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Mitch Daniels for Senate in 2004!

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Indiana politics is probably, maybe, very important to...Indianans (Indians? Warrrenses?), but this sturdy Midwest flyover state is rarely the battlefield for an important fight for the direction of the GOP and the country. Today is an exception. With its current senator, Republican Mike Somebody, going home to be governor, the Senate seat will be open in 2024, and folks are gearing up to run. The race is important because who gets nominated and wins will help define the direction of the Republican Party. Will it be someone who knows what time it is or someone whose watch stopped about the time W was wrecking the GOP brand?


I would like to announce my endorsement of Mitch Daniels for Indiana senator in 2004. At 73, he’s the perfect blend of mediocrity and self-sabotaging pseudo-principle for that miserable era. But in 2024, not a chance in hell. I’ll stick with based, vigorous, 43-year-old Rep. Jim Banks, despite him being a Navy officer instead of a member of the decisive military branch that is the Army, because he represents a future of aggressive pushback instead of the weak, decline-management model embodied by Mitch Bush. I mean Daniels. Mitch Daniels. AKA Hoosier Jeb! – please clap.

Mitch is on the cutting edge of two-decade-old Republicanism. The soft, gooey, Buick Republicanism represented by perpetual losers like Mitt Romney and zero-for-five RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel (You can help end her reign of ennui by going to Think of him as Mike Pence without the pizazz. Mitch is a life member of the GOPs Margaret Dumont wing, fussy and failed. Mitch Daniels will clutch pearls. We need Republicans who will clutch throats. The era of insipid “bridge-building” and going AWOL in the culture war (he also did not serve in a war – Jim Banks’ real-world experience serving his country overseas is exactly what we need right now) is over. That all ended in 2016. Why dig up this time capsule from a time of failure?

Not to win, that’s for certain. The New York Times recently asked, “Is There Still Room in the G.O.P. for Mitch Daniels?” It sure hopes so. After all, like the rest of the regime media, The NYT only wants what’s best for the GOP.


Who is Mitch Daniels anyway? He is beloved by the kind of conservatives who are always telling us fighters to use our inside voices. He is the guy the David Brooks types wistfully wish had run for president in 2016 so that he could have lost like a gentleman to Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit. Mitt Romney – if he were not going to be dumped by Utah voters in the primary by an actual Republican like Robert O’Brien or Jason Chaffetz – would love having Mitch join him in 2024 as part of the GOP collaboration caucus. And that other Mitch, the aging-out Mitch McConnell, would be thrilled to have Mitch Daniels in the Senate. Daniels is not going to rock any boats. Rocking boats is not who he is. He’s better than that. Oh, well, he never!

Milquetoast Mitch thinks about you uppity peasants exactly what Cocaine Mitch does – you should be seen voting and donating but not heard. He famously called for a “truce” in the culture war – yeah, let’s hold back fighters like Ron DeSantis and Jim Banks so the leftist enemy can refit, rearm, and castrate more kids because their Munchausen mommies want Billy to become Suzy. 

Hard pass, especially when Indiana can elect a guy like Banks, who Pelosi hated so much she refused to allow him on the January 6 kangaroo kommittee.

Mitch Daniels was governor of Indiana until 2013, where he apparently did not do much harm but did nothing amazing either, unlike the governor of the Falling Frozen Iguana State. He was talked about as a potential presidential candidate in 2012 and 2016 largely by the folks who would eventually try to shove Jeb! down our throats. Instead, he went and became president of Purdue University. Being a university president is a great position from which to battle the miserable collection of commies, freaks, perverts, weirdos, losers, and mutations – and that’s just the faculty –  who are trying to destroy our country. Let’s see how that went.


Exactly as you would expect. Purdue has an “Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.” All the departments have diversity initiatives, including the Department of Agriculture. Who knew growing corn was racist? He was all in on “the formation of a system-wide task force to examine racial inequality in response to the death of George Floyd and other incidents of racial injustice.” It is unknown whether he knelt or marched with the communists of BLM like his Fredocon analog Mitt Romney. But you can be sure that when our enemies are slandering us as racists, sexists, transphobes, Islamophobes, homophobes, and also racists, Senator Mitch Daniels will be right there, not fighting back. After all, the 2004 model Gentleman Republican, such as its archetype George W. Bush, proudly remains above the fray, then later turns on his own supporters to curry favor with the in-crowd.

Mitch Daniels has got a jump on that. He’s already started trashing us. As Don Jr. observed, Mitch went on the Bulwark podcast (Strike One) with Mona Charen (Strike Two) and responded, “Completely agree,” when that Never Trump harpy screeched that “MAGA Republicans” are “subverting democracy” (Strike Three). How 2004 is it for a Republican to think that the biggest problem with America is other Republicans?

We’re done with these invertebrate losers. We want fighters. We want warriors. We want winners.

Look, I have nothing against Mitch Daniels as a person. He’s just weak and totally willing to defer to the establishment and institutions that hate us and tolerate him because he will never, ever do anything about them. I would not mind him as a neighbor – he’s the kind of simp you can talk into watering your lawn while you are in Cabo. But we need GOP senators who recognize that this is not the turn of the century, that what our enemies falsely call “principles” and “norms” represent the weaponization of our good nature and moral grounding in order to disenfranchise and silence us. Mitch Daniels would rather throw down his guns and throw up his hands when faced with icky and uncomfortable fights. 


No thanks. 

Far be it for me, a Californian, to tell the Hoosiers who to vote for, but if they want their state to look more and more like my state – with woke socialists in charge coddling criminals as hobos defile the sidewalks – go ahead and choose the guy from 2004 who you can be sure won’t put up a fight. 

Or you can support Jim Banks in 2024. Your choice.

Follow Kurt on Twitter @KurtSchlichter. Get Inferno, the seventh book in the Kelly Turnbull People's Republic series of conservative action novels set in America after a notional national divorce, as well as his non-fiction book We’ll Be Back: The Fall and Rise of America.

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