INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Governor Mitch Daniels was in Washington DC Wednesday evening to accept an award. He was named Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine. It's the sort of thing that prompts speculation about a Daniels run for the White House in 2012."Certainly there's a lot of people that send us e-mails every day, call us on the telephone and say, 'Mitch should run for president,' and it's with good reason," said Daniels spokesman Cam Savage. Columnist William Kristol labeled Daniels a possible GOP nominee in the New York Times. Washington Post columnist David Broder, talking about the Republican Party and its governors, said that "If there is any hope for its future, they are the ones most likely to provide it." and "Daniels may offer the best example."
Daniels’ 18-point win on election night certainly didn't hurt his image.
"The governor's not taking any of this seriously right now. I take him at his word, what he said," said state GOP chairman Murray Clark. What Clark is referring to could be found in Daniels' final campaign commercial. "See, governor's the only office I've run for or ever will," said Daniels in the ad. It's a point Daniels emphasized in his acceptance speech. "I gotta have one last look around. This is a scene I will not get to see again," said Daniels. But it's possible Daniels could keep his word and still help Republicans at a national level. "Even if he doesn't run for president I think he is empowered to play a role in the Republican Party, which I think is so important now because we have to reorganize," said Clark.
But Wednesday afternoon, Governor Daniels did his best to shut the door on presidential speculation.
"No, no. How many ways to say 'no' are there now? No, we've just been hired for a job we're serious about, got a lot left to do, probably some difficult days like everybody else ahead. That'll have our full attention," Daniels said when asked if he would consider a run in 2012. Meantime, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Indiana Congressman Mike Pence are among those who will discuss the future of the Republican Party in Miami Thursday at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association. Mitch Daniels will not be in attendance.