In Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, there is the concept of the “gallant gallstone”. This is the title of a book of horrific poetry, but a character in the book, Ellsworth Toohey, uses his literary disciples to start peppering the phrase “gallant gallstone” in all manner of popular culture (comics, advertising, etc.) so that the phrase seeps into the collective consciousness with the ultimate goal of increasing sales in the book of poetry.
I have a feeling a “gallant gallstone” moment is happening with the Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels.
Before the recent news coverage about his state’s legislature’s battles with unions, he was not well known outside the Hoosier State, and was primarly recognized as the former director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
His name has been thrown about as a potential presidential candidate come 2012, but a recent straw poll held by the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) gave Daniels four percent of the vote and a recent Gallup poll gives the Indiana Governor only three percent of the vote.
So with numbers that dismal, I found it quite interesting that in the past month, three columnists have taken finger to keyboard to praise Mitch Daniels.
…George Will praises “…his blend of accomplishments, aversion to pandering and low-key charisma of competence”;
…Michael Gerson hails him for “…providing an intellectual and political strategy for successful entitlement reform…” and describing him as “…one of the few politicians in America who are thinking like a president.”; and
…David Brooks simply describes him as the “…man who would be the party’s strongest candidate for the presidency.”
So if all of this gushing praise is not coincidence, I wonder who would be the Ellsworth Toohey behind all this string-pulling.