Daniels Takes Center Stage in National Coverage

by Gabe Bullard on May 3, 2011

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels continues to gain attention as he mulls a presidential bid.

This morning, he appeared on Fox News, saying he discussed a 2012 run with former President George W. Bush, whom Daniels worked for at the beginning of the decade.

Later, Daniels was profiled on All Things Considered.

If he runs for president, Daniels will run on his record in Indiana, which has hit most of the sweet spots for Republican primary voters. He put an end to collective bargaining for public sector workers, expanded school vouchers, and after suggesting conservatives call a truce on social issues, he signed a bill that defunded Planned Parenthood.

Most importantly, he turned a budget deficit into a surplus.

The story further highlights the governor’s likely appeal to the Republican base, and notes his potential shortcomings.

…Daniels comes off as charming, but a little awkward. He looks like Woody Allen’s Hoosier cousin — short (5’7″) and balding, with a combover. He doesn’t have the kind of personality that fills a room…

Much has been made recently of Daniels’s demure personality and short stature. For statistics nuts, at 5’7″, Daniels comes in shorter than every president except Benjamin Harrison, Martin Van Buren and James Madison (he’s the same height as John Adams and William McKinley). These notes are often dismissed, since appearances don’t mean everything with candidates: George W. Bush won both presidential campaigns against taller candidates.

For insight into what a Daniels campaign would look like, see this story in the Washington Post. Among the names in Daniels’s inner circle is Kim Alfano, who was a media consultant for former mayoral candidate Hal Heiner.

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