After a very odd silence, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels offered up praise for the Osama bin Laden operation on an appearance on “Fox and Friends.” Unfortunately, he wasn’t asked how his green-eye-shade approach to national security would impede future military actions.
But he did sound really unenthusiastic about running for president:
Asked whether or not he wanted to run for president, Daniels jokingly declined to announce his plans.
“Would I like to? No. What insane person would like to?” he said.
“I don’t know the answer to that,” he continued, but added, “. . . I’ve agreed at the behest of a lot of people to give it some thought.”
He added that he would not be at the debate. “That’s for people who have made up their mind.”
Well, maybe he shouldn’t bestir himself if he finds the process so unattractive. Really, it’s a honor, some think, to run for your party’s nomination.
Daniels also was not asked about his receipt of an award by the Arab American Institute. I went to the group’s Web site and found its president, James Zogby (who follows the Walt-Mearsheimer school of foreign policy), speaking fondly of the proposed merger of Fatah and Hamas. (Zogby has, among other things, decried the Iraq war, defended the Ground Zero mosque and attacked the hearings on Islamic recruitment chaired by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.).
I e-mailed Daniels’s spokesman asking if Daniels supported AAI’s views and received no response.
All of this raises the question: Is Daniels ready for prime time? And really, what are his foreign policy views?
UPDATE (5:21 p.m.): This summary of Daniels’s comments from a meeting with journalists suggests he really has no ideas of his own on foregin policy: “Daniels said that ‘it cannot be illegitimate to ask’ if some of the country’s military commitments should be unwound, but he has not yet reached any conclusions about which should be—or, at least, any he is willing to share. On Afghanistan he refuses to second-guess the decisions of the president, to whose greater access to information he defers. On Libya he says only that he has not seen the case for intervention made. One gets the impression of someone who is much more cautious about foreign intervention than Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty, but also cautious about saying so. He was asked if he were ready to debate President Obama on foreign policy. ‘Probably not.’ (He is candid.)” Really he doesn’t think there’s a case for removing Moammar Gaddafi? I suppose if you don’t think being commander in chief is critical to the presidency this won’t concern you. For those expecting presidential candidates display some level of understanding and show an effort to define positions of critical issues, this is, to be blunt, an embarrassing display.