|Ballard for Senate? Nah...Even He Likely|
Finds It Funny.
I was driving around this weekend, and I came up with five reasons why he won't run for Senate. Here they are:
1 & 2.) He's the Mayor of Indianapolis, and he's from Indianapolis.
Whether Ballard runs for reelection or not in 2015, there really is not much more of a hit to a statewide campaign than being the Mayor of the state's largest city. That's not to say it's a disqualifier, but there have been few successful Indianapolis Mayors that have gone on to state office.
Richard Lugar is an exception, but two more recent Mayors of Indianapolis ran for state office and lost. Both Bill Hudnut and Stephen Goldsmith were unsuccessful in statewide campaigns. Both were accomplished mayors with much on their resumes. Both lost to Democrats. For that reason, I sure hope Ballard runs.
The second part of this reason is that candidates from Indianapolis have long had difficulty winning statewide races. Mitch Daniels was an exception.
3.) Many Conservatives Don't Think He's Conservative
While Ballard has found his own coalition of local Republicans and Democrats that elected and reelected him, statewide, especially in his own primary, he would face greater scrutiny of his record. That scrutiny could make it impossible for him to make it through a primary of conservative Republicans in a prospectively crowded field that would be ready to portray him as left of Donnelly.
My fellow blogger and friend Paul Ogden has been highly critical of Ballard's decidedly anti-conservative ways. It's hard not to agree with him. Ballard really isn't a conservative. In fact, it's hard to tell what he is. The Tea Party wing (which still has great influence in primaries...see Mourdock, Richard) will likely say that Ballard isn't the same conservative they early adopted.
4.) Running for Senate Makes Him a Hypocrite
Throughout his first two terms in office and the campaigns for those, there's two themes that have run over and over again. First, Ballard is a Marine. Second, Ballard is not a politician. While you can certainly be a Marine and run for office, you cannot be anything but a politician if you are running for a higher office. So much for being "not a politician" if he ladder climbs. I do think Ballard cares about that...well...because he's a Marine.
5.) Statewide Office Requires Traveling Around the State
Running for statewide office would interfere with Mayor Ballard's travel schedule. As Mayor of Indianapolis, he only has to travel the city. Running for Senate would require him to travel to all 92 counties and visit county fairs, Lincoln Day Dinners, and a variety of other events. Can you imagine Mayor Greg Ballard working that hard? Probably not.
BONUS REASON) I honestly think Ballard is happy just being Mayor of Indy.