Friday, July 25, 2014

Let's Get Real, Indiana GOP

Evan Bayh
The Indiana Republican Party put together an amusing web video that asked random folks on Monument Circle downtown to identify a couple of Democrats.

The intern from the Indiana GOP was armed with a microphone, a camera operator, and two pictures.  One was of Joe Hogsett, and the other was of Evan Bayh.

Predictably, the people shown in the video were either not interested in talking about politics or could not identify Hogsett or Bayh.  That, frankly, does not shock me.  Most Hoosiers are in the middle of their summer right now, and they aren't thinking of politics.  The 2014 election cycle isn't even on their agenda right now, and 2015 and 2016 are still way in the future.

As I said.  The video is amusing, but the execution isn't particularly great, and you get the feeling that if this is the best the GOP can do, Evan and Joe are going to be fine if they decide to pursue office again.  See...let's get real here, Indiana Republicans.

There are some things a throwaway web video can't change about Evan Bayh.  When he was Governor of Indiana, Evan Bayh was a very successful leader.  He has a record of cutting taxes, funding education, pushing reforms, and leaving the state in good shape when he left office.  He also has over $9 million to get this record to the masses, should he decide to run for Governor.

Joe Hogsett
Here are some things a chuckle-worthy video can't change about Joe Hogsett.  Hogsett, if he does decide to run for Mayor of Indianapolis, will be running against a man likely running for his third term in office in Greg Ballard.  It's become a daily drumbeat of bad news when it comes to crime in this city.  Just yesterday, there was more violence.  Ballard has had seven years to fix a lot of problems in public safety which, by his own representation, was job one for him.  Combined with other vulnerabilities, a skillful politician such as Hogsett can make this a more than competitive race in a county and city that runs more and more blue.  Like Bayh, Hogsett can raise a bunch of campaign cash and use that to define Ballard's record in office. 

Republicans want to remind folks that Hogsett has run before for office.  Ok.  We can talk about those runs and those races if you want.  Hogsett has never been the favorite in any race he's taken on.  His last run for Attorney General was particularly against the political current of 2004 Indiana.  Before that, he ran against incumbent Republican Senator Dan Coats in 1992.  In 1994, not many Democrats did well including Indy's own Andy Jacobs who survived a challenge for reelection from Marvin Scott, 53 percent to 47 percent.  The very popular Lee Hamilton only prevalied 52 percent to 48 percent in his race.  Conservative David McIntosh beat Hogsett by 10 percentage points.  In his 1990 race for Secretary of State, Hogsett, who had been appointed to replace Bayh as Secretary of State, was not the favorite, either.  Powerful Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut was expected to wipe the floor with the young whipper snapper.  He lost.  My friend Paul Ogden does a really nice job in this blog piece analyzing what happened to Hogsett in all of those races.

Personally, I'd like to see the results of a similar survey if Democrats did a video.  We could take a picture of the GOP power brokers out there and see if anyone knows them.  I'm sure everyone will know Brian Bosma, David Long, and Dan Coats.  It would be cool to see if they knew who the real power folks were behind Ballard, too.  That's kind of a nastiness I don't normally get into.

Here's the GOP's video if you wish to see it.

No comments: