Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels says there will be no announcement about his political future on Friday. It appears he wants to enjoy the moment.
Earlier in the day it was announced that the states unemployment rate fell to 8.2% April. That is 0.8 below the national average, which is very big news in Indiana. It marks the first time since June of 2003 that Indiana’s unemployment rate has dropped below that benchmark. He can now take the weekend and add that to his resume.
If there is one thing Mitch Daniels knows it is how to play to his audience. Declining unemployment, balanced budgets, slashed spending, capped property taxes, limited collective bargaining for teachers, school vouchers and the defunding Planned Parenthood looks more like a GOP wish list. It hardly reads like a man who angered conservatives by calling for a truce on social issues.
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will be announcing his candidacy for President in Iowa on Monday. Meanwhile Gov. Daniels will be espousing the party line at the National Republican Senatorial Committee meeting in Washington, DC on Wednesday.
After that he will return to Indianapolis where the Indianapolis 500 will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. If someone wanted to take advantage of a national audience it would be the perfect time to launch a campaign.
When he was first elected governor in 2004 Mitch Daniels told Hoosiers to “buckle up” for change. He reiterated it two months later in his first inaugural address. He was using a phrase he knew Hoosiers would relate to.
Now he may have yet a third opportunity to use it right before the nation’s biggest auto race and before his biggest audience.
Update: Daniels’ mishap involving a swinging door could end up postponing any plans to announce. See the story here.