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Opening Arguments

Ready to lose

This is the first time I've seen Gov. Daniels as anything less than supremely confident:

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has made headlines – as well as fans and detractors – with some of his sharp-worded speeches on fiscal policy, social issues and education reform. But a new book chronicling some of those words contains one speech he never made: His 2008 “concession” speech.

Daniels’ notes for a speech he would have delivered had he lost his re-election bid were written on one of his “darker days” -- when he thought voters might toss him out for pushing through what he liked to call the “freight train of change.”

“Better four years of action and accomplishment than eight years sitting timidly on our hands…” Daniels wrote in his notes. “No one had to tell us the risks of making big change in a state not known for change.”

We don't usually think of politicians as having "darker days," but it probably shouldn't be surprising that they do. Seeking public office means a constant need for public approval, which either brings out the narcissism in people or attracts those kind of people in the first place. I can't decide if that "risks of making big change" comes off as gracious or whiny. Glad I never had to give a concession speech in my life. I don't lose well.