Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Suggestions to Draft - Randy Daniels

Following my outside the box suggestion of drafting Linda McMahon to run for Congress, I come with a more conventional pick - Randy Daniels. Why is he more conventional? He is a Republican who has held public office in the state of New York. Why is he worth looking into? Because Randy Daniels is a charismatic, black Republican and just plain awesome.

Randy Daniels is one of those Democrats turned Republicans later in life akin to Ronald Reagan or Rudy Giuliani. For some further reading on his views on the issues, check into his official website here. Daniels' primarybackground is in journalism, but his career in politics goes back to 1986 when he served as Communications Director for the President of the New York City Council. In 1988, he lived in the Bahamas and served as Press Secretary to the Bahamian Prime Minister. In 1992, he served very briefly as Deputy Mayor for David Dinkins. In 2001, Daniels became Pataki's Secretary of State and served until 2005, he officially joined the GOP in 2002. He has since 1997 served on the Board of Trustees for the State University of New York; he currently serves as their Vice Chairman. In 2006, he mounted an unsuccessful bid for Governor, which shocked me considering how amazing of a speaker he is and his views on the issues.

Daniels is a moderate to conservative Republican that swings to the right on the issues that matter to New Yorkers - lower taxes and fighting crime. Daniels is also incredibly charismatic. I watched him speak to a room filled with Republicans in Syracuse in 2006 during his failed campaign for Governor - I still don't understand why he didn't get the nomination. With other candidates such as Faso, Weld (a former Governor of Massachusetts) in the room getting polite applause, Daniels got the room to stand up, cheer, and many felt proud to be Republicans. He's not 100% the conservative on certain social issues, taking a more moderate stance on abortion, but between his charisma and his ideas, he'd be an amazing candidate.

Daniels would be faced with the incredibly difficult task of facing down 8th District monstrosity Jerrold Nadler. Nadler is extremely liberal and had supported impeachment proceedings against President Bush. Nadler has faced token opposition since being elected and a Republican has not represented this district in a century. Daniels is the man who could make it competitive. Daniels has a great camera presence and would do well in a debate against Nadler. With his background and no actual votes to point to, he could run on a platform that could include support for education, opposition to the stimulus package, and a promise to serve as an independent voice apart from the partisanship seen in the past in this district. Post-partisanship campaigning does well in districts like this which went overwhelmingly for Obama. Daniels could be the post-partisanship candidate.

In 2010, Daniels does not need to beat Nadler - but if he can come within 10 or 20 percent, he'd be stronger than any previous competitor, and would make Nadler begin to spend money that he could otherwise be using to help other candidates. If that's the case, Republicans will nationally consider spending more money on this district next round and, if Daniels is up for it, with more monetary support he could post an even stronger challenge by 2012. Congressman Daniels has a great ring to it.

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