Mitch Daniels has said he won't decide whether he's running for president until May at the earliest. But in an interview with the Indianapolis Star's editorial board, the Indiana governor offered conflicting signals about if he'll ultimately make a bid for the GOP nomination.
Echoing his previous remarks, Daniels, a former White House budget director under George W. Bush, bemoaned the "savage process" and "hurtful things" that come up for candidates and their families during a high-stakes presidential campaign.
Asked about the growing 2012 field—which a reporter described as lackluster—Daniels offered the clearest sign yet he might not run. "I like all of these folks," he said. "Odds are I will likely end up supporting one of them."
Yet Daniels, in the same interview, bemoaned the fact that no GOP candidate has yet to talk in detail about the economic problems facing the country—and hinted he would be the prime candidate to do so.
He told the Star he'd center his campaign on the "red menace" of federal debt.
If he runs, Daniels said, "it would simply be because I do think, and I hope I am wrong, that the country has put itself in a very difficult place.''
Yet, as The Ticket previously reported, the most accurate barometer of Daniels' presidential intentions will be his media-shy wife—who has notably dialed up her public profile in recent weeks.
Next month, Cheri Daniels, who once shunned public speeches, is set to keynote a major fundraiser for the Indiana GOP—the surest sign yet that her husband hasn't quite given up on his presidential ambitions.
(Photo of Daniels: Jose Luis Magana/AP)