Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Dan Parker Reactions; Where To Go From Here
The last couple of days people have asked me for my reactions to Dan Parker's decision to step down as Indiana Democratic Party Chair. My reaction was surprise.
Given the current dearth of any big name Democrats in any big name offices here in Indiana, I didn't know of anyone big enough to push Parker out. I thought he was becoming entrenched. After all, the most powerful Democratic elected official in Indiana is arguably Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry. That means that Parker could have conceivably stayed until he wanted to leave. Perhaps that is what happened here.
I like Dan Parker personally, and I have been critical of him at times on this blog. I want to wish him the best in the future. In the end, it was time for a change given where the Indiana Democratic Party stands in this state right now.
As far as replacements go, seems like the Dems are looking at CSO Architects Executive Tim Jeffers to replace him. Jeffers is a former Chief of Staff of John Gregg and managed Jim Schellinger's failed 2008 Gubernatorial campaign. Reading between the lines, it's easy to think that maybe Gregg, who will head the party's statewide ticket in 2012, may have given Parker a nudge out the door. I haven't heard that personally, but the tea leaves could be read to show that.
Regardless of what happens, the next Indiana Democratic Party Chair has a big job. It's kind of like the job the Colts are going to have over the next few years. How to rebuild to ultimately win elections.
My advice to the new chair: don't ignore your liberal base, and don't pander to the center. Recruit good candidates that are true to their core values. Finally, show people what Democrats stand for and listen to them as well.
Jeffers' resume is impressive, but it seems like we could be looking at more of the same in the leadership of the party as well. Jeffers is a former Evan Bayh staffer...just like Parker.
I guess I have to give him the benefit of the doubt for now.