A brief history
I am a full slated conservative* and proud of it.
I have given money and time over the years like many hear and I have argued that we should react to every diary about a potential 2012 candidate with boilerplate attacks (though some will do it here).
My political history goes something like this:
1982 -- Register Democrat to drive my (California) redneck father crazy.
1984 -- Vote for Reagan, but be proud of being one of ten Democrats on my conservative Christian university.
1988 -- Work for Al Gore on the final pro-life Democratic presidential campaign.
1990 -- Register Republican and vote but do little else.
1998 -- Get my second taste of campaigning but not too much.
2000 -- Give several thousand dollars and probably 400 hours of time for Bush and GOP Senators.
mid 2001 -- Be completely embarrassed by the largess of the Republicans.
2002 -- Contribute to a few more GOP Senate candidates.
2004 -- Turn into an occasional Redstate poster but pretty much lose respect for 90% of the party and watch my conservative independent friends say that they can't tell the difference between the two parties any more.
2008 -- Volunteer for Fred for about 2 hours in South Carolina and then drive back to Georgia, discouraged that best candidate can't seem to decide if he wants to run or not and then watch George Bush fall for the TARP and the independents show the GOP what they thought of that (to their own demise).
Shortly afterwards, I wrote a diary here with one simple principle -- this is our last shot. The people will hand the reigns back to us and if we don't fix things, we can pretty much look for a new party.
Barring stupidity or the discovery of nuclear fusion, I believe that the GOP will do well in these elections. Are we capable of screwing it up? Of course we are -- we're Republicans.
However, when the dust clears in Novemeber, I expect at a minimum, GOP control of the house and a +5 in the Senate. At a maximum, the GOP will gain 65 seats and go +11 in the Senate. No, I'm not joking.
I have to admit that I have been ambivalent about our current mentioned crop of 2012 contenders.
There are plenty of diaries that attack other candidates and I'm not even going to mention the candidates here lest someone start a fight in the comments seciton. All human beings have failings and so it is with all candidates.
Mitch Daniels has sold me due to one great article in the American Standard http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/ride-along-mitch
Here are the two money quotes:
Daniels gathered his agency heads on his first day and told them they were henceforth to pursue a single organizational goal—all successful businesses unite their efforts behind a goal, he said. His was this: “We will do everything we can to raise the net disposable income of individual Hoosiers.
And the second one:
The number of state employees has fallen from 35,000 to under 30,000, back where it was in 1982.
As I read the article, I actually wondered if Mitch was wearing a WWAD (that's what would Art do ... http://www.redstate.com/achance/2010/04/01/personnel-is-policy-the-house-rules/ ) bracelet.
Read the seven pages. Tell me that this not the kind of person that you want in the White House during our time of economic implosion.
Wouldn't it be refreshing to have someone run the federal government whose motto was "What can we do today to increase the net worth of every American?"
Someone who is willing to talk back to the Unions (read the article), make every supervisor justify replacement employees in government (read the article), and someone who has SHOWN (not talked about) A CONSISTENT COMMITMENT TO SMALLER GOVERNMENT AND ACTUALLY ACOMPLISHED IT.
Rather than have them show up in the comment section, I'll just hit the two negatives on Mitch that I have heard and one of which turned me off early on.
#1) He will not take a no new tax pledge and he raised taxes temporarily at the beginning of his term in Indiana. It happened and he doesn't apologize for it. His first goal was to balance the budget and his secondary goal was to reduce the size of government. He has now done both and is running a surplus on a regular basis.
#2) He is a five foot seven inch tall bundle of knowledge but not a TV personality. He is the anti-Obama. It may be a plus with some people but it will turn off others.
He is the man we need
Daniels might not be the person for President at any time in history, but he is the one we need this time around. We are in serious fiscal crap and Daniels has run a budget surplus, increased jobs and investment spending, and cut the number of government employees through attrition and justification requirements.
One more quote that shows how Daniels has implemented responsibility:
Every line item in the state budget has at least one objective formula attached to it to indicate how well each service is being delivered.
My wallet has been on the sidelines for four years when it comes to politics, but today, I'm starting a jar. It may not be thousands but it will at least have hundreds by the time 2012 rolls around and it is money that I will send with a clear conscience and a warm heart to Mitch Daniels.