Daniels' signing Planned Parenthood defunding boosts his prez chances 

I'll leave it to others to speculate about whether Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' decision to sign a bill defunding Planned Parenthood makes it more likely he's going to run for president. But should he decide to run, there's no doubt that this action will help his chances considerably in the Republican primary.

One of the biggest obstacles Daniels will have to overcome if he seeks the presidency is comments he made calling for a "truce" on social issues given the emergency of our debt crisis. I thought the criticisms were slightly unfair, if only because he was merely stating explicitly what most other Republicans were doing explicitly -- prioritizing economic and fiscal issues over social issues. But Daniels hurt himself by digging in, and avoided many chances to clarify or walk back his remarks.

With today's action, however, he now has a clear way to answer critics. Words are one thing, but a politician's actual record in office is much more important. And on that front, Daniels can argue that however his comments were construed, he governed as a pro-lifer and would as president.

Sometimes, there's nothing better for a politician to have than the right enemies, and no doubt, the liberals and pro-abortion activists will make Daniels public enemy number one in the coming days for signing this defunding bill, and that will only serve to make social conservatives sympathize with him more, and some remarks he made to the Weekly Standard last year will become less important. Or at the very minimum, won't disqualify him for social conservatives.

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Philip Klein

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