Republican Mitch Daniels has officially pulled his name from the list of would-be presidential candidates, joining the likes of Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump on the sidelines in 2012. And in doing so, Daniels just offered up a backhanded compliment to womankind. The Indiana governor claims he's stepping out at the request of wife Cheri and the couple's daughters:
On matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women’s caucus, and there is no override provision.
That should be good news, right? A powerful Republican just said he cares enough about women to give them the final say. Sure, but if that were true, Daniels should be heading in to work in the Indiana governor's office today undoing all the incredibly anti-woman work he's been doing during his tenure in politics, right? Who sees that happening?
It's the very work he's done that put him on the short list for the GOP nomination that makes Daniels' excuse sound more like woman-blaming than respect. The governor has had no truck with the "women's caucus" as he was building his way up to this point, ignoring his wife and daughters' needs even as he dragged them along through his own political ladder climbing. If that sounds like a cynical viewpoint, one needs only look at Daniel's past:
1. Earlier this month, Daniels signed legislation Tuesday to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding in the state of Indiana -- regardless of what the feds themselves had to say about it. The move cut a significant funding source for mammograms, pap smears, and other critical health care for the "women's caucus."
2. During the gubernatorial race in 2008, Daniels made clear that he supports pharmacists being allowed to deny women emergency contraception because of their personal beliefs rather than basing the decision on medical fact.
3. In 2004, Daniels declared himself an anti-choice candidate, and because of it, he enjoyed the backing of a host of anti-choice groups for his stance on abortion when he ran for governor in 2008.
Again, that's just a taste. But we're talking some of the biggest issues affecting womankind, and Daniels hasn't bothered to take the "women's caucus" vote into consideration. I won't question his dedication to his family -- after all, he's married Cheri not once but twice -- but his dedication to "women" remains decidedly circumspect in my mind.
Then again, ladies of America, we just dodged a bullet, didn't we? Maybe we need to send a bouquet and a thank-you letter to Cheri Daniels and her daughters!
What do you think of Daniels stepping out of the race? Is this good for women?
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