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Opening Arguments

The Ellsworth test

Speaking of the Senate race, an article in The American Spectator says Brad Ellsworth's Senate candidacy will be an important test: "Does Rahm Emanuel's strategy for turning red states blue still work in 2010 -- or has Rahm's boss turned those states red again?" In 2006, when George W. Bush's approval ratings had tanked, the GOP's reputation was in tatters and the war in Iraq was immensely unpopular, Ellsworth ran for the House as a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, anti-illegal immigration Democrat. But now he has a record:

Ellsworth voted for the $787 billion stimulus package that began the Obama-Pelosi-Reid spending spree. But he was against the stimulus before he was for it -- he actually voted against the original House-passed version, claiming "there were far too many provisions that would provide little to no economic stimulus." Then he took a ride on Air Force One with the president, who was able to bring him into line. After the conference report, Ellsworth voted for the final version of the bill.

He also voted for the health care reform bill, after campaigning in 2008 as an opponent of a federal government takeover of health care. He's been conservative in some of his votes -- against cap and trade, for example -- but he can't campaign now as quite the blue dog he has protrayed himself as being.


tim zank
Fri, 04/02/2010 - 9:37am

His record illustrates why he thinks he'd be a logical successor to Evan Bayh, namely, he'll hold his finger up in the wind like Bayh always did and vote accordingly.

Much like Obama, his leadership, and now (at their peril) most of his party it's all about them, not us.

Fri, 04/02/2010 - 2:59pm

You may remember this started with Karl Rove's plan to turn the blue states red. How'd that work?
Emanuel's plan is just as quixotic.
People will vote on the economy, and November is a long way away.
My guess is the party in power will do reasonably well if the economy is noticiably improving; but will do poorly if it isn't. This isn't brain surgery.
Tim may be right about Bayh's successor, but I wouldn't put a nickel on it either way. That looks like a really tough one to call. I'll stay here safely on the sidelines.

tim zank
Fri, 04/02/2010 - 5:37pm

Mickey Mouse would beat Ellsworth or any Dem running in Indiana for Bayhs seat.

Sat, 04/03/2010 - 2:23pm

Tim, my friend, no one can say you're shy about making confident predictions.
I confess, I have no idea who (or which party) will win Bayh's seat. I see no obvious heir.
You are, among other things, apparently fearless. This thing looks more up in the air to me than the Balloon Boy. Wait, that's a bad comparison. He wasn't actually in the balloon.
Sorry, I'm getting old and these things are more difficult to remember. Anyway, I guess you take my point.
Huh? Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!

tim zank
Sat, 04/03/2010 - 8:15pm

Well, Littlejohn, there is no specific "heir' as you point out, only an unbridled enthusiasm on the part of the electorate for any and all things "not of the democrat party".

The coming elections will make 1994 look insignificant in comparison.

Tue, 04/20/2010 - 9:37am

only Time will tell...