POLITICS
05/12/2011 01:22 pm ET | Updated Jul 12, 2011

Mitch Daniels' Marriage Fodder For Opposition's Dark Artists

It is pretty much understood by now that one person who may hold veto power over Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels' potential presidential run is his wife, Cheri Daniels. There are numerous articles out there describing her reticence. She is sometimes said to be "very cool" and "uneasy" about a run, or not "sold on the idea," or she "has publicly expressed her discomfort over the possibility," even as her "public schedule" features an uptick in public appearances.

Now, some of what Cheri Daniels feared about her husband making a run for the White House is playing out in the press in advance of any decision, as the media starts to chew on the marital strife that the Daniels have been through (and, by the way, has by all appearances overcome). During the '90s, Cheri and Mitch split, and for a time, she was married to another man. Ben Smith terms this the "Cheri problem." Dan Amira at Daily Intel describes this as "Mitch Daniels' Weird Marriage."

And in the Washington Post's Style section today, the whole Cheri-as-the-deciding-factor gets a full treatment, and the couple's "complicated personal history" is at the heart of the piece. But the most interesting part of the article is this sentence: "In exchange for anonymity, an official for another GOP prospect provided contact information for the ex-wife of the man Cheri Daniels married, in the years between her divorce and remarriage to Daniels."

It just goes to show that Cheri Daniels is smart to be hesitant. She's clearly pretty wise to the game. The 2012 campaign may be slow to start, but its dark artists never take a holiday. And what does Mitch have to say about this?

For his part, Gov. Daniels opted to shut his eyes to the less noble aspects of presidential politics.

“I talked to the governor briefly,” said Jane Jankowski, a spokeswoman for Daniels, when asked for a response to the preemptive attack. “And Governor Daniels chooses to believe that no candidate would employ such tactics, and if someone working for a candidate did such a thing, it must not have been authorized.”

Oh, Mitch. You're really new to this, aren't you?

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