Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Will Daniels' Potential Run Be Tainted By White, Durham?

Mitch Daniels stood idly by while Charlie White was elected to the Secretary of State's Office. He knew what we all knew; that Charlie White was under investigation for voter fraud. Instead of demanding that he step aside and the GOP put up another candidate, he supported White, and Charlie White was ushered into office under a cloud of controversy. Now, Daniels has called for White to resign or step down until his case is decided. White won't do it, and Daniels has now no authority to make him.

Mitch Daniels continues to hold on to campaign cash that was donated to him by Tim Durham. Durham was indicted by a federal grand jury last week for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme and allegedly bilking investors out of millions. Again, the court system will over from here. The feds will have to prove their case. That doesn't solve a big problem for Daniels if Durham is convicted. Unlike other politicians who hold money potentially tainted by Durham, Daniels isn't planning to return the cash if Durham is convicted saying that it's already been spent.

These are two potential land mines in the conservative hero's potential run for the nation's highest office. If one or both of these gentlemen are convicted, that could end any possible run by Daniels given his deep association with both men.

If the Democrats (or other potential Republican candidates) don't make an issue out of either of these cases right now and gives Daniels a free run at the Republican nomination for President, then it's their own fault. Daniels needs to be knocked down a few pegs before he has a chance to define himself nationally in preparation for a run for higher office. He's good at that! Remember, it was Daniels that had a chance to define himself in the 2004 Gubernatorial Election, and the fact that he authored a budget that ended the Clinton budget surplus kind of faded into the ether. He's a great campaigner. He turned himself from a Washington outsider into the aw shucks guy that travels in RV1 and eats fried Twinkies at the fair.

Hoosiers bought it in 2004, and I have a feeling that Daniels can turn on the charm at the national level, too, even though many overlook this aspect of his personality.

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