Monday, September 17, 2007

Sodrel's October "surprise" and Hoosier bloggers in response

From Sunday's C-J, Lesley Stedman Weidenbener reports on the status of a potential run by Mike Sodrel. If he decides to jump in, it'll be his fourth race against Hill, and probably his second race against me. For their careers in national electoral politics, Hill is 4-2 ( 4 wins; 2 losses); Sodrel is 1-2; and I'm 0-1.

Of Hoosier political blogs: at least Blue Indiana, Taking Down Words, and HoosierPundit have already commented on this story.

BI gets in two nice pokes. First, he notes that Sodrel "continues to delay citing the rigors of a negative election (stone, meet glass house)". Funny! Of course, Sodrel and Hill are both stones when it comes to complaining about negative campaigning. They both seem to like chucking a lot of rocks and then moaning about the game.

Second, BI says "Nowhere do I see a mention of that little thing often described as 'the drive to serve the people of the 9th district,' but what's a little brutal honesty about your true motivations between friends." Good stuff, although a little picky. In any case, would we prefer such honesty or Hill's dishonesty and failure to serve the people? There are very few politicians who serve the people; most are serving special interest groups-- the lifeblood of electoral politics in a democracy. Hill is about par for that unfortunate course-- from his passion for earmarks to his failure to speak on a range of issues that are quite harmful to the working poor and middle class.

In TDW's comments on her original posting, she says "I know you trolls love to make Baron out to be some liberal, but guess what? That attack failed in 2006, and it'll fail next year, too." There's a lot that could be said here-- ranging from how Baron is too liberal in some arenas and not nearly "liberal" enough on other issues (the War and working poor/middle class issues). But suffice it to say that if you're content with either Hill or Sodrel, you're too easily pleased, not paying attention, or willing to compromise a lot.

HP turns the story into a slam on "career" politician Hill and TDW.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Republican Mike Sodrel made an appearance at a Bloomington GOP event last week and -- according to some who attended -- sounded very much like a candidate for Congress.

But on Friday, the three-time candidate and one-time winner of the 9th District U.S. House seat said he won't make an announcement -- one way or the other -- until the first week in October. He said that's the latest it would be wise to wait.

"I need to do it early enough that I can get started or early enough that someone else get can started," Sodrel said by phone from his home.

As you might expect, this is a widely anticipated decision....

In both of those cases, the campaigns from both sides were brutal. Last week, Sodrel said that's one of his considerations. "It's hard for the granddaughters to watch the campaign ads," said Sodrel, a trucking company executive. "I know it's coming. Even if your opponent doesn't buy it, his friends will."

But Sodrel said while there's pressure not to run from his family, there's plenty of pressure to jump back into the race from those on the outside. That's not surprising. He's been a proven fundraiser in the past -- though that's probably more a testament to the closeness of the races than to his own devotion to making the difficult money calls. He's certainly well known in the district, having run three times and served for two years.

The decision may come down to two key factors: The enthusiasm of his supporters and the Democratic presidential primary. The former is obvious. It takes a huge team of eager volunteers to make a campaign for Congress credible. But the latter could be important as well.

Sodrel doesn't likely have the time to find out whether Clinton will be the nominee before he runs. He just can't wait that long. "It's time to make up my mind," he said, "and either do it or not."


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