I don't think anyone believes Greg Ballard has anything close to the candidate skills that Mark Massa possesses. While Massa did have to carry some of the Brizzi scandal-laced baggage, Ballard has been piling up his own baggage during his first three years in office. Imagine Ballard trying to defend numerous tax/fee increases while promising as a candidate not to raise taxes, a $33.5 million gift to the Pacers, IMPD scandals and endless junkets to exotic locales. Marion County Democratic Chairman Ed Treacy's only dilemma is trying to narrow down the possible options so as to not clutter the anti-Ballard message.
Mayor Ballard's only chance of winning re-election was to take his fortunate victory of 2007 and be a Mayor who changed the insider establishment game played for decades by Indianapolis mayors of both political stripes. He could have become a new kind of mayor, one who put the people and neighborhoods ahead of the downtown elite crowd. Mayor Ballard didn't do that though. He instead shunned the people who helped him get elected and who could have led his administration in a different (and winning) direction in favor of those insiders who are simply using the Mayor's political naivety to line their pockets and their friends' pockets.
If Mark Massa, as a Republican, can't win a county-wide office in a huge Republican year, how exactly is Mayor Ballard going to win election in 2011 when the rebound from the 2010 Republican landslide has set in? The answer is he won't. Council Republicans need to start thinking about winning their districts instead of rubberstamping an unpopular mayoral agenda being advanced solely to make insiders rich.