Conservatives suspicious of the GOP establishment's tendency to foist wishy-washy candidates on the party, and wary of Mitch Daniels as another John McCain, have had their doubts vindicated.
The GOP establishment is begging Mitch Daniels to run for president, if you believe Politico's Mike Allen: "GOP elite see Mitch Daniels as 2012 savior." Meanwhile, social conservatives have been down on him ever since the Indiana governor called for a "truce" on social issues.
Now comes video of Daniels speaking to the "centrist" GOP Ripon Society (founded at Harvard) in which Daniels announces that the GOP should avoid "wedge issues."
The very insightful and level-headed Jennifer Rubin sums up the implication of this astonishing statement:
When Daniels says the GOP should avoid "wedge" issues, that means the entire debate must conform to what the Democrats will tolerate: "The whole concept of a wedge issue should be foreign to us if we really want to come back." That is not what the party's base wants to hear. They want to set the agenda, not capitulate before beginning the bargaining. More than any single issue, it is this attitude that will be an anathema to the Republican primary electorate. Daniels is also, not to be too indelicate, boring.
Daniels is in many ways the anti-Newt, cautious where Newt is daring. Yet his potential candidacy is moving along the same vector as Newt's -- alienating the party's base, and endearing himself to the opposition.