Mitch Daniels has gone from saying he's really, really not interested in running for president but will keep the door open to "I'll run if nobody else says what needs to be said."
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said he will be looking to see whether 2012 presidential candidates are adequately addressing the nation's ballooning debt as he decides whether to enter the race for the Republican nomination.
We don't know who the field is," Daniels told reporters at his Statehouse office last week. "We don't know exactly what they'll emphasize and what their depth of conviction and specificity of prescription will be about the problems that are bothering me, specifically the debt iceberg the nation's heading for."
Daniels said it could influence his decision if "somebody really grabs hold and is willing to deal openly and honestly with the American people about what we're up against" -- and offers a constructive way to get out. But Daniels said it's too soon to tell whether anybody fits that description.
Since no one yet has been completely honest about what we have to do about the debt and no one is likely to be anytime soon, that's almost a promise to run. After pigging out at the dessert table for decades, are Americans really going to be ready to vote for a candidate who tells them they have to eat their peas? National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg, by the way, lists 24 potential GOP presidential candidates and puts Daniels in the top 5, along with Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty:
Romney is the organizational front-runner; Daniels is the first pick of wonks and D. C. eggheads; Palin probably has the most devoted following among actual voters; Gingrich will dominate the debates; and Pawlenty (vying with Daniels) is the least disliked.
"I am the pick of wonks and the least disliked!" Heck of a campaign slogan.