Mitch Daniels, the cautious conservative populist governor of Indiana, is taking the first steps to a likely 2012 Republican presidential primary bid, according to associates. An E-mail provided to Whispers by a very close Daniels confidant says that the successful two-term governor is seriously contemplating a run as he considers his options for 2012.None of the possible Republican candidates mentioned by the Great Mentioner for 2012 have excited me. But, as I've said before, Mitch Daniels is someone I could get behind. He is someone who takes a mature, responsible attitude towards government spending. 2012 could be the year for "the Blade." For a feeling of what sets so many conservative hearts aflutter at the news that Daniels may throw his hat into the ring, read Andrew Ferguson's profile of Mitch and his trips on his Harley through Indiana. Or read The Economist's laudatory profile. Or Rich Lowry's argument that governors like Daniels and Christie are true adults when it comes to governance.
The E-mail reports that while Daniels, a former Reagan-era White House political adviser and George W. Bush's first budget director, never considered running for the highest office in the land. But after reforming Indianapolis and winning reelection in 2008 when President Obama took the state, he has received non-stop encouragement to run from supporters who like his no-nonsense style of governing. It's hit a peak since he helped to orchestrate his state Republican Party's 2010 midterm election rout in Indiana. With nonstop candidate recruitment and fund raising, he helped the party build a 37-13 super majority in the state Senate 60-40 advantage in the Indiana House.
Associates add that Daniels will not be deciding immediately on his presidential plans, but will likely early next year. "It is true that the political timetable for making this type of decision has changed somewhat from previous years. It isn't necessary to declare as early in the cycle as some have previously done, but we all realize the importance of at least letting people such as yourself know if he continues to be serious about his consideration," said the E-mail.
We heard similar rumors back in September that Daniels was considering a run. I just hope that where there is smoke, there is fire.