RUSH: We talked about the Romney. Now time to bring up Mitch Daniels. As you know, Mitch Daniels appeared last night in Indianapolis. "With 1,100 people chanting 'Run, Mitch, Run,' Gov. Mitch Daniels took the stage here Thursday night and did something he's never done before: He introduced his wife Cheri, and then he turned the microphone over to her to address the sold-out crowd. It was Cheri Daniels' first-ever speech at a big political event in all the years she has been Indiana's First Lady. And with speculation over whether her husband will enter the presidential race now at a fever-pitch, her mere presence at the podium for the annual state GOP dinner had everyone searching for clues and hidden meanings."
Now, the reason for this is people in Indiana are very much aware that she does not like politics. She just doesn't like it, and she has said publicly that she has no desire to be first lady or to do any of the things that that job requires. That's why people were paying attention last night. In fact, I'll tell you a little secret. In the past six months, I have met with two or three Republican presidential candidates -- some who had not announced at the time, some who had -- and I asked them all about Mitch Daniels. All of them (and I'm talking maybe three or four) without exception said, "He's not gonna run. Wife hates it. Wife hates politics. We're not worried about Mitch Daniels. All this talk with Daniels? At the end of it, Rush, Daniels isn't running. Wife won't let him. Wife doesn't like it, doesn't like politics, doesn't like the campaign trail, doesn't want any part of it.
"I said, "Are you sure? Why is he acting like he's acting? Why flirt with this if it's so a fait accompli?"
"I don't know, Rush. He's not running."
I've heard this from three or four Republican hopefuls. So now she's making speeches in Indianapolis and breaking new ice, new ground, having done that -- and it seems like that conventional wisdom is about to be blown up, too.
RUSH: No, I'm not gonna tell you who told me. If I start saying names like that these people will stop talking to me. I'm just going to tell you it's three or four Republican presidential candidates (some had announced and some hadn't at the time) going back six weeks or two months ago, and without fail, they all said, "There's no way that Mitch Daniels is gonna run. His wife won't let him," or, "His wife hates politics. His wife doesn't want to be first lady." They were not concerned at all.
I said, "Well, that doesn't make sense, because Mitch Daniels clearly wants people to think that it's better than 50-50 he's going to. He's positioning himself to run."
"He's not gonna run. He's not. His wife can't stand it."
So we move to last night. Eleven hundred people chanting, "Run, Mitch, run!" Cheri Daniels makes her first ever speech and CBS News' Jan Crawford was there, "And as a sign of how important his wife is to the decision, sources tell CBS News that even former First Lady Laura Bush has called Cheri Daniels personally to encourage her to support the effort and offer advice on how to define what her role on the campaign -- and potentially in the White House -- would be." Now, what does that tell you? If Laura Bush has called Cheri Daniels, then Mitch is in -- and if Laura Bush has called Cheri Daniels, it means that Mitch Daniels is who the Bush people (the political team) hopes gets the nomination.
That's what it means. So the full-court press is being applied to Cheri Daniels with Laura Bush calling her up, "Hey, you can do this! Here's how you do this. I did it. I didn't really want to do it, either, but here's how you make it work." So it's clear the Bush political team wants Daniels -- and, for her part, Cheri Daniels did not rule it out. She did stand up and make a speech and she left a lot of people with the impression that she's gonna sign off on it. Mitch Daniels has left people with the impression that he doesn't care how she defines the role. If she wants to be first lady couple days a week...
He didn't say it this way my interpretation is if she didn't want to go on the campaign trail on Friday or Saturday or Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday, she doesn't have to; if she wants to be first lady one or two days a week, fine. There's no rules. Whatever she wants she can do. That's how I interpreted what Mitch said. Now, you people -- I'm sure all of you in Indianapolis were there last night -- and I'll hear from you today on Open Line Friday and tell me where I'm wrong about my interpretation. You're welcome to. I'm not being critical -- and, in fact, have you noticed how the media is desperately trying to manufacture some kind of scandal out of Mitch Daniels and his wife having divorced and then remarried?
They got divorced. I forget the years. I think it was 1994 they divorced, and she married an old high school boyfriend, and it didn't work out, and they found each other again, and everything's hunky-dory now. Now, these reporters are pretending to be concerned about Cheri Daniels' concerns for privacy. That's one of her big problems here -- and that's understandable; she won't have any -- and the reporters pretending to be concerned about that. But of course what the reporters are really doing is threatening the Daniels that they're gonna rip them to shreds if it's at all possible.
One thing: Mitch is no different than any other Republican candidate in the sense that if he is the nominee, he's gonna get a media anal like he's never had before -- and so will his wife, and so will that divorce and remarriage, and the Drive-Bys are signaling that, if it's at all possible they will rip them to shreds over it, 'cause it just doesn't seem conventional. But I'm just say with Laura calling Cheri Daniels, what is that? It's pretty fait accompli, is it not? At the very least it tells us that the Bush political team wants Mitch Daniels, that that's their guy -- and to the extent the Bush political team are kingmakers, we'll see.
Now let's move to the Washington Post. Ruth Marcus. She's a columnist at the Washington Post, and her piece ran yesterday. I'm just gonna read the open here verbatim. "I hope Mitch Daniels runs for president." Now, remember: Ruth Marcus will vote for Obama. Ruth Marcus is a Democrat. Ruth Marcus will never, ever vote for a Republican just like Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post is gonna vote Obama. So is Ruth Marcus. So here you have State-Controlled Media. "I hope Mitch Daniels runs for president. Let me go further: I hope he wins the Republican nomination. I can’t imagine voting for him.
"But Daniels's presence would improve the 2012 campaign. He’d make Barack Obama a better candidate. The current Republican field runs the gamut from flawed to laughable. The least flawed is former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, but just being the guy who’s left after all the other candidates are crossed off for one reason or another isn't the strongest claim to lead your party. Daniels, former director of the Office of Management and Budget, current governor of Indiana, is the un-Romney.
"Unlike former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, whose only core conviction seems to be that he ought to be president, Daniels has a set and stable worldview. He is the un-Trump -- indeed, the un-Newt. Bluster and bravado are not words that come to mind when you meet Daniels. Short and balding, he has the air of an accountant at a midsized manufacturing firm." This woman, Ruth Marcus, goes on to tell us she wants Daniels to be the nominee because that will make it a more interesting campaign. She will be more entertained, and at the end of, it will improve Obama as a candidate, and he might even win with a bigger electoral majority and end up being a better president!
Now, if you're in the Daniels camp, I don't know how you interpret this. This is the second time now the Washington Post has run a story urging your nomination. The Washington Post, everybody knows, is gonna vote for Obama; is gonna do everything it can to reelect Obama. Now, I'm sorry, folks, but I can't help it. I live in Realville. Literalville. It has a small population, small town. Logic and common sense are the prominent characteristics of residents of Liberalville -- and if I got Ruth Marcus here writing about how she wants Mitch Daniels to run for president and win the Republican nomination but wants Obama to win, then something tells me that she believes that Mitch Daniels would pose not that big a challenge.
Turn it around. Let's say we're all supporters of Ronald Reagan. He's coming up on his second term, and the Democrats tell us that they're going to nominate either Mario Cuomo or Walter Mondull, and we say, "Well, you know what? We really want a good campaign; we want to be entertained here. We think Mondale is good. Mondale, Mondale, that's the guy! Mondale, he'd give Reagan the best run for his money." Who would believe us? If we did something akin to this -- started trying to pick their nominee -- they would accuse us of trying to pick somebody's gonna lose. Here they are, at least the Washington Post, trying to pick our nominee on the basis that it would be boring to have anybody but Mitch be the nominee, and only Mitch stands a chance of winning.
Does that make sense to you?
You want your guy to win, but you want him opposed by somebody who might beat him? Does that make sense? So what kind of fools do they think we are? I understand the thinking because I understand liberals, but I don't understand it at the same time. What in the world...? Why write this. Who is she trying to impress? I guarantee you it's other writers. "I hope Mitch Daniels runs for president. Let me go further. I hope he wins the nomination. I can't imagine voting for him," but you want him to win 'cause it'll be a more entertaining campaign and a better challenge, make your guy a better candidate? Do you care about your guy being the better candidate or do you care about him winning?
RUSH: Ruth Marcus, simply put, is saying Mitch Daniels will make Obama look good. Is that the perspective that you view all of this in, pick a nominee that will make the incumbent look good? That's what Ruth Marcus is saying. Here, a couple more quick lines from her piece. "The real appeal of a Daniels candidacy is that I believe he is serious about reducing the debt and realistic about what it will take to achieve that," and then she cites what she thinks that is. Raising taxes. "In a rigid GOP world of no-new-taxes ideologues, Daniels actually proposed a temporary tax increase to help close the state’s budget gap."
So what Ruth is saying here is, give us Mitch because that gets rid of these far right-wingers who are talking tax cuts and austerity, give us one of us, give us a tax increaser. It's kind of like what Pelosi said. (paraphrasing) "Can we go back to the days where it didn't matter who won elections, when there wasn't that big a difference, it really didn't matter. The differences weren't that stark or Draconian." Now, if Michelle Obama calls Cheri Daniels and urges her to get in like Laura Bush did, then -- (laughing) -- well, I don't know if we would ever hear about that.