Charlotte Hays

When Ernest Simpson was being cuckolded by King Edward VIII, a London revue had Simpson saying, “I regret that I have but one wife to give for my country.”

Well, it looks like Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is not going to sacrifice his wife to run for the presidency in 2012. The email in which the governor communicated his decision not to enter the race was, like Mitch himself, low-key: "I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one, but that, the interests and wishes of my family, is the most important consideration of all," he wrote in a message that was sent to supporters in the early morning hours of Sunday.

For the waiting-for-Mitch crowd (and I was a member), this was a blow. It appears that a strange marital back story derailed the candidacy: Daniels was apparently protecting the privacy of his wife Cheri, who in 1994 divorced Daniels, leaving him with four daughters to bring up alone, while she quickly married a surgeon in California. In 1997 Cheri wanted to return to Daniels, and he took her back. They remarried, but it is certainly not your average candidate’s picture perfect marriage.

While none of the saga makes Mrs. Daniels look particularly great, I believe it might actually have endeared Mitch to the so-called values crowd. In a way it demonstrates that the man who called for a truce on social issues is the same man who showed an uncommon fidelity to his marriage vows. You can’t do better when it comes to upholding family values. Admittedly Cheri doesn’t come off quite so well, but apparently she did have the humility to seek forgiveness and go home.

The sophisticates in the mainstream media wouldn’t have been able to get enough of the Daniels marriage. Adding insult to injury, they would have attempted to cloak their prurient interest by claiming it was an obligation to report incessantly on Cheri’s episode because the aforementioned values voters are likely to be turned off by the marriage. No doubt, they would have found some way to drag in hypocrisy—difficult as that might be this instance—because that is inevitably the justification for wall to wall coverage of Republican transgressions.

Charlotte Hays

Director of Cultural Programs at the Independent Women's Forum.