He isn’t running, but if he were, what would Mitch Daniels be talking about on the trail?


Governor of Indiana; author of “Keeping the Republic”

One hopes in 2012 for a campaign that levels with the American people about the brute, mathematically certain dangers of our indebtedness and that trusts them enough to present a program of change, specific and sufficiently bold to restore the promise of upward mobility for all.

The advocates of change should stress our commonality, never our divisions. Every American, regardless of category, will be harmed if we continue following Europe into debt disaster. Every American, regardless of ideology, has a vital stake in a private economy that grows far faster than current policies permit and thus provides opportunity to each individual and revenue to fund whatever level of public activity we decide is appropriate.

Tax reform, domestic energy production and a regulatory pause must be advocated as indispensable for poor people, unemployed people and, especially, young people. All ties must be broken in favor of private growth. Today’s blind, anti-growth zealotry must be contested as the cruel, pro-poverty policy it is. Prospective reforms to save the safety net must be advanced with aggressive confidence. With survival literally at stake, and broad consensus required to enable major changes, arguments about secondary issues should be muted.

The absence of an alternative world currency and investment havens has given this ever-fortunate nation a precious, maybe final, chance. Those who would lead us after 2012 should campaign to govern, not merely to win.