Mitch Daniels

Mitch Daniels Is the President America Should've Had

He's the president we needed, but maybe not the one we deserved.



Mitch Daniels was never going to be president. Too bad.

There was a brief boomlet around the former Indiana governor before the 2012 election, but people quickly found out who he really was: Daniels was too boring, too wonky, too level-headed, too focused on fiscal policy, too unwilling to fight the culture wars. And as some observers noted, he was short.

He was, in other words, too competent and too sensible for a political office that, especially now, could benefit from some competence and common sense.

Since leaving the governor's office, Daniels has stepped away from politics and taken the top job at Purdue University, which, as George Will wrote in 2016, now has the president the entire country should.

As president of Purdue, Daniels has preached the virtues of hard work and self-determination. He has also put the university itself on excellent footing. Since Daniels took the job in 2013, tuition has been frozen. Accounting for inflation, the Ohio University economist Richard Vedder estimates that the effect is something like a 10 percent reduction in tuition, even as costs at other universities have soared.

The school has also created an unusual financing mechanism called an Income Share Agreement. Under this system, the school contributes a portion of the tuition fees in exchange for a small cut of the student's post-graduation income, treating students, essentially, as investments. In other words, it makes the school more affordable and accessible to the student body while creating a revenue stream for the institution.

Vedder notes that the school has also started making and selling one of the most important elements of the college experience in-house: beer.

Boiler Gold American Golden Ale is the first beer developed by Purdue, quickly selling out at this year's first football game. As President Daniels has explained to me, Purdue has a rich agricultural tradition, and beer is an agricultural product—I believe the hops are grown nearby under Purdue's direction. Purdue has a Hops and Brewing Analysis Lab, a School of Food Science, and so forth.

Improving the productivity and utility of agriculture was a core mission of schools like Purdue created out of the 1862 Morrill Act. Money made from beer sales is supporting agricultural research (as well as Purdue athletics). Research into developing craft beers has led to a partnership with an alumnus who does the actual brewing for Purdue.

Although he has focused on running the university, Daniels hasn't gone completely silent on national political issues. In an op-ed for The Washington Post today, Daniels tackles state-level budget problems, arguing against a federal rescue plan:

Sooner or later, we can anticipate pleas for nationalization of these impossible obligations. Get ready for the siren sounds of sophistry, in arguments for subsidy of the poor by the prudent.

In fact, this balloon was already floated once, during the crunch of the recent recession. In 2009, California politicians called for a "dynamic partnership" with the federal government. Money from other states, they said, would be an "investment" and certainly not a bailout. They didn't succeed directly, although they walked away with $8 billion of federally borrowed "stimulus" money. Such a heist will be harder to justify in the absence of a national economic emergency.

In the blizzard of euphemisms, one can expect a clever argument might appear, likening the bailout to another important compromise of the founding period: the assumption of state debts by the new federal government. But that won't wash. Those were debts incurred in a battle for survival and independence common to all 13 colonies, not an attempt to socialize away the consequences of individual states' multi-decade spending sprees.

Today, President Donald Trump announced plans to spend $12 billion bailing out businesses harmed by the trade war he started. The contrast is revealing—and more than a little depressing.

As a national politician, Daniels might not have been as exciting or charismatic as some of his competitors (although he was plenty appealing, in an understated way). He might not have tweeted, and if he did, it probably would have been about things like the congressional budget process or the federal deficit. He might have had a domestic policy agenda beyond deficit-financed tax cuts and bipartisan spending deals. I doubt that Daniels, whose personality is defined by a gentle Midwestern reserve, would have started a pointless, unwinnable trade war predicated on proving personal dominance over America's international rivals.

Which is to say, he almost certainly would not have treated the Oval Office as the set of political reality show on which he was the star. He probably wouldn't have sparked very many internet flame wars, and the ones he did prompt probably would have been relatively low-heat. But he would have been good at the job of being president—at the nuts and bolts of information gathering and decision making and operational efficiency and level-headed communication about policy decisions.

I'm glad Mitch Daniels is president of Purdue, where he appears to be making a real difference in showing a path forward for public higher ed. But I wish that American voters had been more interested in giving him a bigger job, and every now and then I find myself wistfully imagining what a Daniels presidency might have been like. He'll never be president of the United States, but he'll always be president of my heart.

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  1. And as some observers noted, he was short.

    In 2004 my dad took me to New Hampshire, about an hour away, to see some presidential campaigning. I was a teenager, and though I don’t remember it, apparently when Wesley Clark was walking by I commented, out loud, that he was really short. And then him and his security escorts all glared at me.

    1. Start your home business right now. Spend more time with your family and earn. Start bringing sixty dollar per hr just on a computer. Very easy way to make your life happy and earning continuously. Start here?>>

    2. Aren’t you like seven feet tall though?

      1. BUCS calling someone short is like Hugh making fun of someone for_______

        1. Having a big penis?

    3. Since Clark was a total and complete dick, that is a good story.

    4. Do you know who else was short and wanted to rule the world?

      1. Alexander the Great?

      2. Attila the Hun?

      3. Timur Leng?

      4. Ghengis Khan?

      5. But, not, to be sure, Napoleon.

      6. Billy Barty?

      7. Pinky and Brain?

      8. Ross Perot?

    5. I’m a bit on the short side. Like 5′ 8″ish or so. I’m lucky I’m not 5′ 3″ or something since my friggin’ mom was only 4′ 11″! It’s kinda lame, but I don’t bitch too much. I’m glad I’m taller than the majority of women, because being like 5′ 4″ or something would be straight brutal.

      Thing is though I’m above average in basically every single other way, and if you know how to carry yourself it’s not that big a deal at my height. I’ve always been better at scoring chicks than 90%+ of guys despite being short, and I end up being one of the more domineering guys in basically any social situation, despite almost all of them being taller. Also boots are AWESOME. LOL

      So while it’s a thing, and it does effect stuff, it’s not a huge deal unless you’re SUPER short to the point where nobody takes you serious ever. It is too bad that so many people put an excessive emphasis on it in politicians and leaders in general, because it really has zero direct bearing on their capabilities. It can indirectly if they don’t have confidence, but one can be on the short side and not have that problem. Napoleon (wasn’t short by peasant standards of the time, but was for aristocracy), Hitler, Churchill, and a million others were all on the shortish side and clearly could dominate a room.

      1. Yeah, I’m 5’8″, too. Took a vacation in the Philippines, (Where I found my wife.) and it was mind blowing, being able to see over everybody’s heads. First time in my life.

        1. LOL Yeah, one of the reasons I want to take a trip to Asia one of these days!

          As my father jokingly said to me a few years back “Well, at least with all the illegal Mexican immigrants the average height in the USA is getting dragged down… Someday soon you will probably be above average for a guy.”

          At 5′ 7″/5′ 8″ or whatever I am exactly it isn’t too bad. I’m only a couple inches below your average white/black guy, and basically as tall or taller than most Asians/Mexicans etc… I’ve often thought about how much it would REALLY suck to be proper short though.

          Maybe I’m a little too future oriented, but one of (not the only) the main reasons I didn’t want to marry this one girl, who is FAR AND AWAY the best women I have dated in my life, was because she was on the shortish side. 5′ 1″ I believe she was. Great in the sack being all small like that, but it just didn’t sit right with me having kids with somebody who was likely to make my kids even smaller… I’m shooting for a nice skinny 5′ 6″-5′ 7″ girl to fix my dads bad breeding mistake with my mom! I’m gonna be pissed if I meet the love of my life and she’s 4 foot nothing! LOL

    6. I saw Wes Clark’s incompetence out in theater during Clinton’s distraction adventurism in Bosnia. it really doesn’t matter what his height might be – he turned that operation into a complete goat rope, and his only real task wasn’t to actually accomplish anything, but just put on a good show. he couldn’t even do that.

  2. Suderman is David Brooks’ sock?

    1. There is something familiar about the scrotum-clutching whimpering in rage, pain and defeat, isn’t there?

  3. Daniels might have been the president we needed, but Trump is the one we deserved.

  4. An article praising Mitch Daniels with a quote from George Will.

    Can we just drop the act that non-interventionism is even a top concern at Reason?

    1. I think it is not for Suderman. He seems to be the most intense policy wonk on this site, and seems to have strong beliefs that the issue is simply that smart enough people aren’t in place to organize people under government. His articles are often focused on the idea of someone who can more correctly organize things rather than questioning whether the government should be involved at all.

      1. That’s called progressivism

        1. I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but that’s the trend I feel I see across his articles. I find him interesting, even if he’s by far the person I agree with the least here.

          1. Yeah, it’s not limited to Suderman, unless pushing unsubstantiated Russia fever dreams and defending the intelligence community is libertarian now.

            1. I think it’s most extreme from Suderman, and is consistent throughout his podcast appearances and articles. People shit on everyone here, but I think Suderman is more statist than anyone here.

              1. Agreed

              2. Agreed. Suderman is easily my least favorite writer.

                1. Off topic, but out of curiosity- why do you dislike about Walter Block?

                  I’m not going to debate the point, I’m just curious.

                  1. Me? When did I mention Walter Block either way?

                    1. I meant Chipper.

              3. I think it’s most extreme from Suderman, and is consistent throughout his podcast appearances and articles.

                ^ This. He tries, but he’s the only guy on staff for whom the phrase “maybe we don’t need a policy” has no English meaning.

                1. I suspect they keep him around because he’s willing to cover healthcare policy from a vaguely libertarian-leaning direction.

            2. unsubstantiated russian influence? what rock have you been living under. They have thrown out troves of information about russians hacking everything that loose, other than the kitchen sink because it built before the internet really got going good.

          2. This is a very strange article though.

      2. Don’t waste your pixels on Just Saian, BUCS. He committed three fallacies in two sentences (three if whataboutism counts), and offers no evidence to back up his claims.

        1. How many times do I need to prove you wrong, Hugh?

            1. OK, Hugh

        2. Nah, I’ll just keep on chattin’ with everyone I feel like. I like Just Say’n as well. We don’t have to always agree. I only dislike like 2 people here.

          1. Who is the other guy?

            1. I piss lots of people off, apparently.

          2. I only dislike like 2 people here.

            Who’s the other commenter?

            1. Probably me. Nobody likes cynical assholes.

            2. One was called Reality. He’s gone now I think.

              1. One was called Reality. He’s gone now I think.

                I think he’s been calling himself “Tulpa” for the last few weeks.

              2. I bet it’s me. I try really hard.

                1. BUCS clearly needs a bigger shit list.

            3. I hope it’s not me. I came to pledge my vote for President BUCS!

          3. Pretty sure I’m one of them.

      3. I don’t think it’s unlibertarian to ask that whatever gov’t is or isn’t doing, that the institutions be run soberly, consistently, and with competence, rather than dismantling through clownish incompetent bathtub drowning. Whatever gov’t is or isn’t doing is a different battle.

        1. Wrong. Libertarianism is all about burning it all down, and saying “a pox on both their houses.” /sarc

        2. Mussolini made the trains run on time. I’d rather have someone inefficiently rip up the tracks before the train is finished and save us a few billion.

          1. I fail to see what Mussolini has to do with what I said, as he was a dictator and I’m expressing a preference that democratic governance be taken seriously, rather than burnt to the ground because you don’t get your way. Insist on good governance, and work on making your case persuasive.

          2. I support anything that provides more freedom. We can get there by revolution or we can get there incrementally. I don’t care as lon as it ends in a freer world.

            Libertarianism might get somewhere as a movement if we spent more time peeling back statism by any means we can rather than checking each other’s briefs for skid marks.

            I want a free and peaceful stateless utopia. Knowing that may never happen, I’d take a state that demands less off my money and ruins fewer lives.

      4. He seems to be the most intense policy wonk on this site

        In other words, he’s pretty good at passing himself off as an expert on economics and health care, despite having no real credentials to speak of in either field. What was his college degree in again exactly?

      5. Two criticisms of government involvement in one sentence–pretty efficient:

        “Today, President Donald Trump announced plans to spend $12 billion bailing out businesses harmed by the trade war he started. The contrast is revealing?and more than a little depressing.”

  5. He’s the president we needed, but maybe not the one we deserved.

    America deserves to be punished for its evil ways!!! Go fuck yourself Suderman.

    1. Trump’s presidency would be worthwhile if he accomplished nothing else besides getting pundits like Suderman wound up. I haven’t been so entertained since the Sex Pistols got booted off the Bill Grundy Show for cussing out the host.

      1. Well, then it’s a smashing success (except “wistfully imagining” is not what I’d call wound up). Hooray?

    2. Damn him to the depths of hell for worshiping another beside the one true prophet!

  6. Daniels’ wife left him and their four daughters to go off to California to marry an old boyfriend.

    Four years later Daniels took her back.

    I don’t see this guy winning any tough negotiations with Schumer, let alone Putin or Xi.

    1. You assume getting his wife back wasn’t what he and his kids wanted. When you get what you want, it doesn’t make you a tough negotiator to refuse it out of spite.

      1. Or maybe, even after she had treated him like shit, he still loved her. Love is a hell of a drug.

        1. Perhaps. But there is also something to be said for not being a cuck! I’m amazed I was actually able to use that word in its more original meaning with regard to politics!

          The truth is there are some things you probably shouldn’t do even if you kinda want to due to animal emotions… Taking back some skank that bailed on you, fucked some other guy for years, and then decided to run back because her new cock didn’t work out… That’s one of those situations.

          In a lot of ways the ultimate situation for a man is to have kids, get them all to 18, and then have a wife who bails without taking you to the cleaners. That is basically the perfect situation since men have a lot more sexual value when they’re older than women. A real man would have traded her in for a younger model and never looked back! Once you’ve bred, there is really no reason to have an old broad around anyway, especially if you’re wealthy and successful.

          1. It’s also possible you’re a full fledged retard with the maturity of 13 year old.

            1. Either that, or I’m just realistic?

              Taking people back into your life who stab you in the back is a case by case basis thing, sure. But many people tend to do it out of emotional weakness a lot more often than they should. You can agree or disagree, but I usually won’t deal with people who majorly screwed me over. Divorcing you, probably jacking you for tons of money, running out on your kids, to go bang another guy… That’s a major screwing. You can never trust such a person again, so bye bye I’m moving on would be what I’d do there.

              As for the “he should have upgraded” bit. That’s also reality. My plan since I was young, and all the way until now, has always been to find one of those rare women that is actually worth marrying. Pop off a few kids, and hopefully stay together until I die. I think that’s what most people would prefer.

              My point is though that as a man IF you do get divorced at an older age, it’s not that bad so long as they don’t wreck your financial life. As men we DO remain more attractive to women than they are to us at older ages. So if that unfortunate thing happens, one might as well just date women 10-20 years younger than him, and never remarry. This is the logical thing to do.

    2. Yeah, it’s been a rough year for cucks. But it goes a long way in explaining the love letter.

    3. Amy Schumer?

  7. Daniels is a big-time drug warrior who got a slap on the wrist ($350 fine) when HE was caught selling a large quantity of weed, LSD, and prescription drugs in college. If he’d been elected president he would have made sure no one got off as easily as him. Fuck that hypocrite.

    1. How did he get off so light?

      1. He accepted a plea deal on a lesser charge. Plus, it was 1971 and back then the government wasn’t as interested in destroying people’s lives over a single mistake. But hypocrites like Daniels WANT to destroy people’s lives and send them to prison for doing what he got away with.

        1. He probably ratted too.

  8. Would the progressive communists been satisfied and not cried for nearly two years?

    Could we go back into some time machine and find out?

    1. Would the progressive communists been satisfied and not cried for nearly two years?

      Oh, I think we all know the answer to that question. No matter who it is, if the president’s a Republican, they’re “literally Hitler.”

      Could we go back into some time machine and find out?

      No need. If you want to know what the 2016 election would have been like if Daniels had been the GOP candidate, just take all the shit they said about Mitt Romney in ’12 and replace his name with Mitch Daniels.

  9. “…he’ll always be president of heart.”

    I never knew Suderman was a teenage girl.

    1. Yeah, he really didn’t do himself any favors with that line. I kind of threw up in my mouth a little bit, and I kind of liked Daniels myself for a while there. He wasn’t what I’d call “libertarian leaning” or anything but seemed pretty decent, for a politician.

      1. I cannot imagine writing such a thing about any politician, no matter how decent you they are. Politics is way too cynical a business to fall in love with one of its practitioners.

        1. Come on, what about Ron Paul man??? I’m straight as an arrow, but if ol’ Ron ever came up to me and said he needed a handy REAL BAD… I’d at least think about it. He’s easily the best politician of any significance of the last several decades.

  10. I don’t think I’ve even heard of this guy before. But regardless of whatever miracles he’s working at Purdue, it is, in fact, Hillary Clinton who should be President. She was the most qualified candidate ever, and she got more total votes than any white male candidate in history. Simultaneously dealing with Russian hacking and a biased media that exaggerated her “flaws” while downplaying Drumpf’s, she still beat him by 3 million votes!


    1. Writing a love letter to Hillary would have been a little too on the nose for Suderman

    2. #staywithher and #yourself. Lampoon all you want, but I’m still pissed about the gun comment..

    3. Obama is half white.

      1. Our first half-white President! I was so proud…

  11. Kind of a shame that he became president of Purdue right after I graduated. Oh well, Boiler Up anyway.

  12. There are untold numbers of bright, competent, and sensible persons who in some persons view “should” rightfully be POTUS, sure, but this is not how it works. Trumpus got elected, and for better or worse he is what we have. In the balance remaking the US Courts [with a little help from the Federalist Society vs the ABA] is a very good thing. Maybe he can shut down a few agencies on the side. No new wars or major economic fallout and color me happy. And the TDS is just serendipitous entertainment.

    1. …remaking the US Courts [with a little help from the Federalist Society vs the ABA] is a very good thing. Maybe he can shut down a few agencies on the side. No new wars or major economic fallout…

      That’s about all we can reasonably hope for from any president.

    2. “TDS is just serendipitous entertainment”

      Are you not entertained? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?! Is this not why you’re here?!

      1. It is the only reason I am here. Et toi?

  13. “Mitch Daniels Is the President America Should’ve Had”

    What mindless drivel. Trump is exactly the president America should have and Daniels would have been an absolute failure.

    Regardless of policy or character, Trump is doing the single most important thing for the country and even the world….making everyone question the fundamental nature of government, trade, immigration, and international relations.

    As others have stated, we are in the midst of a renegotiation of the post-cold war world, where the outdated institutions of the 50s-80s are finally breaking down (looking at you UN security council) and the world is adjusting to the current topics, whether mass migration or rising Asia.

    Trump is serving as a catalyst….and its a wonderful thing that would have been far more painful and long lasting otherwise.

    1. Remains to be seen-think the tariffs are really going to mess things up for a lot of people, and they could run crying back for the way things used to be

    2. “Trump is doing the single most important thing for the country and even the world….making everyone question the fundamental nature of government, trade, immigration, and international relations.”

      I don’t share your optimism that TDS suffers are capable of reflecting upon anything other than how icky Trump is

    3. Call me a masochist.

    4. “As others have stated, we are in the midst of a renegotiation of the post-cold war world, where the outdated institutions of the 50s-80s are finally breaking down (looking at you UN security council) and the world is adjusting to the current topics, whether mass migration or rising Asia.”

      That is actually a pretty good way of putting it. We had largely just been running on auto pilot with the same old cogs turning and turning… Yet the world has changed immensely. The major issues are not the same, and the way to deal with them won’t be the same either.

      All the biggest REAL issues facing the world were completely ignored, or made worse intentionally, by the political class… And people have been getting more and more pissed. Trump is at least trying to tackle some of them, even if I don’t agree with his fix on everything that’s better than ignoring them.

    5. Yes, he’s ushering us into the new Jerusalem.

      This place really has become a haven for president dent-worshipers it seems.

      1. That is not at all what I said or implied. You really need to up your reading comprehension. But to explain it in more detail…

        The world and the US has been sliding through a gilded age, largely navel-gazing for the last 15 years. Bush’s ‘compassionate conservative’ and Obama’s ‘raid the coffers to right the past’ were horrific leaps into statism. Daniels would have been more of the same nonsense.

        Trump has been an enormous detour on the road to a nanny-state dystopia. Whether by intent or accident, we are seeing massive changes in the post cold-war institution that were long overdue. Media propaganda, governmental controls, global institutions are all being questioned and re-assessed. Any Libertarian should be cheering. You don’t have to like to Trump or agree with a single policy, to recognize that the shake-up was long overdue and desperately needed.

          1. Late night HIHNFECTION…? for your lives!!!

  14. He was, in other words, too competent and too sensible for a political office that, especially now, could benefit from some competence and common sense.

    Face it-we Americans love drama, hence why we will probably never have a “boring” president again. The last one we had was George Bush Sr. and he paid the price against the boomer drama queen.

    1. For all his faults and sins, Bush Senior is the last adult we had as president.

    2. Even 43 and 44 were pretty boring my Trumpian standards.

  15. Daniels was too boring, too wonky, too level-headed, too focused on fiscal policy, too unwilling to fight the culture wars.

    Sometimes when you feel like you’re being attacked by culture warriors, you don’t want to hire a guy not willing to fight back as your leader.

    The culture wars had been mostly won by people formerly referred to as Liberals. Hell, you even had Pat Buchanan calling for a truce in the culture wars. Things got mostly quiet for a short while, then something happened during the Obama administration and the left lit that fuse again with extreme vengeance, ostracizing and attacking everyone and everything around them to the point that liberals started to feel alienated.

    It wasn’t Mitch Daniels’ time.

    1. Suderman is the kind of guy who would have criticized Charles Martel for not rearranging the deck chairs with sufficient diligence.

    2. Exactly this.

      Calm and level headed guys are needed a lot of the time… But sometimes you need a crazy fucker who is aggressive. Some cuck like Mitt Romney being president right now would be getting shit all over. They’d be totally impotent. Trump is just brushing off all the attacks from the left, making them show their hand and alienate even more voters, while slowly working on his agenda as best he can. A Romney or Jeb or whatever would be USELESS in an environment like today.

  16. I would’ve voted for him.

  17. Sheesh, get a room, CUCK! /sarc

    Maybe he could run for the LP nomination in 2020 *ducks*

    1. A Daniels/Clinton faceoff. I like the way you comment.

  18. “Vedder notes that the school has also started making and selling one of the most important elements of the college experience in-house: beer.”

    I can’t be the only one that finds it kind of funny that a libertarian publication is applauding an effective use of state resources like this, given that Purdue is a public university.

    Kind of surprised no one in the comments has angrily declared this an example of evil socialists seizing the means of production

  19. Yeah, but when was the last time Purdue won the National football championship?

  20. During the slow motion 2016 GOP nomination disaster I was asking everyone I knew if they had Mitch Daniels phone number. I guess if I wanted to I could have called Purdue.

    1. 2016 GOP nomination disaster

      You misspelled “miracle.”

  21. If I am not mistaken, the Mitch Daniels boomlet of 2011-2012 didn’t fizzle because he was too level headed and boring. It faded because he deferred to his wife and chose to let it fizzle.

    The situation, if I recall from what I read back then, was that, in the early nineties, Mitch’s wife – who had been his high school sweetheart – left him and their then-teenage daughters and ran away to California with another man. About 4 or 5 years later, after, that romance fizzled, she came back to Mitch, who took her back and remarried her in 1997.

    What I read 6 or 7 years ago was that Mitch wanted to run for President, but that his wife – keenly aware of how intensely scrutinized by the media her behavior during those mid-90s years would be if he ever became a real contender – made her reticence known to him, and he – out of concern for his wife – then chose not to pursue the run.

    1. “The cuck America should have had”

  22. Mitch Daniels Is the President America Should’ve Had

    Traditional definition of marriage AND non-discrimination. (Sep 2011)
    No same-sex marriage nor civil unions. (Nov 2008)
    Strengthen laws against horrid practice of human trafficking. (Jan 2012)
    Privatize prison management. (Sep 2011)
    Some subsidies ok for renewable energy. (Sep 2011)
    Make IN a leader in electric vehicles & solar power industry. (Jan 2010)
    Support clean coal as well as alternative energy. (Nov 2008)
    Set goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025. (Jan 2007)
    First state to phase in new environmental Clean Air permits. (Jan 2012)
    Medicare 2.0 for the sickest, and for middle and low income. (Sep 2011)
    INShape plan: insure 130,000 uninsured Hoosiers. (Nov 2008)
    Increase cigarette tax; insurance discounts to non-smokers. (Nov 2006)
    Invest $1.2 billion in Hoosier Heartland Corridor and US31. (Jan 2012)
    Supports internet sales tax. (Nov 2008)
    Replace welfare programs with negative income tax. (Sep 2011)

    There were plenty of good things in there, mainly on spending, but he still likes to spend in the places he likes.

    But seriously, how is he different than any other “moderate” Republican?

  23. ISA’s sound like a terrific idea, actually.

    1. Sounds like mandatory post-graduation donations to the alumni fund to me.

      Besides, i already have an Income Share Agreement with the USA and with California. They take what they want from my income twice a month, and i get the rest, in exchange for the stuff everyone else wants getting provided to them in a manner more inefficient than I can even imagine.

      1. Well the difference is, an ISA with a university is voluntary, while taxes are not.

        Milton Friedman seemed to regard the idea favorably, so I think it at least merits some consideration.

  24. Today, President Donald Trump announced plans to spend $12 billion bailing out businesses harmed by the trade war he started.

    Is one of them the Taggart Transcontinental Railroad?

  25. Which is to say, he almost certainly would not treated the Oval Office as the set of political reality show on which he was the star.

    But that’s PRECISELY the kind of president America needs and deserves.

    1. We need this why? So it’s easy to spot the morons actually enjoy it?

  26. I will say it would have been an interesting parallel reality watching primary-winner Daniels get accused of racism, sexism, naziism and half a dozen other isms I know I’m leaving out, a-la Romney in 2012.

  27. Would Mitch Daniels have been a better president than Trump (or Obama or Bush II)? With such a low bar there are homeless bums that would be a better president than Trump right now. Most bums would not start a trade war with the entire planet or threaten “fire and fury” to anyone dissing the US or sign that monster budget. Trump promised to drain the swamp but instead he’s feeding the alligators.

    1. Trump also promised to pay off the federal debt in 8 years, But he’s off by $31 TRILLION, per CBO’s lates forecast. That means he’s ALREADY added more debt than Obama’s eight years, and Obama inherited the 2nd worst recession since the Great Depression, but Trump inherited the longest recovery (7 years)

  28. Daniels managed the budget when Bush took surpluses and made them deficits, even before the recession hit. The attack ads basically write themselves.

    1. Bullshit,

      Clinton had no surpluses, liberal troll. The debt never decreased
      Clinton took office in the 22nd month of a recovery, and left a recession.
      The only President to inherit a longer recovery is Trump .. a LOT longer, 7th year. (Yet CBO now forecasts more additional debt than even Obama and Bush)

      1. PS.. The recession began with Bush in office five weeks. (lol)
        Official business cycles since the 1850s:

  29. You always get the president everyone else deserves.

  30. Maybe I’m just too cynical but every time I read one of these article about someone who could have been or still might be President, it’s depressing.

    Daniels is boring at best. Then there’s the Holder piece earlier today. What a joke! And I think yesterday there was a piece about Warren. Yuck.

    I thought 2016 was scraping the bottom of the barrel, but I’m now expecting to be proven wrong. Out of a population of 330 million, they keep lowering the bar on who gets nominated.

    1. I thought 2016 was scraping the bottom of the barrel, but I’m now expecting to be proven wrong.

      Yeah – I remember thinking Bush vs. Dukakis was the bottom of the barrel, but it turned out that scraping sound was just a new layer getting broken up.

      Then I though Bush, Jr., vs. Gore was going to be the corrective. “This is going to a be a real wake-up call for the country that our choice is between these two losers!” I told myself.

      I no longer have the capacity to be surprised at what shitty candidates we’ll have.

      1. Yeah, I’m almost expecting PeeWee Herman (in character, not as Paul Reubens) vs. Kathy Griffin one of these days!

        1. I’m throwing my support behind PeeWee!

  31. Reason now publishes TDS wish fulfillment fantasies.

  32. Did Suderman lost a bet or something?

  33. Yeah, he’s also the ONLY politician with the guts to explain why we have the world’s highest health care costs.
    We’re the only place that will pay $250,000 or more for six more months of life.

    Obama came close, when he said his own grandmother got a costly hip transplant. when she was terminal cancer, then died a few months later. Gary Johnson’s great ad for 2012 showed how Obama had campaigned as a moderate on health care in 2008, even attacking Hillary and John Edwards in the primary for supporting a mandate “If a mandate worked, we could end homelessness by mandating that everyone buy a house,” KAPOW.

    That was before the GOP forced him to the left on Obamacare, by refusing the original bipartisan offer to of co-op HMOs as an alternative to a public plan. Single-payer would have been DEAD today, but dumbass Republicans didn’t want Obama to get credit … for what they’re too stupid to propose even now,.

    Thanks Peter, Daniels is indeed the best chance we’ve had in decades.

  34. We elect people who are good at campaigning, not people who are good at leading. Being good at leading is irrelevant when it comes to elections.

    Yay general democracy!

  35. I don’t think it applies to this guy all that much, although he may be better than many… But the fact is the smartest guy in the room often isn’t the most charismatic. Unfortunately people tend to like the charismatic guy more, so they tend to win.

    We’ve usually ended up with people who were a reasonable combination of both. Not total idiots, but probably not usually the very smartest either. Trump definitely leans towards the charismatic side heavily, but even he isn’t an actual retard. He’s just brazen with some of his more out of the box ideas.

    Any which way, I think somebody with some balls is exactly what was called for now. I’d have preferred somebody more fiscally prudent who also had balls, but Trump is probably a lot better than any of the other schleps that tried for the R nomination. I guess I will have to keep waiting for my Trump/Ron Paul hybrid to come along and actually fix shit!

  36. Times magazine has cover this week has cover that melds Putin’s and Trump’s faces. I emailed their editorial office suggesting a cover next week that would melt Barack Obama’s ass and Robert Mueller’s face. I would title it the synecdoche (douche?) visage of the Democrat party.

    I also encouraged their editorial board (and the editorial boards of the New York Time, The Washington Post, and so so) to enhance their corporate culture and do that teamwork bonding thing by taking duck boat excursions.

    1. I’m amazed by your honesty! To publicly ADMIT you’re bat shit crazy, shows you also have a lot of courage.
      And a violence-threatening alt-right.

      If you close your eyes and cover your ears, the universe disappears and all evidence of Mueller’s 35 indictments and 4 guilty pleas, or Trump’s confession of obstruction. Just don’t crash into any walls!

  37. We needed a Republican who’d lose the election?

    I mean, personally I was supporting Paul during the primaries, but he dropped out before I got the chance to vote for him. You can’t elect Presidents who do badly in primaries.

    Of the general election candidates, Trump was the least awful. And, yeah, I mean including the ‘Libertarian’ candidate, too.

    1. So we need to vote for unhinged halfwits in the primaries because everyone else is voting for unhinged halfwits in the primaries. Got it.

      1. Don’t flatter yourself. You’d never have enough votes.

  38. Can’t blame Daniels for dropping out of the race when you see what politics have become. He had some small government conservatism in him and proved it in Indiana.

  39. The school has also created an unusual financing mechanism called an Income Share Agreement. Under this system, the school contributes a portion of the tuition fees in exchange for a small cut of the student’s post-graduation income, treating students, essentially, as investments.

    It’s not unusual. It’s called a “student loan”.

    1. (laughing) When a pension fund buys 10 million in corporate stock, that’s NOT a loan!
      Your MAGA hat is cute, but why does it cover your eyes and ears?

  40. Mitch Daniels Is the President America Should’ve Had..

    No he’s not..

    why-president-trump @

  41. At 5′ 5″, I don’t have a problem with a “short” man like Daniels. Oh, and the most alpha man on the planet is less than 170 cm.

  42. I wonder if that Purdue beer has a little bourbon mixed in, heh, heh.

  43. Suderman seems a very enthusiastic fan of Mitt Romney.

    I am sure that Romney would have trounced the 2012 election.

    At least, Reason is trying a new twist on the “I do not like Trump” general theme.

  44. Peter and George Will are absolutely right: Mitch is the President we should have had. His 2012 book “Keeping the Republic” is a fine read. Here in Vermont, Mitch got three write-in votes for President in 2012. By comparison, Jesus Christ got one. I told him it’s notable that in his first non-campaign for President, he outpolled Jesus Christ 3 to 1. Alas, he didn’t capitalize on that to run in 2016. America is much the poorer for that.
    Six months ago I told him there was a recount, and it turns out two of his three votes (mine was the third) were actually for Stormy Daniels, but that still left him tied with Jesus.

    1. Spectacular

  45. If we’re to normalize trade relations with Cuba so Americans can make money, or because it’s not the American government’s job or right to control who its citizens trade with or what goods flow in or out of its borders, then so be it. Just enough with this helping the Cuban people shit. The limiting factor on the pace of economic opening and development in Cuba will be determined by the policies of the Cuban Communist Party.

    It’ll be interesting to see to what degree and at what pace this completely symbolic Constitutional change signals a transition to a more Chinese/Vietnamese approach…

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