Evan Bayh Gets a Challenger

My posting over the next week and a half is going to be light as I head into finals season (thank you Examples & Explanations for making law school studying go more smoothly), but I will be jumping in the conversation as much as possible over this time frame.

One story that popped out at me this morning during a break from reading Glannon on civil procedure was the news that Evan Bayh now has a challenger.

Former GOP Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) announced Thursday that he will challenge Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana in 2010.

As a former Congressman, Hostettler will not be an easy competitor for Bayh. That said, Hostettler was one of the most conservative members of Congress during his time and office, and Hoosiers turned him out of office in ignominy in 2006. Just how bad was Hostettler's performance three years ago? Despite the fact that his district leans 8 percentage points more Republican than the nation as a whole, Hostettler lost to Democrat Brad Ellsworth. By 22 points. So Bayh would not necessarily be well served to stark quaking in his boots or to, as a result, shift to the right by embracing a Republican filibuster on healthcare reform. Moving to the right on healthcare reform certainly isn't helping Blanche Lincoln.

Tags: IN-Sen, Indiana, Senate 2010 (all tags)



over at Swing State Project

No one seems too worried, so for now I'm still assuming Bayh is safe.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-03 10:35AM | 0 recs

....Rasmussen or PPP polls this race.

We'll see.  Indiana only went purple in 2008, and if it reverts to red ways (with Dems staying home), Bayh could be vulnerable.

by esconded 2009-12-03 11:32AM | 0 recs
If '94 and '06 are guides

seats that look safe now will not be in large part because the underlying dynamic is so strong that it will create winners out of the blue.

Bush carried Indiana by 20, and since the GOP blood is up my guess is any reasonable challenger will be tough.  One wonders if his vote against the Iraq War though will cause him to fail the "reasonable challenger" test.

My guess is it won't but we will see.

by fladem 2009-12-03 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: over at Swing State Project

Yup, his fund raising has always been awful - which wasn't too much of a problem in IN-08, but for a statewide race, he's begging for trouble.

He's a purist, as far as I can tell. He voted against his party when they weren't being, in his mind, conservative. This included voting against the war in Iraq. However, as I recall, he also tried to do things like defund the U.S. Marshall's office to the extent necessary to prevent enforcement of federal court orders to remove the Ten Commandments. Or something like that. Ah, here is what I was thinking about.

by mhojo 2009-12-04 04:42AM | 0 recs
It is pretty clear

reading the  blogs the last few days, that the Democratic Party is on the verge of complete Civil War.  The Progressive blogs really don't agree with Obama on anything, whether it is the War, the economy, HCR or Gay Rights.

In fact, I think you can argue that the divide within the party is far deeper than exists in the Republican Party.

My guess at this point is that on many issues there is a ton of grand standing going on: from Grayson on the Fed, Sanders on Bernanke and some who are threatening to defund the Wars.  I can't believe that anyone thinks, for example that actively opposing Bernanke is anything but opposition to Obama on the economy.

There are substantive reasons for questioning Obama.  In fact, I don't agree with him on three of the four issues I cited above, but the Democrats are coming dangerously close to appearing so divided that they are incapable of governing.  That perception of incompetence will prove far more deadly in 2010 than any ideogically based difference, and is in fact to some degree to repeat 1994 over again.

by fladem 2009-12-03 11:58AM | 0 recs
Make Obama switch parties

He clearly is not fighting for the interests of the Democratic party.  Every thing he is doind is wrong.  Better yet, he should just resign now.  

by Kent 2009-12-03 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Make Obama switch parties

Funny, but the other person who called for Obama's resignation today was  .  .  .  Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh said Obama needs to be told: "Mr. President, you need to stop your agenda. You need to stop it. It's your agenda that is causing the problem, sir. Have you considered resigning? Maybe go run the U.N."

You have a future in right-wing talk radio.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-03 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Make Obama switch parties

Why is it that I get warned about name calling and this guy can come here and spew his crap without any problem?

by spirowasright 2009-12-03 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Make Obama switch parties

No one understands the names you call.  I think you're too highbrow.

by Steve M 2009-12-03 01:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Make Obama switch parties

I don't know the particulars but: its candidates are fair game, but personal attacks or stalking and harassing other users is what we are trying to curtail, if thats helpful.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-03 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: It is pretty clear

I agree.. it's the perception that democrats are divided and incompetent that hurts the Dems more than anything.

The fact that Dems allow their own caucus members to filibuster signature legislation is is shocking and depressing. If this is how dems roll then they don't deserve to rule.

by vecky 2009-12-03 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: It is pretty clear

So then Tim Kaine should establish a purity test for Democrats the same way that Steele did for the Republicans?

If you want to be a big tent party, then you will be divided. If you want to be a minority party, then you can be pure.

by fsm 2009-12-03 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: It is pretty clear

There doesn't need to be a purity test. However at the very least caucus members should not vote against the party on procedural matters (filibusters, calls to order, majority leader, etc).
On the up-or down votes they can vote their conscience/district/pocket-book.

Look at Nelson (NE) for example. He voted for the Bush tax cuts - that's fine. Never mind if he had not voted for it they would have failed. That's crummy, but OK (the other D who voted for it was Miller (GA), the guy who gave the keynote at the Bush 04 convention btw). But fillibustering, that's crazy..

by vecky 2009-12-03 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: It is pretty clear

I wrote the other day, just pushing a bit into the historical aspect of what's being torn around the edges:

In case you haven't gathered, yes, going down this path led by Obama is going to drive a deep division into the Democratic Party. I have a feeling that this is a Humpty-Dumpty into pieces sort of moment for the Democratic Party: A '10-'12 primary split within the Democratic Party over the escalation of the US occupation in Afghanistan that could make the current healthcare reform debate look like patty-cake play.

There were a lot of terrific articles written about the coalition that came together in 2008 to finally win. The basic thesis is that the minority around 1972 McGovern's antiwar campaign, which won a plurality with Clinton in '92, finally captured the WH with a majority. You could probably even point back to McCarthy's '68 primary as the true genesis of the coalition. It seems irrefutable to me that Democrats won in '06 and '08 on the backs of those that demanded a different approach than a military one in the middle east. It wasn't just about Obama; but even more about a rejection of the Bush foreign policy approach. Though undoubtedly Obama will frame it differently in a speech tomorrow, this decision by Obama is effectively more of the same (with the 'different' or 'change' TBD at a later date).

I wrote that before Obama's speech, and I don't believe that he or his staff is blind to this political danger. They are threading a fine needle here with the war and with the financing of banks-- time is not on their side. But you are right, its the agenda which has greatly suffered.

The Senate candidates and the outspoken Congressman would not be coming out against Afghanistan and Bernanke if it wasn't being pushed from the grassroots. The thing is, that the economy and jobs and lack of credit is what is really a big deal that needs to be addressed, and could bring some commonality to the table.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-03 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: It is pretty clear

Anyone who thinks that the anti-war coalition ever became dominant with th Democratic party 06 and 08 victories are guilty of the kind of self-delusion usually ascribed to republicans.

Did The Dem majority of 06 stop the Bush surge, or even bring about a withdrawal timeline? No.

The Dems ran, not as opposed to wars, but opposed to stupid wars and stupid running of the wars.

by vecky 2009-12-03 02:24PM | 0 recs
Re: It is pretty clear

I think you will find that there is not anything CLOSE to the level of angst at the grassroots level than there was in 1972.  I am happy to be proven wrong about this.  Yes, the majority of Democrats say they want to get out of Afghanistan but it seems to be a low-priority issue for most of them.

Political challengers are always looking for issues on which they can distinguish themselves from the incumbent, and the war is an easy one to go to the left on.  If those challengers actually start winning, then we'll know my thesis is wrong.  But at the moment, I think the salient point is that these are not Cindy Sheehan-type people who are being driven to politics on the war issue; they are people who would be challengers anyway, thinking they can create a distinction by coming out against the escalation.  That's a signal of a movement that really isn't one.

I accept that some of you guys run in different circles than I do.  Certainly we're in a period of diminished enthusiasm.  But the idea that we're facing a rift that is comparable in any way to 1972 honestly sounds crazy to my ears.

by Steve M 2009-12-03 02:26PM | 0 recs
I hope that

was snark...

by fladem 2009-12-03 12:21PM | 0 recs
Aren't you a 2L or a 3L?

What are you doing taking Civ. Pro.?

by JJE 2009-12-03 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Aren't you a 2L or a 3L?

For whatever reason they split civ pro into two separate classes at Boalt: procedure, then jurisdiction/Erie. I think they're changing it, but folks who are 3Ls now haven't necessarily gotten all of that important stuff.

by Jonathan Singer 2009-12-03 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Aren't you a 2L or a 3L?

We also had a separate class on jurisdiction.  Just be glad you didn't have the prof who put so little effort into developing a curriculum that he started on day one with FRCP 1 and just went through the book from there.

by Steve M 2009-12-03 02:27PM | 0 recs

I had thought that way of doing civ pro had passed away.  Anyway, I wouldn't worry too much about jurisdiction/Erie being the important stuff unless you're going the academic route.

by JJE 2009-12-03 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Evan Bayh Gets a Challenger

You mnight want to read the SSP article to see why they aren't pushing the panic buttons yet.

Of course, this being the liberal blogosphere and given its penchant for John Kennedy-John Bircher hybrids, the emotional fireworks are probably going off all over the place.

Obama is an SOB. There, that should keep this post from failure.

by spirowasright 2009-12-03 01:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Evan Bayh Gets a Challenger
The emotional fireworks are going off and the little old lefties in tennis shoes will have Bayh looking for lobbying jobs next week.
Maybe he can use Upstate Kent as a reference.
by spirowasright 2009-12-03 01:12PM | 0 recs


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