Posted by on February 15, 2011 in Blog

Governor Mitch Daniels (R- Indiana) gave a compelling address to the attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this past Saturday. Attended by 10,000 or so prominent Republicans and by several viable presidential hopefuls, the CPAC gathering is often viewed as an opportunity to establish a profile of a possible candidacy. Branding himself as a pragmatic politician with an impressive fiscal track record, Daniels laid the ground work for what he hopes to be an effective GOP platform for the 49 other states to follow in the electoral college of 2012. Daniels cited the economic turn around in his home state as a possible model for a national strategy to revamp the American economy and propel a GOP candidate to the White House. In Indiana, Daniels turned a $200 million budget deficit to a $1.3 billion surplus.

In addition to urging a primary GOP focus on fiscal issues, Daniels also reminded members of his party that victory in 2012 will not come through rancor in political debate. “The public is increasingly disgusted with a steady diet of defamation, and prepared to reward those who refrain from it,” he said. Rather, Daniels made the point that success will come through making more friends than enemies, “In this room are convened freedom’s best friends but, to keep our Republic, freedom needs every friend it can get. Let’s go find them, and befriend them, and welcome them to the great thing that is wanted to be done in our day.”

While he is considered to be well-positioned in the pool of GOP presidential candidates, it still remains to be seen how his center-leaning message with an ardent fiscal focus will resonate with the conservative base of the Republican Party.

Governor Mitch Daniels is the recipient of this year’s Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service at the Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala