Sunday, 22 May 2011

Mitch Daniels is Out

Like his close friend Haley Barbour, the Governor of Mississippi, Mitch Daniels, the Governor of Indiana, has decided not to pursue the Republican nomination for President in 2012. He joins an increasingly large list of Republican politicians who have surprisingly declined the opportunity to run. Mike Huckabee, in particular, looked like a lock and possibly the race's biggest heavyweight given the relative success of his attempt in 2008 and his activities since then including a TV show on the Fox News Channel and books he has written.

Daniels is widely seen as a rising star in the GOP having been re-elected by an 18 point margin in 2008 and has made his name as a potent cost-cutter, budget-balancer and, to a lesser degree, as a limiter of abortion. David Brooks of the New York times described the Governor as the "Party's strongest [would be] candidate," adding that he "couldn't match Obama in grace and elegance, but he could on substance."

In an e-mail sent out in the early hours of Sunday morning to his supporters he told them: "I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one, but that, the interests and wishes of my family, is the most important consideration of all." Daniels expressed concern at the strain a national campaign, and the glare of the national media it entails, could have on his wife and 4 daughters.

In finishing his e-mail he wrote: "If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry. If you feel that this was a non-courageous or unpatriotic decision, I understand and will not attempt to persuade you otherwise.  I only hope that you will accept my sincerity in the judgment I reached."

Photo by Adam P Schweigert/WFIU via Flickr.