John Ketzenberger, presidente del Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute, escribe en el Indianapolis Star:
Tonight Gov. Mitch Daniels will counter President Obama's State of the Union speech with the Republican argument, but if the Grand Old Party is serious about running a credible campaign against the president it will be a dress rehearsal for his candidacy.Nate Silver reflexiona sobre el asunto:
No, it's not too late. So what if Daniels can't get on the ballot in many primaries. Consider this: After three primaries Mitt Romney has 31 delegates to Newt Gingrich's 26. It takes 1,144 to win the nomination, so Romney's 2.7 percent of the way to winning.
(...) So is there a connection between Daniels' selection for tonight's rebuttal and a candidacy he's already spurned?
Let's hope so (we'll get into Daniels' potential pitfalls in a moment). This better be the litmus test for enticing a serious Republican into the race and then assembling a campaign that will prevail at the convention.
That only happens in this fractured post-Citizens United landscape, though, if regular Republicans can muster the significant money and people to mobilize the message. William Kristol's satire last week in the Weekly Standard does hold this truth: Republicans will get what they deserve if they don't show support for Daniels after tonight's speech.
A prominent Republican pollster in town recently said without hesitation that Daniels would be leading the field by a wide margin if he had entered.
Only Daniels knows whether he'd actually run outside the traditional primary structure, but what he sees has to be compelling. It also changes Daniels' argument to his family, which vetoed his plans last fall. His party needs him more than ever.
(...) Already the campaign's shorter than it would have been last fall, the scrutiny will increase beginning tomorrow. Daniels is ready for it. This may explain his support of "right to work" legislation after repeatedly assuring unions the last several years that he didn't see the case for it.
There are other issues Daniels will have to defend. There are questions about the failed privatization of the Family and Social Services Administration, the inability to raise the household income of Hoosiers and how $320 million in tax revenue went missing for years.
Daniels is happy to defend his record and can build a comparative campaign around it that would give voters a contrast to consider. Americans deserve no less.
What about it Republicans? Can you do it?
Just how plausible is it that a candidate like Mr. Daniels could enter the race now — and potentially win?
I would certainly not put the odds at 50-50, as Mr. Steele does. But — in contrast to other data-driven analysts — I don’t think the possibility is that far-fetched. The scenario in which Mr. Romney seems to be struggling, but the major alternative to him is Mr. Gingrich, is precisely the one where this might become more of a possibility.
In some ways, in fact, this scenario would result from an interesting confluence of the “More of the Same” and “This Time Is Different” paradigms as I outlined them Sunday.
Republican Party elites, who are especially important under the “More of the Same” theory, would be key to instigating such a scenario.
But the circumstances of this year’s race are unique enough that there is a higher-than-normal chance of it being precedent-breaking.
Late-entry candidates and brokered conventions have not occurred in the recent past. But there has also not been a case in the recent past in which a candidate like Mr. Gingrich, so vehemently opposed by party elites, was surging ahead in key national and state polls at this stage of the nomination process.
To be sure, drafting a candidate like Mr. Daniels would be incredibly risky for Republicans. The candidate could be a failure on the stump. The move could be seen as a power grab, further widening the divide between the party establishment and the rank and file. It could backfire by cutting Mr. Romney’s support out from under him, resulting in the nomination of Mr. Gingrich. It would almost certainly give more of a role to Ron Paul, who will control some delegates and whom Republican elites also dislike. And because party nominating rules and ballot access rules have not been put to the test in recent years, there are “unknown unknowns” in addition to these obvious risks.
It is important to note, however, that party elites may also see a lot of upside potential in this scenario. It would not just be a ploy to prevent Mr. Gingrich’s nomination. It would also open the door to the party’s nominee being someone like Mr. Daniels or Mr. Bush or Mr. Ryan — candidates whom some influential conservatives have preferred to Mr. Romney all along.