This might be the surest sign yet that the Indiana Governor is ready to run:
With 1,100 people chanting "Run Mitch, Run," Gov. Mitch Daniels took the stage here Thursday night and did something he's never done before: He introduced his wife Cheri, and then he turned the microphone over to her to address the sold-out crowd.
It was Cheri Daniels' first-ever speech at a big political event in all the years she has been Indiana's First Lady. And with speculation over whether her husband will enter the presidential race now at a fever-pitch, her mere presence at the podium for the annual state GOP dinner had everyone searching for clues and hidden meanings. The question was heard over and over: Did her willingness to step into the limelight after years as a reluctant First Lady mean she was on board with Daniels making a bid for the White House?
There have been some questions about how the story of Daniels' complicated marriage would play out under the spotlight of a presidential campaign, and whether his wife would want to go through that. This is a pretty good sign Cheri Daniels is ready to get on board.
At Politico, Jonathan Martin further notes that Daniels is still reluctant and that the decision really seems to have boiled down to personal considerations that include his whole family:
It’s not simply a question of whether he can convince his wife, Cheri, who has been open about her qualms over the prospect. In talking separately to reporters after the dinner here, both the governor and the Indiana first lady brought up the impact a run may have on their four 20-something daughters.
“It’s not just me,” Cheri Daniels said. “I have four daughters and I have three sons-in-law and everybody has a voice.”
“You ought not underestimate the fact that there’s not one woman involved – there’s five,” Gov. Daniels said, standing just a few paces away from his wife in the hotel ballroom where the event was held. “Everybody’s view matters with something like this because it would affect everyone.”
UPDATE -- I forgot to mention one of the more juicy morsels of the CBS News article linked above:
Sources tell CBS News popular New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has told Daniels he would back him, as would Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
If true, that's very good news for Daniels.
UPDATE II -- Dave Weigel reports that Jeb Bush is enthusiastic about Daniels as well.
UPDATE III -- Some walking back from Christie and Walker.