Mitch Daniels’s decision not to run is a shame. He is an impressive man and had a unique combination of qualities among the possible Republican contenders for 2012: a successful and strikingly popular governor, with federal and private-sector executive experience, a (mostly deserved) reputation for straight talk on fiscal issues, strong conservative credentials, and yet at the same time (having called for a “truce” on social issues) enhanced appeal to moderates. He was a plausible contender, and the Republican nomination would have been a much more interesting contest with him in it. So would the presidential race, had he won the nomination–which was far from assured, obviously. He could have given Obama a run for his $1 billion.
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