In his Thursday column for the Washington Examiner, Philip Klein wonders whether there is a "Rendezvous with Destiny" in the country's near future akin to that which saw Ronald Reagan enact sweeping reforms to the nation's tax code, in a plan devised, initially, by Congressman Jack Kemp. Now Congressman Paul Ryan, who worked for Kemp and and cites the former congressman as his mentor, may have his Ronald Reagan in potential Republican presidential candidate Mitch Daniels. But Daniels has some heavy baggage among the Republican electorate. Can he fairly be compared to Reagan? Check out an excerpt from Klein's column below the break, and let us know what you think.
Daniels would have to overcome a number of obstacles were he to run for president. But few deny that he combines a deep understanding of policy with an impressive record of accomplishments as an executive.
And other than Ryan, no Republican has spoken in starker terms about the consequences of the nation's fiscal crisis than Daniels, who has called it the new "Red Menace."
The best pitch for a Daniels candidacy thus is that he has the potential to do for the Ryan plan what Reagan did for Kemp's proposal -- turn the ideas into reality.
"[Daniels] would be a great president," Ryan told The Weekly Standard last year. In the same interview, Ryan described Daniels as the only one who truly understood his ideas.
"Are there [other] people who right now know these issues, have the principles, have the courage of their convictions, and are willing and able to defend them? Nobody comes to my mind," Ryan said.
For months, Daniels has seemed a reluctant presidential candidate. But perhaps he, too, has a rendezvous with destiny.
What do you think? Is this an apt comparison, or is Klein lending too much credence to Daniels and Paul and to budget reform efforts?