After Mitch Daniels ’71 was arrested, indicted and convicted on charges of drug use as an undergraduate in May 1970, he said that he thought his aspiring political career was doomed.
“Any goal I might have had for competing for public office were shot,” he told The Daily Princetonian in September 1988.
More than 20 years later, Daniels, now the governor of Indiana, has proved his own nay-saying wrong, emerging as a national political figure that many speculate will make a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. His four years at Princeton, most prominently marked by the legal problems of his junior year, reveal a complicated man that bridged seeming contradictions in both his academic and extracurricular lives.
Perhaps the most pivotal day of Daniels’ four years at Princeton was May 14, 1970 — the day of the drug arrest that Daniels thought would sully his political future. Officers found enough marijuana in his room to fill two size 12 shoe boxes, reports of the incident say.