Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

June 11, 2014

KITCHELL: John has to be more Gregg-arious to win

In politics, there are two things that matter to voters: How much they like you as a person and how much they like what you stand for or want to do if you’re elected.

In 2012, former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg scored heavily with voters on likability. If you didn’t know John Gregg before he ran for governor, you either knew him as “the man with two first names” or the man associated with mustaches on bumper stickers or one of a handful of folksy television commercials. In short, there simply wasn’t anything not to like about John Gregg -- unless you were voting for Mike Pence.

If the recent Indiana Democratic State Convention left any impression on delegates, it left the impression that Gregg is ready for a second run, even if one appeared unlikely in the months following Pence’s narrow win.

Gregg’s candidacy presumes first that there won’t be an Evan Bayh redux in the governor’s race, and that will throw things wide open. It presumes that polling will indicate Gregg is still strong in a head-to-head with Pence, who now has incumbency on his side. And it assumes that Democrats don’t have any other fish in the barrel that might prove to be Pence antidotes for the party. It’s extremely doubtful that Pence will be a serious presidential candidate in 2016, but if he isn’t serious about being a candidate for governor, that could be an opening for Gregg who is battle-tested in a statewide race.

Assuming that all those questions add up to John Gregg as the best chance the Democrats have, then the big question is this: How does he convince voters to like him more than Pence?

What we can say is that if Pence has left any Achilles heel exposed, it’s in the area of education. Problems behind the scenes with State School Superintendent Glenda Ritz have been so strong that speculation has led to her name being mentioned as the party’s standard-bearer in 2016. That probably won’t happen, but if Ritz’ election in 2012 proved anything it was that money and incumbency didn’t matter in a key statewide race. That’s a harbinger for an underdog Gregg and his campaign staff ought to remember every day. Even in a state where Republicans have had their way with Democrats the past three general election cycles with the exception of Barak Obama’s 2008 win, voters simply liked what Ritz stood for and represented more than Tony Bennett. In fact, they may have liked her simply because she wasn’t Tony Bennett.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • THEIR VIEW: Data confirms our obsession with sports Of the five highest paid employees of Indiana University, three are involved with athletics. That was the case in 2013 as well.In new evidence that spending on athletic department salaries is outpacing the rest of the university, if not the vast majo

    July 30, 2014

  • RAMPBELL: Keeping the sick at home Something strange happened here this week: Lots of workers who’ve never done so before got the right to call in sick. And that’s a good thing.The Big Apple, you see, is joining a handful of other trailblazing cities such as Washington, San Francisco

    July 30, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Patacsil was no ordinary Joe Somebody forgot to tell Joe Patacsil that if he wanted to wrestle at a Big Ten university with black and gold as its school colors ... well, most people who know anything about college wrestling today might have said he picked the wrong one -- Purdue

    July 30, 2014

  • MARCUS: The higher education funding mess Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years. The National Association of State Budget Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Office

    July 29, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Are businesses missing out on interns? Are businesses missingout on interns?Admittedly we’re a little biased, but the Indiana INTERNnet and Indiana Chamber teams believe your company is not operating at full capacity if you aren’t hosting an internship program. Missing out on increased pr

    July 29, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: The state of the reunion “Katy! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”My God, she’s gained so much weight I didn’t recognize her. It’s a good thing we’re all wearing nametags. I thought it was some distant cousin past due with triplets.“Bob! Long time, no see.”No hair, either.

    July 29, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Indiana's right-to-work law unnecessary It has been a crime for Indiana employers to enter into labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues since Feb. 1, 2012 — the day then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation making the Hoosier State a “right-to-work” state.Whether Indiana ke

    July 29, 2014

  • COATS: What to do next with Putin, Ukraine The tragic death of 298 people on board Malaysian Airlines flight 17 in a wheat field in eastern Ukraine marks a moment when words of disapproval and expressions of grief are not enough. This is a moment when action must follow the outrage and rhetor

    July 28, 2014

  • LYONS: The most powerful men in the world? Search the phrase “the most powerful man in the world” and what comes up are photos of grotesquely over-developed weightlifters; also Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin. Awfully ironic under present circumstances. It’s a cant term TV news anchors use to

    July 28, 2014

  • CEPEDA: What are students to eat now Remember last year’s hysteria over school lunches? Administrators, cafeteria workers, students and parents across the country freaked out when — gasp! — school lunches were made healthier.News reports throughout the 2012-13 school year — when lunch s

    July 27, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.