Opinion: ‘Draft Mitch’ won’t work

The former CEO of Angie’s List, Bill Oesterle, had a good idea. You might have heard that his Draft Mitch campaign was under way. Even before Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had tapped Gov. Mike Pence as the vice-presidential running mate, we liked the idea. But former Gov. Mitch Daniels has no interest in leaving his post as president of Purdue University. Daniels, whose fiscal sharpness and thoughtful leadership were among the qualities he deployed to bring Indiana to the fore on so many levels, leaves Hoosier Republicans somewhat behind the 8-ball in a bid to retain the governorship. Pence last week was in a dead heat with Democrat John Gregg. With Pence, whom we believe works with good intentions, there have been a few, but fairly major, train wrecks along the way (the state news agency idea, and RFRA and abortion measures among them) to have him in the No. 2 role. We wish Daniels had been in the race for the White House. Alas, no chance. As much as Indiana would have benefitted by his return to the governor’s office, were that a possibility, the nation would more prosper from his leadership and steady but no-nonsense approach on so many fronts. It won’t happen. As to Trump, he seems to have broken stride and maybe his campaign. Who knows? This smells like an establishment pick, and Trump has shown himself to be anything but establishment. Consider that his name-calling flamethrower persona is continuing to grate on even the most ardent Republicans we know, but that won’t dissuade them from voting for him. Is Trump the lesser of evils? Remember, the comparison is to Hillary Rodham Clinton.