Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Robert Vane & The Mayor

I've heard from several Republicans friends who were unhappy with Robert Vane's op-ed piece criticizing Sheila Suess Kennedy for her Indianapolis Star editorial suggesting the Mayor's performance thus far has been sub-par and questioning whether he was up to the job. These Republicans support the Mayor but believe his administration has seriously gone off track and are desperate for the Mayor to change direction if he (and the Republicans on the council) is going to have any chance of winning in 2011. They believe that comments like Vane's enable the status quo to continue which spells disaster for Marion County Republicans moving forward.

First, I would say Robert Vane needs to be cut some slack. He is the communications director for the State Republican Party. His job is to spout the party line, to do political spin when necessary. His job is not to give the straight scoop in an op-ed piece. It appears from reading the piece that Vane did his job as communication director extremely well.

Having said that, I certainly hope that not everyone around Mayor Ballard is feeding him Vane's rosy scenario regarding how things are going. The Mayor needs some people around him who will be honest about how things are going and urge him to completely re-evaluate the direction of his administration and make major changes. He needs to start that change by cleaning house and bringing fresh blood and ideas into his administration. If the Mayor is too nice of a guy to do the firing that needs to be done, he needs to bring in a chief of staff who will.


Anonymous said...

I was just curious as to what you think of the indianapolis media saying JLT is dead in the water. And also what do you think of her inquiries into the guvs use of state vehicles? Is she just desperate or is there more than meets the eye?

Paul K. Ogden said...

I don't know that I've seen anyone say she's "dead in the water." I saw where Channel 8's Shella speculated probably correctly) guesses that she has having money problems.

The media overemphasizes the importance of money in a campaign. It's certainly important, but once two candidates reach a point where they are adequately funded and can get the message out, then one campaign having more money than other is no longer a huge advantage. Let me say though, that I don't htink JLT has reached a level of being adequately funded. Having said that, how well Obama runs in the state and any coattails he has could have as major of an effect as the money situation.

As far as inquires into the Governor's use of state vehicles, I don't care too much for that specific attack because the Gov needs to travel and trips often involve both political and governmental stops. However, I think the attacks thus far are very mild compared to what's coming. I expect JLT to start attacking ethics and governmental screwups in a big way in order to run up Daniel's negatives and try to consolidate the base.

Not all of those attacks are likely to be unfair. I'm on record as saying that Gov. Daniels has a real weakness when it comes to strong supervision of state agencies. It's almost as if he doesn't want to get involved. As a result, scandals and other problems end up on the front page when they could and should have been nipped in the bud far earlier if the Governor's office would have acted proactively when confronted initially with the problems.

Anonymous said...

Then what about Jen Wagners blog entry on Capitol Watchblog saying this race is essentially over and Jill lost?

Paul K. Ogden said...

I have not seen Jen's comment, but I'll check it out. She did work for JLT's opponent, I would note though.

Two months out, in a year in which the D's are likely to do very well nationwide if not in Indiana, is way too early to count out a Democrat candidate for Governor. She does have time to fix the problems. But if Jen's comments are to be taken that JLT campaign is not working, then I would agree with that. As I said before though, half of the battle in poolitics is simply being in the right spot when lightning strikes. Come November 4 if there is an Obama sweep, JLT's raft might get carried ashore. (Sorry for mixing several metaphors.)