Former Senator Dan Coats intends to run against sitting Senator Evan Bayh.
Yippee Kay Yay, to quote Bruce Willis.
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.
NOTE: A few people have reading comprehension problems. This post has nothing to do with Coats per se and everything to do with the failure of the GOP to recruit a non-retired by choice politician.
UPDATED BELOW THE FOLDI’m kind of surprised by the reaction to this post from a lot of long time readers.
Perhaps it is that the Indiana GOP can do no better than Coats.
I do not dispute that Coats is a rock-ribbed conservative. But, and it is a substantial but, he retired in 1998 to become a lobbyist for King & Spaulding, and the next time anyone saw him, he was trying to convince conservatives that Harriet Miers was a conservative.
That’s not helpful. Yes, a lot of conservatives did the same. But this guy was out of the national spotlight from 1998 to 2005 when that happened, then disappeared again. Certainly he is more active in Indiana and no doubt he is beloved by a lot of conservatives in Indiana.
I don’t dispute any of that or that he could rally conservatives. And I am rather surprised by the people who interpret this post as an attack on Coats. Certainly it is harsh, but it has very little to do with Coats and a great deal to do with the Republican Party.
What I dispute is that Dan Coats is a stellar recruit. The GOP has an image problem. Part of the problem is that the GOP keeps picking old white guys. Part of the problem is that the GOP seems dated and therefore out of touch.
Recruiting an old white guy who retired in 1998 does not seem like out of the box thinking. There is a big difference between picking a guy who retired more than a decade ago and picking a guy who lost an election in the last few years. A big difference.
I’m sorry heads are exploding at this. That certainly wasn’t my intention. I have no dog in this fight and I don’t plan on taking a side. If Coats is the best, then Coats is the best. If he is the nominee, I’ll send him a check.
But you cannot tell me we can’t do better than bringing back out of the pasture a guy who voluntarily went into the pasture back in 1998.