My wife says that Mitch Daniels has been a jerk to his wife and daughters, and is either a naïve communicator, or intentionally trying to make his wife look bad.
There’s actually two things that you should read before you make up your mind. First is the email he sent to supporters saying he wasn’t running for President. Here’s the relevant section:
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.
The contention here is, he appears to be blaming the fact that he’s not running on his family. He’s not merely dropping out for family reasons, he’s blatantly saying that it was against “the wishes of his family.” Ellie feels that this either (a) lends itself to shady motivations (why would he specifically want the nation to know that his wife/children are holding him back? Is there a little bit of 1993 angst still left in him?), or (b) he didn’t really think about this wording when he put out this email.
A little background, in case you didn’t know: Mitch and his wife, Cheri, have a spotty marital past. In 1993, after 15 years of marriage and four children, she left him, and moved to California. She divorced him and married another man. In 1997, she divorced the other man, returned to Indiana, and remarried Mitch. Is there tension in their marriage? Is Mitch subtly trying to get back at her?
Ellie says that, even if his family was the limiting factor in his presidential run, he should have “fallen on his sword” to protect their reputations, and come up with a more vague family reason, rather than blaming his decision not to run on his family’s “wishes.”
The second issue was in a press release on Saturday:
The answer is that I will not be a candidate. What could have been a complicated decision was in the end very simple: 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.
This may have been a bad attempt at humor, but according to Ellie, this gives the impression that he’s easily swayed, that he’s weak.
Question: What do you think? Is Mitch Daniels a weak-kneed jerk? Or is Ellie reading too much into these statements? You can leave a comment by clicking here.