Joe Donnelly’s bid for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Dick Lugar got its official start yesterday as the Congressman released this video to introduce himself to the electorate.
The video, which runs over two minutes explains why Donnelly feels he should be elected to the Senate and gives some biographical information about Donnelly. It reveals that he was raised by a single father after his mother passed away when Donnelly was 10. It also introduces us to Donnelly’s family. It’s a nice piece though Donnelly comes off as a little stiff in parts.
The Indiana Democratic Party’s e-mail to supporters came in with the tagline proclaiming Donnelly as the next U.S. Senator from Indiana. I guess that means he’s the choice of the state party. It will be interesting to see if anyone tries to buck the party line on that one.
It’s no shock that the IDP would support Donnelly, who, as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, closely resembles the moderate politics of Democrats like Evan Bayh and Brad Ellsworth. I suppose I should reserve some judgment until I talk to Donnelly at some point over the next year and a half or so.
As I stated before, Donnelly’s politics don’t make me that excited. His votes and issues positions don’t mirror my own, and many of them are issues that are critical to me. I know that many point to his vote on the “Redefining Rape” bill, and I have a real problem with his opposition to adding sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin to the hate crimes definition. That, to me, is a no brainer.
Of course, as we saw with Congressman Brad Ellsworth, running statewide to all of Indiana is much different than running to a Congressional district. I would like the opportunity to see Donnelly explain these votes to the more liberal voters in Indiana that will make up his base in Marion and Lake Counties. Those counties are critical to his win.
All of that said, I’m not going to spend the next few months bashing Donnelly, but I do think it’s disappointing that the IDP seems to be “settling” for the same candidate we have seen in statewide races like this one for many years. The Indiana Democratic Party is really at a weak point right now, and this might be an opportunity to go in a new direction.
And, frankly, it doesn’t have to be that much of a new direction. The more I hear about and from John Gregg, the more this man intrigues me. I will be writing about his appearance at Monday’s Decatur Township Democratic Club Meeting tomorrow on this blog.
If Donnelly is able to keep the path clear and the Republican primary gets nasty, then I think it’s a possibility that he could have a shot at the seat. If that’s true, he will need to explain himself and his votes to the left wing of the Democratic Party. If he doesn’t sufficiently, people further left than me may sit it out, and that won’t be good for the Democrat’s chances to win.