Indiana--Now that the senate blue dog founder Evan Bayh has been outed (the public is apparently slow on the uptake, I noticed long ago) as being roundly conservative, thanks mostly to the health care battle going on in Congress and has announced he won't be running for reelection, some of the Hoosier state's progressives are looking...well, probably in the wrong place. It's a good idea in theory to nominate/draft pop singer John Mellencamp, but I really don't think he's qualified.
Not so long ago, Bayh was a "good guy."
A fellow Hoosier and friend from college put it well on Facebook: "I think he'd just sit there chain-smoking and going "HEY! HEY!" every once in a while. Maybe an occasional harmonica solo." At least he featured Edith Massey of Pink Flamingos fame in one of his videos...but he made-out with her, and let's be honest, that's just wrong.
Will the Indiana GOP (aka NSDAP) drag this part of his past into the political roundhouse theater (a barn, this is Indiana)? The world may never know. At this writ(h)ing, there's no comments on all this high-falutin' talk over whether he's going to run or even flow into a senatorial candidacy by June of this year. Ah, but the left and the right are shitting all over themselves about whether he will or won't (my take is that he won't). (F)Alternet had some really superficial and inarticulate things to say today, somehow drawing a supplement to the writer's paycheck as a result:So, could Mellencamp perform in the U.S. Senate?
Could he be the right replacement for retiring Senator Evan Bayh, D-Indiana?Forget the blah-blah-blah about celebrities in politics. We crossed that bridge decades ago.
The question is whether this celebrity makes the right connections with this state.
Mellencamp certainly has the home-state credibility. Few rockers have been so closely associated with a state as Mellencamp with Indiana.
Mellencamp has a history of issue-oriented political engagement that is the rival of any of the Democratic politicians who are being considered as possible Bayh replacements.
And Mellencamp has something else. He has a record of standing up for disenfranchised and disenchanted working-class families in places like his hometown of Seymour, Indiana.
In other words, he's worthy of the consideration that has led to talk of a "Draft John Mellencamp" movement. In fact, he might be just enough of an outlier to energize base votes and to make independent voters look again at the Democratic column. ("Senator Mellencamp?," Alternet, 02.17.2010)
They also mention that John's "friends with Bill Clinton," which to these eyes and ears is roundly wrong-headed on his part if it's true. If Clinton was ever a "friend" of the poor, I'm Abraham Lincoln. He's not going to run. Who would want to after the most recent generation of incumbents left such a titanic mess? Mellencamp prefers the quiet life on his property outside of Bloomington, Indiana, in Seymour. Cross your own bridges, we play euchre in Indiana, m-kay?
But where did this meme begin? Facebook, where else? It sure wasn't poor old Myspace. I have a number of friends on there nay-saying about the social networking site's influence, but this is a good example that they're not entirely correct, but they're probably used to it:
A Facebook group is looking to draft singer John Mellencamp to replace departing Democratic Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana.
It's adding fuel to the fire of speculation that he'll launch a bid.
He would join a growing number of Democrats considering a run following Bayh's surprise announcement he will not seek reelection. ("Facebook Page Fuels Mellencamp Senate Speculation," mystateline.com, 02.17.2010)
FB is a good way to get a meme going and that's a real power--so much so that Fox News panicked shortly after noticing the existence of the group and did a spot on Mellencamp being "too left." In a sense, that's pulling-the-strings of the string-pullers, a real tug-of-war to control the narrative, even if accidentally. But will he run? Should be run? I know, all this "blah-blah-blah" over celebrities running, but I was never a conformist, so that meme can go jump in a lake with everyone else, it's not fixing anything. We have covered bridges in Indiana.
And, hey, why not let Fox News have the last word since they usually insist on it?Interestingly, and in character, the online article is significantly more toned down from the bluster and hyperbole of the TV version telecast today on Fox. But really, just because it sounds like a great idea doesn't mean that it is. Take a look at California after several years of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the GOP. At least they used the proper word in all of this, "speculation." I should add that I like his paintings, they're very good. M-kay?
...Speculation is swirling [around the bowl, or is it 'bowel'?] that the liberal Mellencamp may put down his guitar and run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Evan Bayh. ...The Democratic state central committee now has until June 30 to pick someone to replace Bayh on the ballot.
U.S. Reps. Baron Hill and Brad Ellsworth are among the other names being floated. But so far, Mellencamp's name is drawing the most attention.
Mellencamp's publicist did not immediately return a message seeking comment.("Speculation Swirls Around Potential Senate Bid by Rocker John Mellencamp," Foxnews.com, 02.17.2010)
"Fox preemptive strike against Mellencamp: ‘He’s way over there’," Rawstory, 02.17.2010: http://rawstory.com/2010/02/fox-preemptive-strike-mellencamp/"Senator Mellencamp?", Alternet, 02.17.2010: http://www.alternet.org/news/145714/senator_mellencamp_grassroots_movement_swells_for_rocker_to_run_of_bayh%27s_indiana_seat
"Facebook Page Fuels Mellencamp Senate Speculation," mystateline.com, 02.17.2010: http://mystateline.com/content/fulltext/?cid=138222
The man's site: http://www.mellencamp.com/
"Speculation Swirls Around Potential Senate Bid by Rocker John Mellencamp," Foxnews.com, 02.17.2010: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/02/17/speculation-swirls-potential-mellencamp-senate-bid/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+foxnews%252Fpolitics+%2528Text+-+Politics%2529