Washington (CNN) - As he decides whether to enter the Republican presidential nomination battle, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels came to Washington on Wednesday touting his education reform and fiscal records but giving no further hints on which way he may be leaning.
During an appearance at the American Enterprise Institute, he talked about how the reforms just passed by the state legislature, including requiring annual evaluations of teachers and more charter schools in the state, will dramatically improve the education standards in the state.
The questions naturally turned to his presidential aspirations. When a reporter asked why it is not too late for someone to enter if he is not a celebrity or a billionaire, the audience erupted in laughter.
"People even more sage than I about our political process and our presidential process are very surprised that on May the 4th it is not already far too late, but for whatever reason it is not. I consider that from the standpoint of the public a blessing," Daniels said. "I guess unless you are a political professional or running a bed and breakfast in New Hampshire it is, it is a darned good thing that we'll have a campaign measured in months- a nomination campaign measured in months and not years."
In his second term as governor, a key emphasis of Daniels is to emphasize how the nation must confront the rising debt it faces and how dangerous it is.
A fiscal conservative, Daniels Wednesday also pointed out how his state is in the black at a time of economic distress, he has not raised taxes and has been able to even increase the amount devoted to education spending.
He, however, has drawn the scorn of some conservative activists in his party for calling a truce on social issues so there can be more concentration on the fiscal problems.
Daniels has said he would only make a decision about a run after the state legislature adjourned for the year, which it did on Friday.
In an interview with Fortune Magazine on Tuesday, he was asked if he's running for president and he said, "I really haven't made up my mind on that yet."
He told his speech audience on Wednesday that by this date "I really thought it might become too late. If it had that would have been that. But for whatever reason it appears not to be. Again I think it is a happy surprise."
But his advisers are making sure word of his accomplishments is getting out: an email listing them went out to reporters on Saturday, and during his East Coast trip this week he has done a series of national press interviews.