With my friend Evan Bayh declaring today he will not seek re-election to the US Senate from Indiana, we Dems now have another challenge to overcome - holding his seat. Indiana Dems will figure it out I hope.
We have 2 additional problems I believe.
First, our Democratic priorities - as noble and visionary as we believe them to be - are out of sync with America's priorities. Americans want job creation, economic growth and a concrete plan to reduce federal spending over the long run. Clearly, we are not doing enough on either. Legislatively, it is time to subordinate health care reform to job creation and long term spending cuts.
Second, we Dems are being blamed for the dysfunction of Washington and the Federal government. With large majorities for Democrats in the House and Senate, it makes sense that we are being blamed. To fix it, we need to focus on getting things done - a jobs bill, a long-term spending cut plan and a pared down health bill are my suggestions.
Third, we better encourage the best candidates to run for office everywhere. Voters are in no mood for mediocre and uninspiring candidates. We must remember: titles don't entitle politicians to elected office. Moreover, Massachusetts reminded us that political seats belong to voters.
We have time to recover. These wake up calls are early enough, fortunately, for us to recover for the fall. We should heed the advice of voters.