Posts Tagged ‘Rich Lowry’
August 4th, 2010 at 12:09 am
Two Governors Making Conservatism Work
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Regular Freedom Line readers know well my affection for the two men I consider to be America’s best governors: Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Stylistically, the two couldn’t be further apart. Daniels is a quiet, avuncular midwesterner who, through some sort of charisma jiu-jitsu, makes it incredibly hip to be square. He’s also turned Indiana into an economic powerhouse and one of the best-governed states in the nation.

Christie, by contrast, is an Irish-Italian tornado, possessed of the sort of everyman bravado that you’d expect from the best elected official to come out of the land of Bruce Springsteen and Tony Soprano. It’s as if Rudy Giuliani woke up one day with a full head of hair and a passion for philly cheesesteaks.

With congressional Republicans understandably locked into opposition mode, Daniels and Christie are great examples of proactive GOP leadership that works. And Rich Lowry does a nice job of summarizing why in today’s New York Post.

On Daniels:

… The skinflint second-term governor has slimmed down and improved his state’s public sector. He inherited a $200 million deficit in 2004, which he turned into a $1.3 billion surplus – just in time for it to act as a cushion during the recession. He has reformed government services and rallied his administration around one simple, common-sense goal: “We will do everything we can to raise the net disposable income of individual Hoosiers.”

On Christie:

Christie has just concluded a six-month whirlwind through Trenton that should be studied by political scientists for years to come. In tackling a fiscal crisis in a state groaning under an $11 billion deficit, he did his fellow New Jerseyans the favor of being as forthright as a punch in the mouth. And it worked.

Christie traveled the state making the case for budgetary retrenchment, and he frontally took on the state’s most powerful interest, the teachers’ union. He rallied the public and split the Democrats, in a bravura performance in the lost art of persuasion. At the national level, George W. Bush thought repeating the same stalwart lines over and over again counted as making an argument, and Barack Obama has simply muscled through his agenda on inflated Democratic majorities. Christie actually connected.

Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid have done a terrific job souring the public on liberals. Daniels and Christie may just have what it takes to get them excited about conservatives.