INDIANAPOLIS - The clock has almost run out on the Mitch Daniels era in Indiana.
The outgoing governor packed up the last of his belongings at the Statehouse Friday and prepared to take over as president of Purdue the following week.
Daniels leaves office having kept his word from more than eight years ago that this is the only elective office he'd ever run for.
A little more than a year ago, many Republicans were imploring him to seek the presidency, and many offer the 2012 election polls showing voters unexcited about either nominee as proof he could have won.
Daniels said he thinks he made the right decision.
"I don't regret it, for two reasons. First of all, it was a decision that was right from a family standpoint. Secondly, I was serious. You heard me say many times that I told Hoosiers I never ran for an office before. I don't plan to run for another one," he said. "I just want to serve in this job, try to make decisions, not out of any ambition, and not with an eye to anything else but the best we can for the interests of this state. And we were able to honor that commitment."
Daniels said he got a lot done in his final two years -- another balanced budget, more education reform, and Right to Work -- that he probably couldn't have accomplished if he'd been running for president.
"Could we have won? Maybe so. I mean, people are certainly writing that these days," he said. "But (that's) easy to say now."
Daniels said he doesn't spend a minute thinking about it, because, in his words, what good would it do?
"I will say that the pathway at least to the nomination, I think, was as open as you could imagine it being," he said. "Something probably would have gone wrong."
Daniels said he'll never run for office again.
He's not quite as adamant about an appointed government position, but he said that's unlikely, too.
He said by the time he finishes his task at Purdue, the clock on his public service will have finished ticking.
Governor-Elect Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, will start moving his things into the governor's office Saturday afternoon.