Commentary Magazine


Contentions

My Friend Mitch

Having worked with Mitch Daniels in the Reagan White House, I wasn’t surprised at his decision to put his family before his ambition. Among the attributes that would have made him a great president is his lack of ego. It is the rare politician who has even a passing acquaintance with humility—but Mitch never made himself the center of attention, instead focusing on whatever job needed doing, never mind who got the credit.

I am saddened that he chose not to run, but I fully understand why he did so. As John suggests, the Obama machine will attempt to destroy whoever becomes the Republican nominee.  Mitch has spared his wife and daughters what could have become a vicious scramble to dig up dirt and pass on salacious innuendo, which had already begun when the New York Times decided to run two high-profile articles on the Daniels’s divorce and remarriage in the mid-1990s. Whatever their past problems, the Danielses should be admired for putting their family back together. Mitch would have made a great president, but he showed great moral leadership by putting his family first.