Monday, May 9, 2011

Donnelly In for Senate; Who Joins Him?


In an announcement later today, Joe Donnelly is expected to announce that he is running for United States Senate in 2012. This announcement comes as no shock to anyone.

Donnelly has been saying for about two months now that he is interested in the job, and the final nail on his House career was probably driven home with the redraw of the 2nd Congressional District. Democrat Andrew Straw announced last week that he was going to take on that challenge and try to hold on to the seat for the D's.

So, Donnelly is going to join Republicans Richard Mourdock and Richard Lugar in the running for Senate. I would speculate that others will follow on the Democratic side as well.

Donnelly is a Blue Dog Democrat. He has proven to be one of the more "independent" Democrats in his time as a U.S. House member. Recently, he voted for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. He voted no on legislation to include national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity in the definition of a hate crime. Only at the last minute, he decided to vote for the health care bill. He voted against the DREAM Act. I'm sure there's a multitude of other things as well like his vote on the so-called "Redefining Rape" bill.

Here we go again with another Dem like Evan Bayh running for Senate. Donnelly may even be more extreme than Bayh or Ellsworth (the last Bayh clone to give it a go). For the record, after speaking with Brad Ellsworth, I became a big supporter. I have yet to talk to Congressman Donnelly about his views, but, needless to say, his candidacy fails, as Randy Jackson would say on American Idol, to "make me jump up and down" at this point.

Sources told the Indianapolis Star that Donnelly is running because he doesn't think that Richard Lugar can beat Richard Mourdock in a primary. That may be true, but I wouldn't bet on it. Lugar has millions in the bank, and he can get more. It's also going to be hard for the extremist, Mourdock, to topple Lugar. We saw Dan Coats prove very tough to stop by tea partiers last time around. Sure, Coats put on the...well...coat of a Tea Partier to win, but his past record and the fact that he was a former member of Congress certainly worked against what the Tea Party stands for.

Anyway, I'm not so sure Donnelly will be alone this time. The Indiana Democratic Party is not the strongest political organization right now, and I don't think they can keep people out. One of those people rumored to be considering a Senate run is Dr. Woodrow Myers, the former Indiana Health Commissioner and Congressional candidate. I've also heard a couple of other names, but I haven't heard them nearly as often or as loud as Myers' name.

I wish Donnelly well, but I really don't like the idea of another middle-of-the-road Democrat running for office. I admit, all could change if and when I talk face-to-face to Donnelly, but I'm just not excited about this announcement.

Should be interesting to see what develops.

6 comments:

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Help me understand. You don't like the "extremist" candidate Mourdock, nor do you like the "middle-of-the-road" candidate Donnelly.

I'm also confused by what is so "extreme" about Mourdock? Is it that he doesn't believe it is wise to spend more than we bring in?

Anonymous said...

You are crazy. Lib dems can't win statewide. This is not California . No moral victories with 38%.

Anonymous said...

Donnelly is not middle of the road. He is far to the right of the middle. If that is all the Democratic party can produce then I will leave that spot vacant on my ballot. I have had enough of the Evan Bayh faux Democrats. Either be a Democrat or defect to the Republicans but don't run as a Democrat and think and vote like a Republican.

Anonymous said...

Brad Ellsworth got 39+% of the vote in 2010. If that Evan Bayh hand picked candidate could only do that, why would we go down that road again.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to argue about the 100 year flood that was 2010, that shows your political knowledge.

Donnelly has supported...what - 85% of the Obama legislative agenda? Healthcare? Yep. Stimulus. Yep. Other stuff. Yep. Donnelly is absolutely middle of the road which is exactly what we need.

Again, Indiana is not California. Or Center Township. Have you ever been to the hinterland? Democrats...that's right...Dems in most of those parts are pro-life, marriage is man/woman etc. Welcome to political reality.

Let me remind you too without Evan Bayh there would have been no Democratic party - statewide - in the past 30 years. No House majority, no 16 years of Governors (no O'Bannon) and the freebees for Dems all those years, possibly no Bart Peterson. So crap on him all you want but he knew how to win and deliver for Democrats.

And I thought the Dems were the big tent party. Not on this blog apparently. Bunch of better than thou political losers.

Jon E. Easter said...

Mourdock is extreme enough to be the darling of the Tea Party. That's all I need to know.

I never said that a liberal could win in Indiana.