Confessions of a Hoosier Democrat

Blogging Indiana Politics and the 2008 Presidential Race.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

And he's out...

Well... it seems no sooner than I posted my blog about Sen Bayh forming his exploratory committee... he announced he wasn't going to run.
During my two terms as Governor and now in the United States Senate, it has always been more about the people I was able to help than the job I held. As you know I have been exploring helping the people of my state and our country in a different capacity. After talking with family and friends over the past several days, I have decided that this is not the year for me to run for President and I will not be a candidate for the presidency in 2008. It wasn't an easy decision but it was the right one for my family, my friends and my state. I have always prided myself on putting my public responsibilities ahead of my own ambitions.

The odds were always going to be very long for a relatively unknown candidate like myself, a little bit like David and Goliath. And whether there were too many Goliaths or whether I'm just not the right David, the fact remains that at the end of the day, I concluded that due to circumstances beyond our control the odds were longer than I felt I could responsibly pursue. This path - and these long odds - would have required me to be essentially absent from the Senate for the next year instead of working to help the people of my state and the nation.

I am immensely grateful for the support of my family and friends and the thousands of people around the country who helped me with their time and their resources. There may be no campaign in the near future, but there is much work to be done. When the Senate returns, I will focus on the issues that matter to the people of my state and are critical to the future of the nation including reducing our dependence on foreign oil, creating opportunity for middle class families, and implementing a national security strategy that is both tough and smart.
On one hand I'm extremely disappointed. I thought Sen Bayh was a great candidate and would have made a great president. That's the reason why I supported him from the start. On the other hand, we need to take a reality check. He's right... there were too many Goliaths. Confidence is one thing... bravado is another. As impressive as his all-star staff and huge bank account was, he couldn't compete with the star power that was sucking all of the oxygen out of the room. It was refreshing to see someone actually speak the truth rather than hide behind his family or other lame excuses. I can't win is what Bayh said.

So... the question then becomes... What happened? Just a few weeks ago Bayh announced the formation of his exploratory committee. What happened between then and now? Well no one has come out and say it, but I'll lend my speculation to the mix. Personally I think some of Bayh's financial backers looked around and saw the writing on the wall. Once Obama said he might run, Bayh's backers saw the opportunity and took him aside and told him that they were going to go with Obama if he ran. Once he saw his support dwindling, well that's the last thing he needed. He couldn't go down any further, he had to go up. And if he wasn't going to go up, well what's the point?

So... now what? Well I spent a few days thinking long and hard about what I wanted in a candidate. Who will best serve the country? Who will best promote the values that I hold? Who can win?

Each of us has to answer those questions for ourselves when deciding who we want to support in the upcoming primaries. I have my own opinion but I certainly welcome yours.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Combating Autism Act

It is with great joy I am telling you that the Combating Autism Act was passed by Congress and sent to the President.

Yesterday, the Congressman Nathan Deal (R-GA-10) asked the House of Representatives to suspend the rules and pass the bill by voice vote. The House did and passed it without objection. The Senate had passed it with a similar voice vote in August.

Tonight I sat down and personally sent messages thanking the sponsors from my state (Rep Mark Souder and Rep Julia Carson) and the primary sponsors of the bill (Sen Rick Santorum and Rep Mary Bono). I also sent a thank you note to Congressman Deal.

I also sent a message to President Bush asking him to quickly and publicly sign the bill to show that autism is indeed a national priority. I ask you to do the same.

Monday, December 04, 2006

And he's off...

Well not really... but the news of the weekend was that Sen Bayh announced he was forming a Presidential exploratory committee on ABCNews "This Week with George Snuffalupagus". I thought it was even better that he did it on the same show that had a profile of Gov Vilsack... "Excuse me Governor Vilsack, I'll take some of that thunder..."

Bayh and Vilsack are quite similar... Bayh has all the credentials Vilsack has and then some... Bayh has more foreign affairs experience. Iowa is modelling their education program after Bayh's 21st Century Scholars program. Bayh has a ton of more money. Bayh has more homestate support. When asked who they wanted for president earlier this year, only 10% of Iowans said Vilsack. Vilsack said to Snuffy yesterday that it was because they didn't know him as a Presidential candidate yet... if I hadn't heard that line before I'm sure I would have snorted coffee out my nose laughing so hard.

Anyways... Bayh's off and running. He'll be in Iowa today... Go Bayh Go!