Earlier this week, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) publicly withdrew his support for an anti-union bill -- similar to the one that's at the center of the political conflict in Wisconsin -- that was wending its way through the state legislature. Today, Daniels is getting pilloried for that decision in the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, where John Fund says that Daniels "did himself no favors" by taking a "kinder and gentler approach."
But Mark Mix of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Fund says conservatives will remember that Mr. Daniels chose to be a non-combatant in a fight that was almost won. "We had a clear majority of both the House and Senate ready to vote in favor of the bill," Mr. Mix told me. "The governor would certainly have signed it, but his willingness to let right-to-work die when Republicans had overwhelming majorities in the legislature makes one wonder just how stalwart he would be in pursuit of conservative issues."
Fund leaves this sentence hanging in the air, ominously: "Mr. Daniels is expected to make up his mind about a presidential run in the next few weeks." Greg Sargent drills down, thusly: "The right will not tolerate any signs of moderation, reasonableness or compromise from GOP governors in this evolving national battle."
By contrast, GOP presidential aspirant Tim Pawlenty, formerly the governor of Minnesota, is up with ads that stoutly defend Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.