I hope this reaches you before the public news does. If so, please respect my confidence for the short time until I can make it known to all.His hometown newspaper, the Indianapolis Star, received the news shortly before today's news deadline, which you can read here. With him out of the race for president, I suspect attention will now turn to him as a popular running mate choice for the 2012 GOP nominee.
The counsel and encouragement I received from important citizens like you caused me to think very deeply about becoming a national candidate. 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. If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry. If you feel that this was a non-courageous or unpatriotic decision, I understand and will not attempt to persuade you otherwise. I only hope that you will accept my sincerity in the judgment I reached.
Many thanks for your help and input during this period of reflection. Please 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: WRTV's Kevin Rader just interviewed Sen. Richard Lugar live from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Lugar told Rader he was surprised by Daniels' decision not to run. He indicated he spoke to Daniels yesterday before he made the announcement public, but he declined to say what Daniels discussed with him about his decision. Daniels cut his teeth in politics working for Lugar first when Lugar was Indianapolis mayor and later when he became a U.S. Senator.
Daniels' announcement also hints that the media may have been digging through his old divorce records. At least he felt compelled to release this additional statement about his wife Cheri's demonstrated instability:
It is important to correct some factually incorrect accounts about the time when our family was divided. When Cheri and I parted, the court agreed with my view that our daughters’ best interests would be served by their staying in Indiana. Cheri and I were granted joint custody. Within a short time, she purchased a residence just a few minutes from our house. Until we remarried, we shared custody fully, the girls dividing their time between the two homes.I'm not sure how that tracks with numerous, unchallenged past accounts of Cheri moving to California to live with her second husband after the couple divorced before later remarrying. This passage from a story in today's Chicago Tribune is indicative of the scrutiny his marriage was likely to receive if he ran for president:
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.
But as he talked about a candidacy, he always pointed back to his family as the primary issue that would hold him back.A post at the Redstate blog, which has been generally skeptical of a Daniels' bid adds:
His wife, Cheri, filed for divorce in 1993 and moved to California to remarry, leaving him to raise their four daughters in Indiana. She later divorced, and she and Daniels reconciled and remarried in 1997.
Mrs. Daniels had never taken much of a public role in her husband's political career.
So it raised eyebrows when she was chosen as the keynote speaker at a major Indiana fundraiser earlier in May.
Both husband and wife were said to be pleased with the reception they got, and advisers suggested that the outcome could encourage Daniels to run for president. Even so, Republicans in Washington and Indiana with ties to Daniels put the odds at 50-50.
Since the standard operating procedure of the media these days is to dismantle every aspect of a candidate’s past (except with the notable exception of then-candidate Barack Obama), I’m sure Daniels and his family were anticipating the media microscope.Yeah, I think it's safe to conclude Cheri wasn't quite ready for prime time and probably never will be. As I noted recently, the "Cheri issue" wasn't going to go away.