“In the end, I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one,” Mr. Daniels wrote. “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 decision by Mr. Daniels answers one of the most highly-anticipated questions about the 2012 Republican presidential campaign, but introduces a fresh air of uncertainty into the race. He is the latest in a string of prominent Republicans to decline a presidential bid, leaving the field without a clear front-runner less than eight months before the first voting could begin.
Tim Pawlenty, a former governor of Minnesota, is scheduled to announce his candidacy on Monday. The decision by Mr. Daniels to stay out of the race could elevate the prospects for Mr. Pawlenty, who is trying to become a leading alternative to Mitt Romney, who sought the party’s nomination in 2008 and plans to run again. …NYT
The Republican party is showing its internal tensions. The remaining presidential possibilities are either ambitious yahoos pouring out nonsense from the stained and cracked tea party pot, or placid corporatists of an older political generation. Oh, and Newt.
Chris Cilliza writes in the Washington Post:
With Daniels now out of the running, there is likely to be a renewed effort by some to encourage the likes of Christie, who has risen to national prominence thanks to his tough-talking style in New Jersey, to reconsider his past refusals to run.
Other potential candidates, too, may look at the race again — sensing the same opportunity that Daniels did for a message focused on debt and spending.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is regarded as the nominal frontrunner in the contest thanks to his considerable fundraising prowess — he raised $10.25 million in a single day last week — and the fact he has already run for the office once in 2008.
But national polling suggests the race is a genuine jump ball with large swaths of voters either undecided or unhappy with their current options.
Tim Pawlenty is expected to announce tomorrow. He’s known for a long pre-running run and for his role as a governor whose administration failed to inspect bridges properly. The collapse of the I-35 bridge caused the deaths of dozens in a Minnesota section of I-35, a failure from which he has not been entirely exonerated. The unofficial presidential run started months ago.
He’s been raising money faster than a telemarketer for almost a year and a half. In October 2009, Pawlenty launched his Freedom First PAC (political action committee), the type of organization that allows politicians to raise and spend political cash without officially running for office. It’s almost a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for a presidential run to percolate. ...Chris Good, Atlantic, 1/3/11
Then there’s the tentative undeclared candidacy of Jon Huntsman, recent Obama administration envoy to China.
There is considerable interest in Huntsman’s prospective presidential candidacy, which befits a truly fresh face in a party where many voters are less than overwhelmed by their choices. But with a fresh face come questions, which Huntsman began to confront as he introduced himself. Two broad concerns could determine his success in the nomination battle.
One is: Where does he fit in a Republican Party that moved to the right in the two years since he stepped down as governor of Utah to become President Obama’s ambassador to China? The other: Where does he differ with Obama and how vigorously is he prepared to draw those distinctions as a candidate? …WaPo
Tea party Republicans are just gonna love that guy!
Cross-posted from the blog Prairie Weather.