Add to that evidently natural ability, now honed over the years, both Daniels' command of policy issues and his exceptional level of honesty (judged in relative terms for a politician and, we believe, absolute terms also), and you have a candidate who makes the oratorically gifted (if rhetorically limited) but politically naive Barack Obama look insignificant.
McPike closes with this observation:
That Daniels has been so active in the media and politically deft under pressure underscores what has been missing from the discussions about his potential presidential candidacy.
Layered beneath the buzz that he has the most abundant economic record of any potential candidate in the Republican field but may lack charisma is his storied career as a political operative that included his stint in the White House, as well as a campaign manager for Indiana GOP Sen. Richard Lugar and executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Dolan put it this way: "This notion that Mitch is just a policy wonk is preposterous. He's a very skillful polemicist."
And for that reason, he noted, "That's why Mitch's presence in the televised debates will be galvanizing."