The prospect of Dan Coats running against Evan Bayh is getting predictable hoots of derision from the lefty blogosphere. But there are some grumblings on the right, too, as in this post from redstate.com:
If the best the Republican Party of Indiana can do is retread old horses who put themselves out to the pasture to begin with, we're screwed.
It was, after all, Dan Coats who left the Senate and Evan Bayh who won his seat. Had Coats stayed, this wouldn't have happened.
The last image most conservatives have of Dan Coats is him standing next to Harriet Myers swearing she was one of us. Don't get me wrong — he's a good guy.
But if we are going to run people against Evan Bayh, how about we not run the guy who gave up his seat to Bayh in the first place?
Dan Coats, a good man and a good former Senator, is a recruiting failure by the GOP. I'd gladly support Coats as the nominee. But if the best we can do is pull old politicians out of the pasture, we're in trouble.
I know I said yesterday I thought the "Washington player" charge would be the most likely one to stick against Coats, but, honestly, I thought that would come from Democrats. And "old horse out of the pasture" would be a little harsh even if it came from the opposition. If Republicans don't get a fresh face out there against Bayh, is it a sign, as one of the commenters suggests, that the Indiana GOP doesn't have a very deep bench? Or is it a sign that, despite the "Brown effect," Republicans here still feel Bayh can't be beaten?