: C&J at March 4, 2011 6:53 PM
Comment #323277

I apologize for statements by ‘Weary Willie,’ Gary St. Lawrence clearly provided enough details to straighten him out.

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