Friday, November 16, 2012

Daniels Accuses Ritz Supporters of Nefariousness

Mitch Daniels
Mitch Daniels backed off his pledge to shy away from talking politics to defend Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett.

If you remember, Daniels promised he wouldn't talk campaigns or politics because he had accepted the job of Purdue President after his term as Governor ends.  He did, to be fair, carve out an exception to defend his policy and administration.  He must have felt under attack.

Daniels accused Ritz supporters of using "subterranean" tactics like social media and the spreading of rumors to beat Bennett.  This would be all well and good if Bennett had not had more money and slick television ads to counter these subterranean tactics.

Apparently, Daniels doesn't understand the concept of viral marketing, Twitter, or Facebook.  These are all things the students he's going be dealing with in a few months are well-versed in.

Daniels also blamed conservative voters opposed to the common core curriculum for Bennett's defeat.  I'm sure that everyone out there knew exactly what that is.  Maybe a few hundred?

That doesn't add up to the 1.3 million votes that Glenda Ritz earned.  Fact is that Tony Bennett thought he and Mitch didn't have anything to worry about.  He failed to take the pulse of the education community in the state and realize that his top down strategy of pushing reforms was simply not welcome in most communities.  

Teachers aren't against reform.  They just don't like to be slapped around.  That's what Dr. Bennett did, and that's why he's going home.  The fact that Glenda Ritz used social media to help even the playing field with Dr. Bennett's use of traditional media is irrelevant.  Ritz did reach out to college campuses, and those are the future teachers in this state.  If you think they don't have a stake in what happens in the future of education, then you're just simply not thinking correctly.

Like poor Mitch.  This is his pattern.  When he is challenged, he retreats back into his bunker and starts hurling insults.  The GOP seems to have no intention of working with Ritz on reform.  They are simply going to barrel roll over the voters and the teachers and Ritz this time.

That's good news for Democrats in 2014.  I am assuming those same nefarious tactics that Daniels believes took down his buddy Bennett will still be there to beat Republicans in the General Assembly.


Anonymous said...

Great column, Jon. I can't wait until little Mitchie goes to Purdue and gets knocked around by the Faculty Senate. They won't let him push them around like he did the Republican robots in the state legislature.

Bradley said...

What's really unfortunate is that those who voted for Ritz also didn't overwhelmingly vote for Gregg/Simpson. Ritz will have a lot of work to do to try and get her own reforms passed since the governor and General Assembly will do their best (as they have already stated this last week) to sideline her. This is where the Democratic Party in Indiana has had major failings; why was the party not marketing the Gregg and Ritz campaigns together? If they were, I did not see it. A lot of disjointedness where, had they been working together, there might be a better result down the line.

I saw a lot of people on Facebook saying "I don't care who else you vote for, but vote for Ritz." Voting for Mike Pence, though, in many ways nullified the vote for Ritz.

Anonymous said...

Good assessment. Someone should ask the Dem State Committee why more resources or cooperation wasn't present between the two campaigns. I can't wait until Mitch gets to Purdue and see what real politics is like.