Citing familial concerns, Mitch Daniels e-mailed supporters last night that he had decided to not run in 2012.
“The counsel and encouragement I received from important citizens like you caused me to think very deeply about becoming a national candidate,” Daniels wrote. “In the end, I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one, but that, the interests and wishes of my family, is the most important consideration of all.”
Daniels’s wife, Cheri, had long been understood to be opposed to a presidential run. The Danielses also have four adult daughters, who were also consulted about the impact of a campaign on the family.
Daniels, who had previously served as President Bush’s OMB director, was perceived to be the Bush family’s favored candidate. Laura Bush called Cheri Daniels earlier this month to discuss what the role of First Lady entailed.
“If you feel that this was a non-courageous or unpatriotic decision, I understand and will not attempt to persuade you otherwise.,” Daniels said in the e-mail. “I only hope that you will accept my sincerity in the judgment I reached.”
Daniels asked his supporters to “stay in touch if you see ways in which an obscure Midwestern governor might make a constructive contribution to the rebuilding of our economy and our Republic.”
UPDATE: Daniels also released two statements to the Indianapolis Star, which reiterated that he opted out because of his family and defended his wife, Cheri, from the charge that she had “abandoned” their daughters during the period in the ’90s that the Danielses were divorced.
“I will not be a candidate,” Daniels said in the first statement. “On matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women’s caucus, and there is no override provision. Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more.”
“The notion that Cheri ever did or would ‘abandon’ her girls or parental duty is the reverse of the truth and absurd to anyone who knows her, as I do, to be the best mother any daughter ever had,” Daniels said in the second statement.