WASHINGTON – Anyone hoping for firm clues on whether Mitch Daniels will run for president would have been sorely disappointed.
The Indiana governor this afternoon spoke here in a speech that was much-anticipated, because his timeline for an announcement on his political future is expiring.
“You are here under false pretenses,” he told the crowd at the American Enterprise Institute, which included at least eight television cameras. “I just came for a meal.”
He then spoke for about 30 minutes in a policy-rich speech – complete with a slide-show presentation -- about the education reform that he was implementing in his home state.
Following the address, he was asked from the audience whether it was too late for someone like him to enter the presidential race.
“Unless you’re a political professional or running a bed and breakfast in New Hampshire it’s a darn good thing that we’ll have a nomination campaign measured in months, not years,” he said. “I really thought it might become too late somewhere along the line. If it had, hey, that would have been that. But for whatever reason it appears not to be. And again, I think it’s a happy surprise.”
Daniels has said the he would wait until Indiana completed its legislative session before considering whether to get into the slow-moving presidential race. The session completed last week.
“We won’t take long,” he said of his decision, in between signing autographs. “I said we were going to finish this session and turn our attention to it. And now we are.”
His wife is said to be uneasy about the presidential bid and when asked this afternoon whether his family played a prominent role in his decision, he said, “Family considerations are always the most important thing in anything we’re weighing.”
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.