Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mitch Daniels Says He's Not A Candidate

In the end, he said, the decision came down to family.

"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," he said in an e-mail sent after midnight.

Mr. Daniels, a two-term governor who had worked the administrations of both George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, had often expressed concerns about the strains a national campaign would put on his wife and four adult daughters.

His decision to stay out of the race eliminates one of the last big Republicans still known to be eyeing a presidential campaign and rounds out a week that also saw two other well-known figures— Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump—take their names out of contention.

"If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry," Mr. Daniels wrote. "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."

In classic Daniels fashion, the governor ended his note with a bit of self deprecation.

"Please stay in touch if you see ways in which an obscure Midwestern governor might make a constructive contribution to the rebuilding of our economy and our republic," he wrote.

Former Oklahoman Don V. Cogman, who grew up in Ponca City, graduated from the University of Oklahoma, and is now a businessman in Scottsdale, AZ, is one of Daniels' longtime friends and political allies who met with Daniels during his decision proccess. Cogman sent an email early today in which he wrote, "Suffice it to say there is only one thing that surpassed his love of country and that was his love of family.  I think it is significant that you have in Mitch Daniels a person who not only talks family values but who also lives them.

"He believes, as I do, that this was a doable challenge -- the people that were waiting on him and were prepared to support him comprise a list that would have been unmatched by any current candidate in the field.  From multiple Governors to major finance players to key professional and volunteer staff -- it would have been a powerful group of individuals who believed in him as a person and equally important in his message -- that we are a country at the crossroads that needs to decide what kind of future we will leave for the next generation.

"I believe it is true that his candidacy was the one of most concern to the present Administration and he has vowed to continue his participation in raising the difficult issues and insisting on an adult conversation with the American people.  I know his greatest concern is feeling that he has let people down by his decision, but I for one, believe he made it for the right reasons and while disappointed that we will not have our best candidate running -- I understand it and support it.

"And as for the media's characterization of him as boring and wonky -- we haven't had a candidate since Ronald Reagan that could connect with the common person like Mitch Daniels -- just ask the people of Indiana who elected him twice and specifically the hundreds of ordinary citizens in whose homes he stayed the past six years.  He would have shown America something about retail politics!

"So, a sincere thank you for all the support, encouragement and willingness to wait on him -- there is still a contribution to be made by Mitch and all of us who believe in preserving our country for our children."

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