Holiday Weekend Catch Up

Welcome back from the long weekend everyone.  We hope you took the time to enjoy the great weather, a great Indy 500 and the Memorial Day holiday. 

After going over the blogs this morning, we have a few things we thought we’d address.

First, Jon Easter says we are “shameful” because we noted that he even admitted some areas of the city really need construction work.  It is clear from the comments on the post that Jon is taking some flack from Democrat insiders.  Sorry, Jon, we weren’t trying to stir the pot and get you in trouble.  We’re willing to bet his post was written after a Kennedy campaign flack got frustrated.

Speaking of campaign flacks, Indianapolis Times blogger Terry Burns posted he is hearing there may be a shake-up in the Ballard campaign.  We’re going to guess that Terry Burns has as much insider information on the Ballard campaign as Gary Welsh and Paul Ogden do.  It seems to us that, again, the Kennedy campaign is getting a little sensitive to the Ballard campaign responses. 

Lastly, Jon Easter posted on the latest version of Mitch Watch 2012 and the potential that Governor Daniels could be the Vice Presidential pick for the Republicans.  Jon seems to think that ruling out the Presidential run for family reasons should also rule out a Vice Presidential potential.  While Jon does admit there is a difference between the two roles, he comments that “they both come with a great deal of scrutiny, closet skeleton searching, and an in-depth look at someone’s record.”  He goes further saying that was clearly a concern to the Governor.

While we think the Daniels’ were probably less than thrilled with the stories regarding their divorce, we really think the idea of a long campaign starting this May and potentially last through November of 2012 if Governor Daniels won the nomination was the biggest problem.  Additionally, it is a lifestyle change for the rest of your life if you are elected President.  Those seem to be the larger considerations that they mentioned.

A Vice-Presidential spot on the ticket is essentially a five month campaign, far less scrutiny and a place in the spotlight without the life altering drawbacks.  While we’d prefer Daniels at the top of the ticket, beggars can’t be choosers and we’ll take what we can get.

When Democrats Attack Progress: Kennedy and Democrats Attacking Road Work, Questioning Mayor’s Integrity

We saw this story while we were on hiatus but were inclined to let it slide until our friends at IndyDemocrat posted a story on it this week.

Last week, the Indy Star had an article on the newly released $55 million RebuildIndy funds being used to repair bridges, streets and sidewalks all over the county. This is a part of the total $170 million RebuildIndy has invested since last September.

A business owner was quoted praising the work saying, “I just appreciate, as a business owner in the community, just to see the work that has progressed today.”

Obviously all this good press and progress isn’t good for Melina Kennedy’s campaign and she did what we’ve seen her do time and time again–attack.  After commenting on the massive amount of construction occurring, Kennedy said, “I just want assurances that he’s not rushing these projects for election purposes.”

Seriously?  It is one thing to dislike something that is happening or disagree with Mayor Ballard but it is quite another to attack his integrity.  Even Mayor Ballard’s harshest critics believe he is an upstanding guy who does what he thinks is best for Indianapolis.  They may not agree with his decisions but they do believe he is an honest person. 

Why is the construction work happening quickly?  Even Jon Easter admits that there are reasons outside of politics though he is still using some of Kennedy’s talking points.  Easter says, “The Super Bowl could be one reason, and the fact that some of these areas of the city really needed the work.”

That’s right, even Democrat bloggers know the state of disrepair this city was left in by the past administration and that the infrastructure desperately needs to be repaired.  And can you believe that the City of Indianapolis would want to make a good impression and be in the best shape possible before the Super Bowl comes to town?  Man, those guys are crazy to want to get the work done before such a small event.  

Yes, road construction is an inconvenience.  Do we care enough to not fix the roads and bridges?  Of course not–at least most of us who are adults do not.  Is the work shoddy?  No. This spring’s weather has been strange to say the least and that has an impact on things.

It seems to us like silly season has started a bit early this year. If Melina Kennedy wants to be taken seriously, she’s going to have to raise the bar a bit.

And We’re Back. Here is Our Take on Gov. Daniels’ Decision

We decided to take a little time off from our blogging duties. The weather got nice, the politics got stagnant and we decided to check out for a while.

Alas, the dust has settled from the roller coaster ride that was Mitch Daniels considering running for President.  We were sick of hearing about it months ago and are thankful it is finally over.  Obviously, you all already know he opted against a run.

We’re not going to lie. We were surprised he decided against it. That said, we understand the decision to some extent. The Real Clear Politics story shows there was going to be a lot of talk about the Daniels’ divorce and Cheri’s comings and goings. It is understandable that no one would want to relive that time in their lives.

Getting out of the race might take some attention away from the stories, but it won’t stop them. Anybody ever seen Primary Colors? (If you haven’t, go watch it. Right now. We aren’t kidding.) They might not hit it quite as hard but they’ll cover it if it will sell one newspaper. Might as well run for President if they are going to cover it anyway.

We think it is admirable that the Governor cared so much about his family’s feelings on a campaign for President.  We also think he probably shouldn’t have made it quite so clear that the ladies in the family vetoed a run and there wasn’t much he could do about it.  That isn’t exactly our idea of protecting your family–and it was totally unnecessary.

Regardless, the decision has been made and Mitch Watch 2011 is over.  We’re disappointed and looking to see who will step up from the Republican Party.  We’re looking at the field and we do not see a winner right now.  Feel free to tell us if you think we are wrong and push us toward your favorite candidate.

What Does It All Mean: Marion County Primary Election Results

While some over at Indianapolis Times spent their Friday night writing a blog post on the Marion County Primary Election Results and criticizing us for not blogging on them yet, we took our time writing this post.

After a few days of reflection, here is what we are taking away from the Primary Election:  Melina Kennedy is the Democrat nominee and will face Greg Ballard in the fall.  The Marion County slates won.

Simple?  Yes.  The only actual facts you get from a primary election?  Yes again.

Did the Democrats have more votes?  Sure.  They had a contested race at the top of the ticket. They also had a 20,000 straight ticket vote advantage in the last General Election.  From that perspective, they may have had more votes but their turnout was lower than it seems.

Did Melina Kennedy get the majority of the votes in her 3-way race?  Yes.  But 23% of her party voted for someone else.   Are they going to end up voting for her in the fall?  Probably.  Will they definitely go vote?  Will they be motivated to work for her?  Who knows.

A lot of people will try to draw conclusions on how the Primary results will impact the General Elections or what clues it gives us as to what will happen in the fall.  There are a hundred different ways to run numbers and spin these results.  Our guess is that people will continue to do it. But the fact is that we won’t know what clues these numbers gave to the outcome in the General Election until we know the outcome of the General Election.

The only thing we really know is this will be a hotly contested race and there is a lot to shake out over the next 6 months.  On to the main event!

Donnelly Announces for U.S. Senate by Video

Video announcements seem to be all the cool thing to do this year.  First, we had Congressman Mike Pence announce for Governor via video and now we have Congressman Joe Donnelly announcing he’ll run for U.S. Senate.

You can watch the video at the campaign’s new website, www.joeforindiana.com. The video is essentially a bio ad with a lot of talk about hard work and moving America forward but not much about how.  That said, Donnelly needs to introduce himself to the rest of the state outside the 2nd District and this video isn’t a bad start.

Gary Welsh, over at Advance Indiana, maintains that Joe Donnelly is really hoping to match up against  Senator Richard Lugar and not Richard Mourdock.  And people accuse us of a political spin!  There is no way Donnelly wants to match up with Senator Lugar.  Lugar has broad appeal especially in the General Election and the residency issue is more an issue of perception than a legal concern. 

The bottom line is there is no way Joe Donnelly would be running for U.S. Senate if there was not a Republican Primary.  The primary race will eventually get very ugly on both sides and Lugar will spend his $3 million cash on hand down to nothing if that is what it takes to win.  The eventual Republican nominee will be beat up and have spent a great deal of their money when they come out of the 2012 May Primary while Joe Donnelly will be spending his time raising money and gearing up for battle. 

Indiana is a Republican leaning state but this could interesting.

AP Says Congressman Joe Donnelly Will Run For U.S. Senate

We’ve been telling you this since mid-February but the AP reported on Sunday morning that U.S. Congressman Joe Donnelly will run for U.S. Senate. 

The announcement is said to be happening sometime today. 

Developing…

Congressional Races Heating Up

Now that we have that little announcement about the Governor’s race out of the way, the Congressional races decided they wanted in on the fun.

Jim Shella and Matt Tully have both reported that Luke Messer issued a statement following Mike Pence’s announcement for Governor. Shella indicates Messer will hold a formal announcement in the next few weeks. Messer is from Shelby County and was drawn into the 6th.   We have heard of a few other people being interested, including Wayne County Sheriff Matt Strittmatter.  That said, we would expect to see some pretty big hitters come out behind Messer after an impressive effort in the 5th Congressional District against Dan Burton.

Another interesting development  just reported by Hoosier Access is that Congressman Marlin Stutzman may be behind the push for a primary challenger to Jackie Walorski in the 2nd District.  State Senator Carlin Yoder is speculated to be weighing a challenge to Walorski but our friends at Hoosier Access hear that rumor is being pushed by Stutzman and his staff and is not based on actual actions by Yoder.  We’re unsure why Stutzman would want to wade into this since so much effort was put into drawing a Republican district and Walorski is rumored to already be working with the NRCC on her race. 

We’re not sure if there is some kind of a feud we do not know about playing here.  We do know that Stutzman wanted to keep some of Elkhart County and it was given to Walorski.  Still, that seems like a small reason to jump into a race that should be an a quick and easy primary with a focus on the general election.

For the Democrats, all seems to be quiet at this point outside of the 8th District where Bucshon has two Democrats fighting it out in a primary for a chance to go against him in the fall.

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