Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Run, Mitch, Run

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is near announcing a decision about a run for President, if we are to believe recent nuggets in the news. It is evident that the media who are clearly in the re-election camp of President Obama are a bit worried about a potential GOP rival who would give Obama a run for his billion dollar campaign.

A story line developing about the private life of Daniels is both disappointing and completely expected. Though labeled by the press as Daniels' political enemies or rival campaigns, it is easy to think of those descriptions as thoughts from Team Obama. Seems these rivals and enemies are hoping to include personal attacks on the Governor's wife, Cherie, and their marriage as campaign material fodder.

From the Washington Post:

The governor’s political enemies — those who are eager to box out a promising contender with a reputation for fiscal seriousness, establishment backing and intellectual heft — are taking him at his word.

A rival campaign has identified the first lady’s reticence as a pressure point before she steps fully into the limelight. The couple has a complicated personal history. They divorced in 1994, and Cheri Daniels moved to California, where she remarried. The future governor, then a senior executive at the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, raised the couple’s four daughters, who at the time spanned the ages of 8 to 14. Cheri Daniels later returned, and the couple remarried in 1997.

In exchange for anonymity, an official for another GOP prospect provided contact information for the ex-wife of the man Cheri Daniels married, in the years between her divorce and remarriage to Daniels. Other officials at potential rival campaigns to Daniels disagreed about whether the personal history of Cheri Daniels would ever be a vulnerability or even germane to the race. One key adviser to a potential candidate said that the guardedness the first lady had exhibited about her past signaled a lack of enthusiasm that, more than any personal baggage, would handicap her husband’s chances over time. An official at another candidate’s campaign said the marital history wouldn’t and shouldn’t matter.

So, to recap, while Mitch Daniels was running Eli Lilly his wife left, divorced him, went to California and Mitch stayed in Indianapolis with the four daughters. Neither were politicians. They were private citizens. They worked it out, whatever was not right and Cherie and Mitch re-married. All of this was in a three year time span. Daniels now says, "If you like happy endings, you’ll love our story.”

The same conservatives who would have you believe they are all about family values and pro-family will now criticize the Daniels for separating and then coming back together. The daughters remained in their home and maintained their lives in Indianapolis, in their familar environment. Isn't that pro-family? Isn't that family values? Doesn't Mitch Daniels get some extra credit for being a single dad to four daughters, the oldest 14 years old and the youngest 8? Having been a 14 year old girl at one time, I can speak from experience - 14 year old girls are no picnic, especially for their dads.

And, if some of this nonsense is from Team Obama who would be surprised? We were told by liberals and Democrats that the Clinton marriage was none of our business - as long as they were ok with it, we should be. He, at the time, was a sitting President. She did the groundwork for a run for the U.S. Senate in her last years in the White House. Neither of them were private citizens.

That was then, this is now.

Daniels is very popular in Indiana - he won re-election even though Barack Obama carried the state in 2008. He ended the union benefit contracts that were bankrupting the state. He ended state funding to Planned Parenthood - the first Governor in the nation to do so. Indiana is not broke, as most other states are. Daniels expertise is economics. He was critical of former President Bush's big spending and as his budget director,left that administration over it. He was a member of the Reagan administration.

Daniels is unwavering in his convictions, courageous in execution, socially and fiscally conservative, intelligent, experienced in executive leadership and a numbers guy. He's a Republican.

Run, Mitch, run. Get in there and mix it up with the others.

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