Gov. Mitch Daniels says he'll decide within weeks whether to run for president—but he's stressing that the legislative victories he won in the session that ended Friday were aimed at moving Indiana forward, not building a White House campaign.
Daniels said Saturday that it's a "weird time" as political observers watch for signs of his decision. He says if he switched his breakfast "from oatmeal to cornflakes, someone would say it's a move to the Iowa caucus."
Legislative leaders delivered to Daniels sweeping bills that reflect the GOP agenda, including a balanced budget and the nation's broadest private school voucher program. Indiana is also set to become the first state to cut funding for abortion providers, which could boost Daniels' image among social conservatives.
Daniels is heading on a three-day trip with appearances in New York, Baltimore and Washington while he gets closer to making a decision about entering the Republican presidential race.
The governor's office says Daniels will receive a leadership in government award from Columbia University's business school during a Monday evening ceremony in New York. He'll then travel to Baltimore to receive an award Tuesday from the Harbour League, a group that promotes conservative government policies.
Daniels will wrap up his trip Wednesday in Washington, where he will give a speech about educational change at the conservative American Enterprise Institute think tank.
In another event, he'll receive a public service award from The Arab American Institute. The governor's paternal grandparents were from Syria.