In a surprise middle-of-the-night announcement that rocks the 2012 Republican presidential field, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said Sunday morning he is not running for president.
Daniels, in a statement sent to supporters shortly before 1 a.m., said he won't make a bid for president because of opposition from his family. Hesitance from his wife, Cheri, had long been seen as the primary reason the governor wouldn't enter the race. "In the end, 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 said in a statement obtained by National Journal. "If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry."
Damn. I understand his decision. Most people don't want the job because of everything that becomes public. The winner? Probably Pawlenty. A lot of people are looking for a fiscal (and social) conservative alternative to Romneycare, but won't consider someone they think is unelectable (and I think Romney is the most UNelectable of the so called frontrunners - he's the Republican John Kerry).
I'd mention a winners/losers analysis of this decision like I did with Huck, but the winners are all the other candidates. The establishment reportedly loved Daniels, and will probably move back to Romney (their pick in 08) or maybe Pawlenty. The grassroots that supported him are going go to support "not Romney." If he runs, I think the biggest winner may be Jon Huntsman, who I think is the 2000 version of George W Bush of 2012 if he had a different last name. I have some major concerns with Huntsman (and some, but to lesser extent Pawlenty) on global warming and the policies used in the name of it. At least Huntsman's been consistent with 2nd Amendment and life issues - so far. The fact that I have to add the last two words shows the hesitation I'd have in supporting him. I have a wait and see view with his campaign.
The 2012 race has changed dramatically.