POLITICS

Mitch Daniels Has Convinced Indianapolis Star Reporters That He Definitely May Or May Not Run For President

04/13/2011 04:05 pm ET | Updated Jun 13, 2011

If you happen to be wondering if Mitch Daniels will join the field vying for the GOP nomination in 2012, you have options.

For instance, you can read this article, published in the Indianapolis Star today, describing Daniels' meeting with the paper's editorial board during which he fretted about the "savage process" of national campaigns but left the apparent impression he's going to jump into the race.

Alternatively, you could check out this article, published in the Indianapolis Star today, detailing Daniels' meeting with the paper's editorial board during which he fretted about the lack of focus on fiscal issues in the current national campaign but leaves the apparent impression that he's not going to jump into the race.

It's great to have choices, I guess!

Both articles feature the same slideshow of Daniels sitting and chatting and thinking and gesturing, and both relate some of the same lines. For instance, Daniels obviously understands what I've been saying all along: As long as Donald Trump dominates the newscycle, it's going to reflect well on anyone who seems relatively adult:

"It's always good to be held to a low standard -- 'At least he's not a freak,' " Daniels said, laughing.

(Or, if you prefer, "It's always good to be held to a low standard," he said, envisioning his campaign praised with the words "At least he's not a freak.")

Ultimately, the two articles on the same man at the same event offer readers different conclusions. For example:

Daniels said of the GOP field, "I like all these folks, and odds are I will likely end up supporting one of them."

He said those words. But he also acknowledged nobody else in the field is seriously addressing the nation's budget problems. And so, the question remains: Will he become the candidate willing to do so?

It sure sounds like it.

Asked if the nation's rough-and-tumble politics that so often focus on superficial issues is ready for such a debate, Daniels said: "That's the question. A lot of people say nope. What they're really saying is democracy's had it."

Daniels said that there may yet be other candidates better able to challenge that view.

"I always thought if I had a contribution to make beyond being governor it might be to offer some thoughts like these and support somebody else who might do it. It might still work out that way."

But whether it is him or another candidate, he said: "We'd better go find out if we can make big change and big decisions as a country."

So there you have it. Mitch Daniels, a politician who leaves reporters with the powerful impression that at some point, he might do something. (Or not.)

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