Marion County GOP Chairman Tom John continues to prove that he's does not know much about campaign politics. This morning's Star brings this quote from John regarding the prospective Democratic candidates for Mayor in 2011:
"It's just like a bunch of clowns getting out of a clown car at the circus. It's just kind of a joke right now," Marion County Republican Chairman Tom John said. "It's a good sign there's so many of them, because it shows they really don't have a campaign against this administration."While I'm bothered by the insider status of most of the Democratic candidates, they are hardly "clowns." Melina Kennedy was a former Deputy Mayor under former Mayor Bart Peterson. Joe Hogsett, who has been rumored as a candidate, is a former Secretary of State. Other possible candidates include Dr. Woody Myers, a well-respected former state Health Commissioner, Kip Tew, a former state Democratic chairman, and Jose Evans, a sitting city-county councilor. Indianapolis businessman Brian Williams has already filed to run as a Democrat.
These are serious candidates who can run serious campaigns. John ought to be troubled the fact that so many big name Democrats are willing to line up to challenge Mayor Greg Ballard. What John ought to be even more concerned about is that there is so much opposition to Ballard within his own party that he is likely to have substantial and vocal opposition in the GOP primary in 2011. In that primary, the Republican opposing Mayor Ballard will most likely point out the truth: that the Mayor has repeatedly broken campaign promises, including not to raise taxes and pursue ethics reforms, and sold out his former supporters and populist roots, to cozy up to insiders who are seeking trying to make as much money as they can off of the City.
Should Mayor Ballard survive the 2011 primary, which is not a given, he will face enormous obstacles to re-election, especially given so many grass roots Republicans have given up on supporting him. Marion County GOP Tom John would be well advised to take off the rose-colored glasses and have a reality check.