After weeks of insisting he wasn‘t interested in being vice president, Mitch Daniels may have finally found a way to make people stop asking. Daniels‘ expected selection Thursday as the next president of Purdue brings a halt to speculation he might become Mitt Romney‘s running mate, or end up in a Romney Cabinet.
IUPUI political analyst Brian Vargus says Daniels‘ disclaimers of interest in the vice presidency were so emphatic that he was probably never in the running. He says he suspects the Purdue job will be Daniels‘ last in public life – one that gives the governor a chance to put an educational spin on some of the ideas he’s advocated leading the state.
“He can use what has been for Purdue a fairly successful partnership with private enterprise to demonstrate again a public-private partnership that accomplishes what it accomplishes,” Vargas says.
But Vargus acknowledges former Governor Otis Bowen became President Reagan‘s Secretary of Health and Human Services after five years as a private citizen.
Daniels, 63, will have to leave Purdue‘s presidency in two years, like departing president France Cordova, unless Purdue‘s trustees waive the university‘s mandatory retirement age.