The economy had been headed south since the â??70s and had taken another beating early in the decade. Voters were only too familiar with manufacturersâ?? closing plants and laying off workers by the bus load in order to catch up with foreign competitors.
Under his administration, the ship would begin to turn, promised Daniels, a Republican.
Now, Democratic challengers Jim Schellinger and Jill Long Thompson are testing messages for the primary election in May, and a recent job report might have handed them more ammunition.
The government report shows the state is still 27,000 positions short of the peak employment of 3 million nearly eight years ago. In other words, by one common measure, Indianaâ??s economy has gone nowhere.
Danielsâ?? supporters have long said the state was so tattered that a single term wouldnâ??t be enough to reach such an ambitious goal.
Still, four years is four years. Would Schellinger or Thompson have a legitimate case against Daniels if they played the economy card?