James Forsyth James Forsyth

Prospects for fiscal sanity in Washington take a hit as Mitch Daniels decides not to run for president

Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana and the Republican establishment’s pick to take on Barack Obama, has announced that he won’t run for president. It appears that Daniels’ wife concerns about a run have prevented him from running. Explaining his decision, he said, “On matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women’s caucus, and there is no override provision”. It is thought that Daniels’ wife was worried that a presidential run would lead to a lot of media attention to the fact that she left him and the children and moved to California for four years during the 1990s before returning and remarrying Daniels.

But Daniels’ decision not to run is a major blow to the Republican party and to the level of national debate in the States. Daniels is not a charismatic politician, in the words of one commentator–he makes Michael Dukakis look like Elvis Presley—but a presidential bid by him would have focused on the fiscal crisis facing America if it doesn’t get its house in order. It would have made his opponents get serious about the issue.

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