Hoosier Headline: So...the man some Republicans hoped would get into the race for president announced he won't be doing it. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has earned the recent praise of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Senator Chuck Grassley. But in an email announcement in the wee hours Sunday, Daniels told supporters he would not be running for president in 2012. Iowa Republicans had been telling me privately for the past 2 months they doubted Daniels would run, citing family concerns. Daniels' email today pointed to those family concerns as the reason he couldn't run for president. His wife previously ran off with another man, married him and left Daniels to care for the couple's 4 daughters. That would make for some uncomfortable interviews had he decided to run.
Who does this help the most? Perhaps, my email inbox offers a hint...from the candidates who may have let out a big....whewwwwww! today after Daniels' email went out.
This came from former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's campaign:
"Mitch Daniels is a friend of mine and one of the best governors in the country. While he may not be running, he is an intellectual powerhouse and will continue to play a leading role in the Party's politics and the Nation's policies. Mitch and I agree that America's out-of-control national debt is a threat to our nation's future, and that the next president must restore fiscal responsibility in Washington, DC. Mary and I wish Cheri and Mitch all the best."
And this one came from former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich:
"Mitch Daniels is a great Governor and a remarkable innovator. Mitch has brought successful reforms to Indiana that should be replicated across the country and in Washington. He will continue to be an important leader in solving America’s problems. I hope he remains in public service."
Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman apparently sent out a statement praising Daniels, too. But I didn't get anything from his campaign. So until he seems more interested in actively competing in the Iowa Caucuses, we'll skip him...at least for now.