Why, of course, you would expect Mitch Daniels to endorse Indiana U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (towards the end of the video above). Mitch Daniels is a political protege of Lugar.
Daniels had his first experience in politics while still a teenager when, in 1968, he worked on the unsuccessful campaign of fellow Hoosier and Princeton alum William Ruckelshaus, who was running for the U.S. Senate. After the campaign Ruckelshaus helped Daniels secure an internship in the office of then-Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar. In 1971, Daniels worked on Lugar’s re-election campaign and then joined his mayoral staff. Within three years, he became Lugar’s principal assistant. After Lugar was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976, Daniels followed him to Washington, D.C. as his Chief of Staff.
Daniels served as Chief of Staff during Lugar’s first term (1977–82); and, during this time, he met Cheri Herman, who was working for the National Park Service. The two married in 1978 and had four daughters; they divorced in 1993 and Cheri married a second husband. Cheri soon divorced her second husband and remarried Daniels in 1997.
In 1983, when Lugar was elected Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Daniels was appointed its Executive Director. Serving in that position (1983–84), he played a major role in keeping the GOP in control of the Senate. Daniels was also manager of three successful re-election campaigns for Lugar. In August 1985, Daniels became chief political advisor and liaison to President Ronald Reagan.
Daniels even met his wife as a result of his service with Lugar. But, note what Daniels specifically said under the radar:
Daniels said that he never intervenes in primary elections, admires Lugar, hedged on whether he would appear with Lugar (i.e. campaign with him) and implied that perhaps Lugar deserves another term – “if he wants it.”
Sounds to me that in a subtle way, Mitch Daniels is telling his old mentor that it is time to retire and NOT want to run for re-election.
But, make no mistake about it, Mitch Daniels WILL do ads for Senator Lugar if he runs for re-election.