Monday, February 11, 2013

Ballard for Senate? Five Reasons Why Answer Is NO

Ballard for Senate? Nah...Even He Likely
Finds It Funny.
Indy Politics published a tease for its subscribers only gossip piece known as the "Cheat Sheet" last week that hinted Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is being recruited to run for Senate in 2018 against Joe Donnelly.

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.


Paul K. Ogden said...

He would be running for the Lugar-Donnelly seat. The Republican electorate rejected Lugar as a nominee in 2012 in large part because he was viewed as not being a conservative. But Lugar was much, much more conservative than Ballard. Heck, Donnelly is much more conservative than Ballard. When this rumor started, I have had far right-wing Republicans tell me they'd vote for Donnelly over Ballard.

Republicans in the primary would trot out the "list" - that lengthy list of taxes and fees that Ballard has proposed, often successfully, to raise while Mayor of Indianapolis. They would also trot out his repeated statements against gun rights. Not only would that doom him in a primary, it would also doom him in a general election against Donnelly.

I would also point out that as a Senator you're not really in a position to hand out benefits to supporters like you are as Mayor of Indianapolis. So I don't think the people around him as Mayor are going to work as hard if he runs for Senator.

Your other arguments against this happening are right on the mark too.

Had Enough Indy? said...

You seem to forget that Ballard is busy travelling the world. Keeping the travel to merely the State might be too much of a crimp in his style.

Anonymous said...

IM surprised that he isn't running for State Treasurer to replace Mourdock..Ballard has done such a fine job with our money...(tongue in cheek)