That could have been the headline in an alternate universe where outgoing Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels sought and won the Republican presidential nomination.
Instead, the "motorcycle-riding, Reason-subscribing, ObamaCare-trashing,Postrel-and-Hayek-reading governor" with a tumultuous love life is bringing a private sector sensibility to his new gig as the president of Purdue University.
Under the terms of the contract, Mr. Daniels will earn base pay of $420,000. That's near the $421,000 average for presidents of public universities, according to a Chronicle of Higher Education analysis, and down from the $555,000 earned by Purdue's previous president. Mr. Daniels could then make up to 30% in bonuses tied to hard outcome metrics like graduation rates, student affordability, faculty hiring and achievement, and philanthropic support. Even if Mr. Daniels met 100% of his targets, he'd still rank 10th in compensation among the Big Ten presidents.
Daniels left Indiana with a $500 million budget surplus and $2 billion in reserves, so (since we're already in a alternate universe) why not take a minute to indulge in a scenario where POTUS—or better yet, congressional—pay was tied to stuff like passing balanced budgets, keeping campaign promises, and/or transparency.