Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Right Must Feel Threatened: Attacks Ellsworth on Campaign Tactics
By Jon E. Easter
Brad Ellsworth is spending a lot of time right now running for Senate as a lawman rather than as a Congressman, and I think it's a smart campaign decision.
Conservatives, Republicans and the right leaning blogs right now are spending time calling Ellsworth names and calling him out for ignoring his "liberal" Congressional record. Yeah...about that. Again, this will do them no good on the end because it begs the question: "What has Dan Coats been doing the last 12 years?"
For Ellsworth, taking this question off the table is easy. He has a good message on why he's running as "Sheriff Ellsworth" rather than "Congressman Ellsworth", and it will resonate. That needs to be the focus of his next ad. His message was documented in his Indiana Democratic Party State Convention speech.
Basically, he said he understands that there's no such thing as Sheriff of Indiana, but the lessons he learned in his law enforcement background have permeated his term in Congress. He said that he couldn't just forget what he did for the previous 24 years in lieu of what he did for the last three. Ellsworth's strong law enforcement message was repeated in a quote to the Indianapolis Star's Matt Tully. "When we got called, we didn't ask if the person was rich or poor, white or black, or Republican or Democrat," he told Tully. "You just went out and tackled the problem. You looked for the common-sense approach to fix the issue."
Congressman Ellsworth, I say put that in your next ad. Highlight your accomplishments as a Congressman, and poof...all the right can do is continue to call you names. They are exceedingly weak names, too. I have heard "Ellsworthless", "Huckleberry" (on WIBC's Garrison), and "Handsome Brad". Coats' own campaign is trying to portray one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress as a liberal based solely on his votes for health care reform and the stimulus. I guess they are forgetting about his pro-gun and pro-life views.
I guess that all brings a chuckle. What shouldn't bring a chuckle to voters is the truth in this race that Dan Coats can't duck. He worked as a lobbyist and has been out of state for most of the last 12 years. Continued hammering on the Ellsworth thing only underlines that Ellsworth has been SERVING INDIANA when Coats has been SERVING CORPORATIONS and pushing many of the same reforms he now rails against as a Senatorial candidate.
Coats was an awful choice as a candidate, and Hoosier voters are smart enough to see right through to the heart of the matter. Republicans would have a better chance by arguing the issues than talking about Ellsworth's campaign tactics.