Report: Mitch Daniels wants to run, simply waiting for wife's okay

What if we ended up in a two-man race between this guy and Romney? Which way would grassroots conservatives break?

If you think those Gallup numbers on Republicans who support a third party are high now, just wait.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels wants to run for president and is not in the process of convincing himself to do it, a close adviser said. The last hurdle remaining is ongoing discussions between him and his wife, Cheri Daniels, over whether she is ready to face questions about their past.

“I think he would like to do it,” the Daniels adviser told The Huffington Post by phone. “I actually think he’d have a decent chance of getting the nomination.”

The insight from a source close to the governor contradicts many of the reports that have focused on whether Daniels will run or not. Daniels has been portrayed — and has in some ways portrayed himself — as a reluctant potential candidate, someone who had hoped the GOP would find someone else to be their standard-bearer but is unimpressed with the candidates who have so far declared their intent to run.

The confirmation that the Daniels’ marriage is the last hurdle in front of a bid for the White House highlights the delicate situation in which the Governor finds himself.

I hope he runs just because I’m really curious to see if he’s able to build any support among base voters. In theory it’s a perfect match between man and moment, the fiscal specialist emerging to tackle the debt crisis. But he already has a bunch of strikes against him: The truce talk on social issues, the taint of “elite” support, a rhetorical style that eschews partisan red meat, and an awful lot of liberal verbiage in the media about how superior he is to tea partiers, which naturally makes grassroots righties suspicious. Via Freedom’s Lighthouse, here’s 10 minutes from Rush Limbaugh’s show today wondering why the dreaded MSM would be tossing so many bouquets at a “boring and moderate” candidate like Daniels. That’s not fatal to Mitch the Knife — if talk radio decided primaries, we would never have ended up with McCain as nominee — but he probably needs a crowded field with votes split several different ways in order to win. If he ends up head to head against virtually anyone else in the race, the base will likely line up behind his opponent. Exit question: What if it boils down to Daniels versus Huckabee?