Within hours of Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh’s retirement announcement last week, establishment Democrats in Indiana and Washington were signaling that Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) was their preferred favorite to succeed him. And by Friday, the last day to file for office, Ellsworth had announced his intention to run for the Senate seat.
It had all the makings of a neatly wrapped package, with just one exception: Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.) hadn’t signed off on the succession plan.
Now Hill is suggesting he’s seriously weighing a campaign — and other candidates are making calls to committee members to feel out support — and the process of choosing a Democratic Senate nominee could prove to be a lot messier than originally anticipated.
I was pleased to hear that Senator Evan Bayh had decided to not run for re-election; it meant that we’d pick up a Senate seat. I was also pleased to hear that Rep. Brad Ellsworth had decided to go for the seat; it meant that we’d pick up a Senate and a House seat. But if Baron Hill ends up being the nominee, then Bayh’s sudden retirement will mean that we will pick up a Senate and two House seats: the Democrats can’t make their Senate pick until after the primary and they’ve already picked the sacrificial victim for IN-08. And the progressive base doesn’t really like Ellsworth, anyway (NSFW language).
Some day I hope to hear just what the Obama administration specifically did to Evan Bayh, to fuel this revenge.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.