In a clear sign that he is almost ready to announce his candidacy for President, Mitch Daniels told reporters yesterday that he felt confident that his chances of beating Obama were “quite good.” Daniels said that “The quality and the number of people who’ve said they’d like to be associated is really quite awesome to me. . . .The campaign might break down because of the candidate, but it would not break down because of a lack of very credible and highly respected people from both public and private life.” He added that “I think a very serious race needs to be made. The country is in serious condition. . . . I hope and trust that our party will speak to Americans as grown-ups and talk about some very straight-forward things we can do to preserve the American dream.
In what may be the last obstacle to his decision, Daniel’s wife, Cheri, will be the keynote speaker at the Indiana GOP spring-fundraiser tomorrow night. This will be her first major political speech in the 8 years that Daniels has been governor. Daniels has clearly indicated that family plays a critical role in his decision. New Jersey governor, Chris Christie spoke at the Indiana GOP fund-raiser last fall. Haley Barbour and Jeb Bush are also former speakers. These are likely to be among the heavy-hitters that Daniels was referring in his statement yesterday. There is rampant speculation that Christie would be Daniels choice for Vice President, and would accept if asked by Daniels. Daniels gave a high profile speech on Education last Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute. Education reform is a major passion for both Christie and Jeb Bush, who now heads the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Expect the roll-out of Daniels campaign in two weeks with a star-studded line-up of Republican governors and former governors standing with Daniels.