As the GOP field of candidates crumbles,The Politico revs up the spin machine for Mitch Daniels with a typical fawning profile: GOP elite see Mitch Daniels as 2012 savior Top Republicans are increasingly convinced that President Barack Obama
May 19, 2011

As the GOP field of candidates crumbles,The Politico revs up the spin machine for Mitch Daniels with a typical fawning profile: GOP elite see Mitch Daniels as 2012 savior

Top Republicans are increasingly convinced that President Barack Obama will be easily reelected if stronger GOP contenders do not emerge, and some are virtually begging Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to add some excitement to the slow-starting nomination race.

It’s a sign of the GOP’s straits that the party is depending on the bland, wonkish Daniels for an adrenaline boost. But interviews this week with longtime party activists and strategists made clear that many in the Republican establishment are unnerved by a field led by Mitt Romney, who could have trouble confronting Obama on health reform; Tim Pawlenty, who has yet to ignite excitement; Jon Huntsman, who may be too moderate to get the nomination; and Newt Gingrich, weighed down by personal baggage and a sense that he is a polarizing figure from the 1990s.

Despairing Republican lobbyists say their colleagues don’t ask, “Who do you like?” but instead, “Who do we back?”

“It’s not that they’re up in arms,” said a central player in the GOP money machine. “It’s just that they’re depressed.”

It's a very weird article because it's not about how great Daniels is and how fired up the Republicans elite are over his possible candidacy, but rather how weak the rest of the GOP field is. There really isn't much about Daniels at all in the article that's supposedly about him. The headline doesn't match the substance of the piece itself, but I guess they want links from bloggers like me.

The MSM began lining up behind Mitch Daniels in May because he's a conservative governor, as Ed Kilgore explains in TNR: "The conservative establishment’s hopeless infatuation with Mitch Daniels"

Later he expanded on this here: Mitch Daniels and the Gravitas Lobby

Which leads Digby to write: The Villagers' New Heartthrob

Daniels also has some baggage I don't think the Villagers realize is poison among just about everyone --- he was a member of George W. Bush's economic team. Now, Republicans don't really care about that but they have gone to a great deal of trouble to distance themselves from Bush's epic failure by robotically claiming that they didn't support Bush's spending either. Daniels is going to have a bit of trouble making that argument and you can bet his primary rivals will hang Bush's effigy around his neck and set it afire.

The mere idea that a Bush economic advisor has "gravitas" would be astonishing if we weren't living in bizarroworld.

So out came stories about his Daniels' wife. As Doug J at Balloon Juice writes: Oh Cheri, all alone

I think Daniels is a weak primary candidate for a variety of reasons, but there’s no doubt Daniels will be establishment media’s favored candidate in both the primary and, if he gets there, the general. He’s the new John McCain. So his personal life will not be explored. Funny how this never happens with Democratic candidates.

What was the top news story of last week? Obviously Bin Laden's demise. CNN's Reliable Sources TV show focuses on how the media covers the most important stories that drive the news for the past week. After Bin Laden was killed, the right wing then tried to shift the debate to justify torture so it became a two pronged lead in a sense. What story did Reliable Sources begin their show with? The wives of GOP candidates running for President in 2012. And one of those wives who was featured was Cheri Daniels.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: Running for public office these days means subjecting your family to a whole lot of journalist scrutiny. From Bill Clinton's marriage, to Sarah Palin's kids, to the pain of Elizabeth Edwards, the media glare can be harsh, as we saw again this week.

Should Newt Gingrich's third wife -- you know, the one he had the affair with -- be on the front page of "The New York Times"? What about Mitch Daniels divorcing and then remarrying his wife? Front page news? Should Arnold Schwarzenegger split with Maria Shriver be all over the airwaves?

Are journalists trying to probe our political leaders or just play the gossip game?

I'm Howard Kurtz, and this is RELIABLE SOURCES.

One day before he jumped into the presidential race, Newt Gingrich was greeted by a front-page picture of his wife Callista. She is, according to "The New York Times," perhaps best remembered for the six-year affair that contributed to her husband's downfall, when he was speaker of the House, of course, and pushing to impeach Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair. But now, says the paper, he is counting on the third Mrs. Gingrich for his political redemption.

Another page one story in The Times this week zeroed in on Mitch Daniels' wife Cheri, who divorced him in the '90s, married another man, and then remarried Daniels. And the Indiana governor hasn't decided even whether to run for president.

The "Los Angeles Times" reported this week that it had approached Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver about their deteriorating marriage and gotten a statement saying the movie-star-turned-governor and his wife had separated. Given their star power, the coverage quickly exploded.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.