Daniels talks leadership, Purdue and the presidency

Gov. Daniels
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Eyewitness News continues our conversation with outgoing Gov. Mitch Daniels. Political reporter Kevin Rader talks to the governor about stepping away from a presidential run, Purdue University and leadership.

Eyewitness News: "The flirtation of running for the presidency. Did you make a mistake stepping away? It's one of those things where you say to yourself, 'I know the problem is serious and needs to be dealt with,' so why leave it to somebody else then?"

Daniels: "There was criticism of that kind at the time. Some people said it was cowardly and unpatriotic."

EN: "I know I am not betraying anything but I remember one time crossing paths with you in the field about that time where I said to you the stars had aligned. It doesn't happen all the time."

Daniels: "It's true. I will say that while it probably would not have worked, there's so many things can and probably would have gone wrong, the pathway and the number and diversity of people who wanted to be a part of it was astonishing to me. I think our party was a little bit between generations. For whatever reason I think there was a pretty good shot to be nominated but again no way of knowing and no reason to worry about it."

Mitch Daniels will become the next president of Purdue University once he leaves the governor's office.

EN: "Tell me about Purdue. Why Purdue?"

Daniels: "Another surprise to me. To be honest I didn't take it seriously at first. I came very, very close to saying, 'Thank you, but this is probably not right for either of us.' But it is a great place. The longer I thought about it the more I thought, 'Can you name a next job where you can possibly be more useful to the state I care about?' And I couldn't think of one and you know I talked myself into it."

EN: "What do you want to say to Hoosiers as you leave?

Daniels: "Thanks for the privilege and please be leaders of change. We have been now for several years. It's new in the history to our state, I think it would be fair to say and my fondest hope is, having experienced a little bit of what being admired by other places, experienced a little bit of leadership as a state, that Hoosiers will never settle for anything else again."

EN: "Thank you, governor."

Daniels: "Thanks for all the professionalism, Kevin."

EN: "Merry Christmas."

Daniels: "Likewise."