May 2011 Update: Daniels’ self-imposed end of April deadline to decide has come and gone, and theIndianagovernor continues to flirt with a White House run. It has been reported that his wife is hesitant about the scrutiny of a national campaign (that’s reasonable), but she has fueled speculation by giving a high profile speech to a meeting of Indiana republicans, something that she has shied away from doing in the past. It’s also been reported that supporters and big money fundraisers who supported President George W. Bush have been urging Daniels to run. Perhaps we’ll soon see a definitive decision.
March 2011 Update: Those close to Daniels say whether he will run depends on what day of the week you ask him. No official decision will come until after the Indiana legislative session. Meanwhile, other contenders have revisited (and by revisited, I mean hit him on) his “truce” on social issues comments. We’ll see whether economic conditions cause voters to validate Daniels’ position as the contest unfolds.
If you read my profile of Mike Huckabee, you saw my four categories of candidates for the 2012 primary cycle. Mitch Daniels is a practical/no nonsense conservative. The two-term governor of Indiana won re-election by an 18-point margin even as Obama carried his state in the presidential contest. During his first term, Daniels clashed with Democrats and Republicans by proposing a mix of budget cuts, tax increases and service privatizations to balance Indiana’s budget. This do what it takes to get the job done approach could be a strength in these tough economic times. Daniels has stated that he will make a decision to run after Indiana’s legislative session ends in April or May. Potential obstacles to winning the nomination include not entering the race if his close friend Haley Barbour gets in, his call for a “truce” on social issues until economic stability returns (this may be a strength in a general election), and his general lack of charisma. Daniels could be hampered in a general election by having served as President George W. Bush’s budget director. What do you know about Governor Daniels? What does it make you think? Join the Discourse.