wgl_mitch_daniels_color-e1427327488859While President Obama is nowhere to be found on Fortune magazine’s list of the world’s 50 greatest leaders, a university president and former Republican rising star sits at No. 41.

The former White House budget director and Indiana governor is demonstrating that his green-eyeshade approach works just as well in academia. As president of Purdue University, he’s frozen tuition, cut costs by zeroing out administrative waste, and negotiated a deal with Amazon to save students up to 30% on textbooks. No wonder Republican Pooh-Bahs are eager to lure him back to public life. For now, though, he has forsworn a return to politics.

This observer is reminded of a former co-worker’s proudly displayed bumper sticker: “My Man Mitch.”