George Will says Mitch Daniels should be president of the United States. The Washington Post
columnist believes the former Indiana governor who currently leads Purdue University is "the president the nation needs."
Daniels, who worked in the George W. Bush administration as its director for the Office of Management and Budget, per his Purdue biography
, was rumored as a presidential candidate in 2012 but never formally threw his hat in the ring. He served as Indiana's governor from 2005 to 2013 before he was tapped as president of Purdue.
In his column on Wednesday, Will pointed to Daniels words to Purdue's May graduates as a counterweight to President Barack Obama's message to Howard University students days before that the graduates had been "lucky" and "blessed."
"I hope you will tune out anyone who, from this day on, tries to tell you that your achievements are not your own," Will quoted Daniels tlling the students. "I'm not saying that luck never plays a part; of course it can. (But unless it is tragically bad luck) it almost never decides a life's outcome."
Will then went on to contrast Daniels with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
"Daniels's words to the Class of 2016 clarify why the 2016 presidential campaign offers an echo, not a choice," Will said. "The presumptive Democratic nominee is a progressive committed to government ambitious enough to iron the wrinkles of luck out of life, and to distribute equity to life's victims, meaning to everyone."
"The presumptive Republican nominee is a world-class whiner (a victim of debate moderators who are meanies, and most recently of a 'rigged' judicial system) who is telling Americans that they are comprehensively victimized (by wily Chinese exporters, manufacturers making Oreo cookies abroad, freeloading allies, etc.). Purdue has the president the nation needs."
According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier
, Will said in December before an appearance at the university that the country would have been better off his Daniels would have run in 2012.
"I think if he had run, he would have won," Will told the newspaper. "And I think there would be a calm in the country. Mitch Daniels is a grown-up. He's vastly familiar with the federal machinery, having been a chief budgeteer. He knows where the waste is. He knows where the institutional lines should be drawn in this country. He wouldn't be given to executive overreach of the sort we’re seeing these days. And he would just radiate a sense of adult supervision."
The Purdue Exponent
, the university's student newspaper, said Daniels' current contract as president runs through 2020. The Journal & Courier stated that the contract could pay him a total of $1 million in retention bonuses over that period.
"Through a university spokeswoman, Daniels said reaction (to running for president) 'falls somewhere along the lines of half Gen. Sherman and half Sgt. Schultz on the topic,'" Dave Bangert, of the Journal & Courier wrote. "In other words, to quote Civil War Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman: 'I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.' And to quote Sgt. Schultz from sit-com 'Hogan's Heroes:' 'I know nothing.'"
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