Yesterday’s broadcast from the Republican Governors’ Association yielded some very interesting news in the conversations with Tim Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels, and some interesting perspective on the tax negotiations from former House Budget Committee Chair and soon-to-be-Ohio Governor John Kasich. The interviews with incoming chief executives Nikki Haley and Scott Walker of South Carolina and Wisconsin respectively also unleashed a flood of admiring emails and tweets as the energy, youth and optimism of the two new faces on the national scene charmed and excited listeners.
The transcript of the Daniels’ interview is here, the Pawlenty interview here, and the Kasich interview here. I recommend they be read in their entirety, or listened to, not just because of the answers they contain on current issues or interesting controversies such as the that surrounding when and where would-be GOP presidential nominees ought to start debating, but mostly because of the immense competence and justified self-confidence on display.
All three of these men have led extraordinarily accomplished lives to date with lots more significance ahead. They are used to gathering data, weighing options and making decisions. Each is exceptionally good-humored (though Kasich was unfortunately seemed quite unwilling to come up with seats at the OSU-Michigan game for visiting broadcast journalists).
All three are intelligent, competent, and mature. They know we are grappling with enormously complicated issues but they also know the country is equal to the task if it will just get to it. Each is a budget geek and knows that government has got to get out of the candy-store business. Each is manifestly a believer in American exceptionalism –they love the country and what it is and could remain for generation after generation.
Each could be president. At least two of them seem to me poised to run, and they will meet on stages with other extremely competent individuals to discuss these difficult times and issues. As they do hopefully Kasich, as well as Walker in Wisconsin, Snyder in Michigan and Corbett in Pennsylvania will be demonstrating that tired economies can be revived and that jobs will follow low taxes and improving education.
Driving home from San Diego last night I was for the first time in a logn time confident about the country getting out of this mess. We are going to elect a competent and serious new president in 2012, and there are solutions to our manifest and multiple woes. We have a new House majority in place that will begin the reconsturction and a Senate that will prevent the worst of follies on the foreign affairs side.
The promise of help-is-on-the-way on these domestic issues does not, of course, lessen the danger the country and the world faces from a variety of sources beginning with Iran, but if we could survive Jimmy Carter ’79-’80 and then go on to watch Reagan and Bush preside over the collapse fo the Soviet Union, we can get through the next 27 months.