Mitch Daniels has kept everyone in suspense about his potential presidential run – well those who care anyways. He has followed the old adage I remember from high school, “she ran so fast he caught her.” Daniels has played games like a coy teenager in his run up to whatever decision it is he will make.
Daniels cleverly hesitates when asked about his plans, and he always ensures that his answer includes a conditional phrase or two. His appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was an opportunity for Daniels to show his stuff and to test the percentage waters.
With his speech late in the evening, he certainly did not engender the enthusiasm that earlier participants received. He gave a solid, no-nonsense speech, and, as I watched a video, I couldn’t help but think that he just doesn’t instill excitement with his demeanor or his voice projection. A run for the presidency requires not only competency but also enthusiasm and excitement. While he has generated support from a group of Yalies, these youngsters won’t get him elected.
Daniels just doesn’t have the necessary ingredients to win the nomination. His poor showing in the straw poll – 4% – also indicates that many are just not ready to get behind him. However, it should be noted that Ron Paul has won the poll before and has gone nowhere. His 2008 run ended in March of that year, well before the actual nominating process ended.
The straw poll really is not an indicator, but it does show that those who voted are looking for name recognition and strict adherence to conservative principles – something that Daniels muffed when he suggested that the conservative social agenda take a back seat to the economic issues.
Prediction? No run for Daniels. And, if he does, he will not be in for long.