RAC’s Take on GOP Response to SOTU
As promised, a few reactions to the GOP Response to the State of the Union by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to go along with the rest of our SOTU coverage (see RAC Legislative Director Barbara Weinstein’s reactions and the Eisendrath Legislative Assistants’ response for more on last night’s festivities):
Responding to the State of the Union is a difficult task, and very few have distinguished themselves in that role over the years. Last night, Gov. Daniels gave one of the better responses I have heard.
The response is all about drawing contrasts. Nonetheless, I thought it was important, and maybe even hopeful, that Gov. Daniels began by talking – briefly – about areas of agreement with the President.
I found it very interesting that Daniels did not seek to draw any contrasts on foreign policy; in fact, his entire 12-minute speech focused on the economy and domestic issues. (Nothing, also, about the so-called social issues, other than a comment about the Obama family as a positive role model.)
Daniels hammered home two points. First, that the “private economy” was the key to job creation and, therefore, to economic growth. And second, that we need to unite to “save” and to “repair” the social safety net. He said, “We must fashion a new, affordable, safety net.”
As might be expected in a 12-minute speech — the President spoke for an hour more than that! — Daniels was not particularly specific about his policy prescriptions. He did, however, give a strong speech, well-written and well-delivered, setting out the GOP’s vision heading into 2012. That vision – in which the government must shrink to allow economic growth – is a clear contrast with the approach outlined by President Obama.