Tag: Mitch Daniels

America’s Best University President to Retire


As a young Capitol Hill staffer in the early 1980s, one of the people I ran into fairly frequently was then-chief of staff for first-term GOP US Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) Mitch Daniels. I was the press secretary to 28-year-old freshman US Rep. John Hiler (R-IN). I often spotted Lugar and Daniels doing morning or mid-day runs together on Washington’s Mall. Lugar featured arguably the best crop of Senate chiefs of staff during his own illustrative 24-year Senate career. Daniels set the standard.

Present company excluded, Indiana’s congressional delegation then had an ambitious, talented, and star-studded delegation and staff. Lugar’s junior Senate colleague, Dan Quayle, would become Vice President in 1989. US Rep. Dan Coats, who succeeded Quayle in the House, became a US Senator (twice), US Ambassador to Germany, and Director of National Intelligence.

After a stint as North American President of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, Daniels, now 73, would serve as Director of the Office of Management and Budget during the George W. Bush Administration. That was followed by two terms as Governor of Indiana, where he unseated an incumbent Democrat in 2004. I still follow many of my then-fellow Indiana congressional delegation staffers who became policy, political, and media legends. I married one.

The Best Commencement Speech of 2021


Purdue University President Mitch Daniels warned that the pandemic snuffed out the American eagerness to take risks and move ahead boldly.

There is no finer commencement speaker at any level than Purdue University’s President and former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. And not because his speeches are relatively short. Nor are they delivered in a flourishing style reminiscent of former Secretary of State and Harvard President Edward Everett, the other Gettysburg speaker in 1863, giving a speech for two hours that no one remembers.

Oh, sure, there are other terrific commencement speakers. Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame comes to mind. Not to a college or university, but this short, memorable unsolicited speech via his Facebook page to trade school graduates and high school grads who forgo college for a trade. Delivered last year during the height of the pandemic, it is timeless.

Only This Man Can Be Vice President


486016-286406The run for President is in turmoil, and so are some of the loudest voters. Donald Trump followers hate Ted Cruz. Cruz supporters want nothing to do with Trump, with many in the #NeverTrump movement. And John Kasich, regardless of his win in Ohio, doesn’t have enough nationwide support to make a minyan.

In this political season, regardless of the nominee, one thing has become abundantly clear: Each of these men needs a cool, steady, proven leader by their side. A Vice President who is, truly, more than just a Vice President. They need Mitch Daniels.

The former two-term Indiana governor. The man whom Fortune Magazine named one of the world’s great leaders. The man who has led Purdue University through turbulent times without the turbulence we’ve seen on college campuses across America; at Purdue, investment in technology is high, the student population is respected and the men’s basketball program went to the Big Dance. (Next year, #BoilerBall. Next year.)

On This Day After New Hampshire


From my inbox:

New Hampshire State Outline Magnet 1For two years on Ricochet’s flagship podcast, you guys keep me optimistic. “All the talented governors who skipped 2012 are going to get in this thing. Some fresh new senators will keep the early debates lively before stepping back to wait their turn later.”

Mitch Daniels: The Grown-up in the Room


MITCH DANIELSThe modern American university seems to be devolving into a madhouse. Students shrieking about “safe spaces,” refusing to attend classes, demanding the mass firing of staff, and urging restrictions on free speech. Kids will be kids, yes? But in many cases, the adults in the faculty are acting as bad or worse than the children. Yale officials publicly denounce themselves, Mizzou officials resign in fear, and the pluckier professors are leading the confused students in protest.

Thankfully, not everyone has lost their mind. Former Indiana Governor and current President of Purdue University Mitch Daniels decided to take a stand for common sense. He sent the following letter to everyone on campus Wednesday:

To the Purdue community.