Daniels' successes in the electorally critical Midwest intrigue national Republicans who see the region as essential to their chances of beating President Barack Obama in 2012.WaPo looks at Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' current team. One of his signature issues is healthcare. Obama won Indiana last time. How likely is it he can repeat?
Then there's Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who comes the closest yet to a direct challenge of the president on healthcare, wielding the machinery of his state in opposition. Via Reason:
“Obamacare is an intrusion by the federal government into personal health care matters and it’s an explosion of federal spending that does nothing to make health care more affordable,” Pawlenty said in a news release.ABC brings in some more possibilities, also mostly ranging along the Mississippi River Valley:
The move is sure to put pressure on other Republican governors who are considering presidential runs to demonstrate their opposition to the law. Other Republican presidential contenders who now serve as governor include Indiana’s Mitch Daniels, Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal.Romney's the outlier, of course--but California may go blue this year, too, and he has ties there:) Of course Romney was instrumental in turning Massachusetts Red with Scott Brown, pitting Massachusetts' state plan against ObamaCare.
Sarah Palin, flush with the success of candidates she's backed, is slated for the GOP Ronald Reagan dinner in Des Moines this month.
While the heartland has its urban centers which typically go Dem, a lot of independents mark the suburbs, while rural areas tend conservative. No surprises there. But vast swaths of many Midwest states are already underserved in terms of medical care, often due to exorbitant malpractice insurance costs--unrelieved by ObamaCare. The new law will bankrupt many rural hospitals, as government reimbursement rates won't keep pace with their costs.
Midwesterners will ask themselves if they're better off in November 2010 than they were 2 years ago. 2012 is still up in the air, but these blue states are already shifting red, and the region is yielding a crop of strong candidates for national office.