Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels ended his very public flirtation with running for president early Sunday with an e-mail to supporters distributed through the Indiana Republican Party.
"The counsel and encouragement I received from important citizens like you caused me to think very deeply about becoming a national candidate," the Indiana governor said in the e-mail.
"In the end, 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."
With top Republicans anxious about the underwhelming state of the Republican field, Daniels was pressed to enter the race by close advisers and former Bush administration officials who worked with him when he served as White House budget director from 2001 to 2003.
Daniels, who became governor in 2005, would have presented himself as the most fiscally conservative choice among the Republican presidential candidates, having flipped a state budget deficit into a surplus along with reducing tax rates and passing a sweeping education reform package in the most recent legislative session.
But in considering a presidential bid, Daniels had publicly fretted about his family's well-being.
His dramatic marriage -- he and his wife, Cheri, divorced then re-married in the 1990s -- had recently spilled into public view.
The famously private Cheri Daniels spoke at a spring fundraiser for the Indiana GOP this month, an event political observers watched closely to see whether the Daniels family was prepared to leap into the presidential fray.
Even after the speech, it was clear the Indiana first lady was "nervous" about her personal life becoming public fodder.
Daniels, too, seemed reluctant to join the race and openly questioned whether he had the desire to survive the long and exhausting marathon of running for president, indecision that led some observers to dub him "The Hoosier Hamlet."
"Maybe I could do that, maybe someone else could do it better," Daniels said recently when asked whether he wanted to run.
It seemed throughout the decision-making process that his advisers and supporters wanted him to run more than he did.
"If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry," Daniels wrote in the late night e-mail.
"If you feel that this was a non-courageous or unpatriotic decision, I understand and will not attempt to persuade you otherwise. I only hope that you will accept my sincerity in the judgment I reached."