|Rep. Pat Bauer|
Bauer is an old school politician for sure. He can give a fiery stump speech and hurl political attacks with the best of them. We've also seen he can vote to put discrimination into the Indiana Constitution. I know he's a hero to many union members, but, after that vote, I can't support him as the leader of our caucus.
It's time for a change and for some new ideas. The question is: where do you go from here? The Indiana Democratic Party is in such a weakened condition statewide that the Indiana House and the Indiana Senate are both getting out of reach. The failure to maintain the majority in 2010 and the expansion of that majority in 2012 has given the Republicans 60 seats. Old school political tactics aren't going to take them back. Democrats need new leadership from within the caucus.
That caucus will look different from an experience perspective in January. Longtime Representatives like Bill Crawford and John Day, who have served with distinction, will be on the sidelines. Big thinkers like Mary Ann Sullivan will hopefully be in the Senate. Then there's Scott Reske trying to work his way into Congress. Those changes are just in and around Marion County. With even more changes around the state, it only makes sense to change the leadership role.
Pat Bauer has run his course. He needs to step aside or be moved aside for someone else. Bauer has served his caucus and Indiana pretty well, but now it's time for someone else to lead and start to build the party again. It's going to be tough, but new tactics will be a welcome sign of change.