Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels was once married to a woman named Cheri. In 1994, she left him and moved to California. Three years later, she came back and they remarried. They are still together. Since Mr. Daniels is a public official, and his name was once even floated as a possible presidential candidate, there have been speculations as to his character. Does this divorce-remarriage incident tell us anything?
I don’t know that it tells us anything concrete at all, but if I were to speculate, I might come up with any of the following:
Mitch is a nice, forgiving man. He not only took her back after what she did to him, but watched the kids while she was gone as well. We will do well to have him in office, because he will be nice to us as well.
Mitch is a strong-willed, focused, and persuasive man. He knows what he wants and gets it. It took a while, but he got her back. He may have used his charisma or even intimidated her to come back. He is more suited to the executive branch than either of the other two.
Mitch is unattractive and obnoxious and couldn’t find anyone else during the three years in between. This doesn’t really say anything about his politics.
Mitch is such a hard worker that he had no time to start dating again. He will be a hard worker for us in office, too.
Mitch is a wimp. He lets people walk all over him not because he is secure enough to tolerate it, but because he is too insecure to stand up for himself. He probably begged her to come back. He will not be good for office as he will probably be easily intimidated into making bad compromises.
Some of these explanations contradict one another, and I have no basis for thinking any of them are more likely than any other, but not everyone sees it this way. A friend of mine jumped to the last one, the others never having occurred to him. He not only assumed it the obvious truth, but assumed that everyone else saw it the way he did as well.
I notice that explanations for the behavior of public officials often have a partisan bias. Speaking these speculations out loud only causes arguments and division. For all of his faults, I always thought of George W. Bush as a nice guy, so it bothered me to hear several people blame his failure to move swiftly and decisively after Hurricane Katrina on racism. Bush is one of the last people I would ever suspect of racism. Only God knows the heart, so it makes no sense for us to argue over secret motives that cannot ever be proven one way or the other. It is no way to start a policy debate.
Hi, I'm Dan. I like chocolate, hiking, and politics.