Mitch Daniels: Let's face it, my chances of beating Obama are "quite good"

Dude, I think he’s getting his game face on.

He’s … in the zone.

The Republican governor said Tuesday he was confident about his chances of beating Obama, but that’s not factoring into his deliberations on a White House run.

“I think the chances would actually be quite good,” Daniels said, speaking to reporters after giving public service awards to state employees. “The quality and the number of people who have said they’d like to be associated is really quite awesome to me.”…

“The campaign might break down because of the candidate, but it would not break down because of a lack of very credible and highly respected people from both public and private life,” Daniels said.

Political analysts keep grousing that the GOP field needs more candidates, but that’s not really true. Romney and Pawlenty are already in; Gingrich will be in by tomorrow morning. Huntsman looks like he’s serious, although I’m not quite sure why, and if I had to bet, I’d bet that Daniels is running too. And of course Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Gary “Ron Paul” Johnson are all set. The GOP doesn’t lack for candidates, it lacks for viable big-name candidates on the more conservative end of the spectrum. If neither Huckabee nor Palin jumps in — which I think is possible, albeit unlikely — then you’ll have a scrum among the centrist “managerial” candidates and a wide open field on the right. I’m not sure a Republican primary has ever faced that scenario. What would happen? Would Cain catch fire and become a first-tier candidate or would social conservatives default to Gingrich? There’s simply no way that a prominent “true conservative” would stay out if there was an opening that big among the base. I think.

Here’s Daniels on Albert Hunt’s show a few days ago. Look on the bright side, Mitch-haters: If he jumps in, he’s sure to target New Hampshire as his springboard. Which means either he or Mitt will be waving bye-bye very early in the primary process.