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Andy Ferguson’s cover story on Mitch Daniels in the current issue of the Weekly Standard represents a really glorious piece of journalism, deeply reported, gorgeously written, and–let’s just say it–important. Andy presents a thorough account of Daniels’s record as governor of Indiana, of course–turning a $200 million deficit into a $1.3 billion surplus, cutting property taxes, shrinking the state payroll by more than ten percent–but also a portrait of Daniels in motion, criss-crossing the state on his Harley. Stopping at a McDonald’s, for example, the governor asks a couple of Hoosiers if he might sit down with them.
[They were] a pair of unkempt young men in wifebeaters hanging loose at their shoulders. Both had pony tails….They were roofers stoking themselves with five or six Sausage McMuffins before getting to the job. The governor asked whether the building trades were picking up. They were extremely genial and had no more than a dozen teeth between them….