Whether Republican Mitch Daniels runs for his party's 2012 presidential nomination may hinge on his wife, Cheri Daniels, and she might provide a clue or two Thursday night.
Daniels, the governor of Indiana, is being urged by some powerful Republicans to launch a candidacy and add some starpower to a field that has generally been seen as lackluster.
Daniels this week said he thought he would have a "quite good" chance at defeating President Barack Obama but that this was not a factor in his deliberations.
"I think the chances would actually be quite good," Daniels told reporters in Indiana. "That's really not a factor, I don't want to overstate this."
Daniels is believed to be some weeks away from a decision. Many Republicans say Daniels' wife has been cool to the idea but are hoping she is softening her stance.
Thus her appearance on Thursday night as the keynote speaker at the Indiana Republican Party's spring fund-raising dinner is seen as significant.
About 1,000 people are expected at the event, including some from such groups as Students for Daniels, which have been actively trying to persuade him to run.
Daniels is not expected to make an announcement, but could provide some clues as to the thinking of the couple. She is to talk about her six years as Indiana's first lady.
One topic she would like to avoid is the couple's personal history.
Cheri Daniels filed for divorce from Mitch in 1993 and moved to California where she married another man while Daniels looked after their four young daughters. That couple divorced, and Cheri and Mitch Daniels remarried in 1997.
"If you like happy endings, you'll love our story," Mitch Daniels has said of the events.
Daniels, who served as budget director under former President George W. Bush, is one of several Republicans still pondering whether to run for the Republican nomination to challenge Obama next year.
A Daniels campaign would be centered on getting America's fiscal house in order. He has spoken eloquently about U.S. debt and deficits, describing it as a modern-day "red menace," but has alarmed some conservatives by calling for a truce on social issues like gay marriage. (Editing by Todd Eastham)
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