Saturday, August 29, 2009

Marion County GOP Chairman Continues To Exercise Bad Judgment, Refers to Possible Ballard Opponents As A "Bunch of Clowns"

One of the most basic rules one learns in Campaign Politics 101 is that you never deride your opponents' ability to run a strong campaign. During a campaign you can question what your opponent stands for, but when evaluating their chances you are always to speak in reverent tones and insist that it will be a tough race. Part of the reason is strategic. If donors think it is a slam dunk race, they don't contribute, volunteers don't volunteer, the electorate is not motivated to go to the polls. Another reason is that deriding your opponent's abilities looks tacky and puts you in a bad light. Voters do not like arrogance and love to punish it whenever they can.

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.


Leslie Sourwine said...


I don't know any of the people mentioned in your post but I do have a question to ask. Wasn't it Baker and Daniels who were the city attorneys under the Peterson administration?

Downtown Indy said...

More than ever, I am convinced Tom John is on the Democrat's payroll.

Not even 'complete idiot' seems to be an adquate explanation.

M Theory said...

I've heard from several sources that I trust that Tom John was to keep Ballard from getting elected because the D's and R's in bed together were making a lot of money (at taxpayer expense) by keeping Peterson in office.

I also heard that they went with Ballard cause he had no name and no money...he was the easiest guy to lose.