When the Student Initiative to Draft Mitch Daniels for president busted onto the airwaves in January, its leaders were certain their man Mitch would choose to run against President Barack Obama.
Now, three months later, the Republican governor of Indiana has yet to make a decision — and the student group is publicly wavering in its confidence in a Washington Post article about the difficulty of drafting a candidate for president.
Max Eden ’11, the movement’s director, told the Post his “gut is feeling nervous” that Daniels may choose not to run. When Eden and his fellow organizers met with Daniels at the Conservative Political Action Committee in Washington, D.C., this February, Daniels told the students he may choose not to run for any office at all, and added that he hoped the students would continue their political engagement should the governor opt to stay in Indiana.
“That wasn’t incredibly encouraging,” Eden said.
The Post article compares Eden’s effort to an attempt in 2004 to draft Gen. Wesley Clark to run against George W. Bush ’68. The movement raised $100,000, ran 100 television ads and, ultimately, got their candidate to run — but Clark only won one Democratic primary and dropped out of the race, the Post reported.
The Student Initiative to Draft Daniels has raised $10,000 (mostly from relatives), and plans to send Daniels a petition with 10,000 signatures asking him to run. In January Daniels said he was close to making his decision, but has since said he will make up his mind after Indiana’s legislature adjourns at the end of the month.