2012 Decision Looms for Daniels

by Gabe Bullard on May 2, 2011

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is expected to announce soon whether he’ll run for president.

Daniels has been on the short list of potential 2012 GOP candidates for months. University of Louisville Professor Dewey Clayton says there’s likely to be a renewed focus on a potential Daniels run now that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has decided not to enter the race.

“Governor Barbour having national contacts, having been a lobbyist and having been head of the RNC, I think that clearly he had a huge fundraising ability and I think that was something Governor Daniels was looking at. Now, he may see he may benefit from that,” he says.

Clayton says Daniels’s experience as head of President George W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget would play well with the Republican base, but could be an easy target for Democrats. As for the Tea Party…

“He may not fare with the Tea Partiers as well as Ron Paul will, but that may not, in and of itself, be a death knell for him,” says Clayton.

Clayton adds that another possible hurdle is personality, since Daniels isn’t known for his charisma.

“We live in a media age now and so I don’t know if his media consultants can work on that image, soften that image up some, give him a little more personality. I’m not sure how that’s going to play out,” he says. “I’m not sure what the mood of the voters is going to be. They may be looking for someone who is less charismatic.”

Currently, the GOP 2012 field is wide open, though several high-profile Republicans have hinted at possible bids.

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