Wednesday, January 20, 2010

MSNBC blog Weighs In On Pence vs. Bayh

by Domenico Montanaro
Filed Under:

From NBC's Ali Weinberg
Both the liberal and conservative blogospheres weigh in on the whispers -- which First Read wrote about this morning -- that Republican Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana is considering challenging Sen. Evan Bayh (D). And while liberal writers and bloggers see Republican Sen.-elect Scott Brown’s victory as a sign to ignore Republican gains, cease calls for bipartisanship and simply start passing legislation, conservatives see his win as a door-opener to future victories and Congressional clout.

Red State’s Brian Faughnan comments that a potential Pence move, which he writes might inspire strong Republican contenders in other vulnerable districts: “If Pence gets into this race, Bayh will have a top-notch opponent who can raise money, and who’s in tune with the mood of the voters. In a state that looks likely to be deep-red again, Bayh will face all he can handle. And in the next few weeks, we’ll likely see many more top-notch GOP challengers emerge for many races.”

On the liberal end of the spectrum, The Washington Independent’s David Weigel says a Pence move against Bayh is “the sort of thing the GOP needs -- credible threats against incumbent Democrats to scare them into voting down their party’s agenda. Bayh, who’s never lacking for a platform to trash his party for not governing in a 'moderate' enough way, is a good target for this.”

And the Center for American Progress’ ThinkProgress blog has this to say of Bayh: “Bayh is using the Massachusetts special election to tack to the right and lash out at the ‘left.’ In an interview with ABC News yesterday, Bayh called Brown’s win ‘a wake-up call’ that moderates and independents ‘don’t believe the answers we are currently proposing are solving their problems.’ Whenever you have just the furthest left elements of the Dem party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country -- that’s not going to work too well,’ said Bayh.”

Christian Heinze at GOP12 picks up on a new post-Brown victory Internet phenomenon. He excerpts from an article by The Hill’s Bob Cusack: “Several Scott Brown-for-president domain names have been purchased over the last week. The rights to were bought last Friday, while and were acquired on Tuesday.” But Heinze points out that Brown’s pro-choice and pro-civil union positions were already GOP-tested during former New York Mayor Rudy and 2008 candidate Rudy Giuliani’s campaign, and failed.

Citing the early political setbacks of several other presidents, Jim Geraghty argues that President Obama’s pre-White House career never afforded him an opportunity “when the voting electorate has given them the thumbs-down and [he] recalibrated, taking a more thorough measure of what the public thinks....

“Now the public is yelling, as loud as it can, to Obama to stop and reverse direction. Can Obama move back to the center? He might, and for all our sakes, I hope he does. But unlike many, many other folks who have sat in his office, he's never had to do it before.”

The Nation’s Katrina Vanden Heuvel on the Democrats’ best strategy going forward: “This special election is a wake up call and should lead to a course correction. The Democratic party can no longer run as a managerial and technocratic party. Going populist is now smart politics and good policy… here's a no-brainer: Isn't it time to give up on that faith in genteel post-partisanship when the GOP knifes you at every turn? Nice isn't going create more jobs or get health care reform. Before pivoting to a laser-like focus on jobs and the economy, passing the strongest possible healthcare bill as quickly as is feasible is a top priority.”

More: “What comes next will test the President's willingness to learn the lessons of this last year. Get tough, get bold, kiss 'post-partisanship' goodbye and fight hard for jobs and a just economy of shared prosperity. And put yourself squarely back on the side of working people.”

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