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Thread: John Hostettler

  1. #1

    John Hostettler

    Hostettler just announced he's running for Senate against Bayh in 2010.

    Any chance we can get a subthread for him?

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  3. #2
    We also have an unofficial Hostettler for Senate Facebook group:

    And here's the official fan page:

  4. #3
    AmSpec has a nice article touting Hostettler.

    Birch Evans (Evan) Bayh III is the last person factoring into the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee's efforts to retain control of the upper house. Amid abysmal poll numbers for Majority Leader Harry Reid, Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter and Connecticut's Christopher Dodd, the junior senator from Indiana's 63 percent favorable rating in the state Democratic Party's internal poll makes a third term a likely reality.

    The former Indiana governor's $12 million war chest -- and a declaration by the Republican Senate campaign czar John Cornyn that the seat was not a "priority" -- seemingly clears Bayh of any meaningful GOP competition. Despite being the son of a legendarily colorful liberal senator -- and to the disdain of progressives everywhere -- Bayh fils has cultivated an image of bland-but-sensible moderate by serving as chairman of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, voting for the War in Iraq, and unsuccessfully proposing such family-friendly measures as an initiative to promote fatherhood.

    "What makes America special (is that) the Oath of Allegiance to our country is really the Oath of Allegiance to an idea, to a dream, to a promise," declared Bayh three years ago to graduates of DePauw University in one of his usual snore-speeches.

    But these days, Bayh can no longer say that winning re-election is an absolutely sure thing. In the minds of many Hoosiers, Bayh's support for the proposed healthcare reform plan is just the latest reminder that his fiscal and social conservatism is more image than reality. On the ground, the state Democratic machine he built into a powerhouse is in tatters. Anger and fatigue among Indiana voters, who, like their fellow voters, want an end to the current recession may subject Bayh to the particular consequences of an anti-incumbency mood. Meanwhile Bayh may face a formidable Republican in John Hostettler, who successfully used grassroots campaigning to hold a congressional seat until being tossed out four years ago during the Democratic sweep.

    Although Bayh is likely to keep office, his possible struggles offer a lesson for Republicans and Democrats who play all sides of the fence way too often.

    AS SON OF BIRCH BAYH, who rose meteorically from serving in the Indiana House of Representatives (where he was speaker) to defeating two-term Republican incumbent Homer Capehart for the U.S. Senate in 1962 at age 34, Evan was groomed for the political limelight. He proceeded on his own path to political stardom, winning two successive terms as Indiana governor before recapturing his father's seat in 1998 after 18 years in Republican hands.

    Ever mindful of how his father's perceived liberalism contributed to his defeat at the hands of future Vice President Dan Quayle in 1980, Bayh fils proceeded on a course of fiscal conservatism and socially-moderate positions that would even win him praise from then-Cato Institute scholar Stephen Moore for being a "genuinely fiscally conservative Democrat." His penchant for cutting taxes and caution on social issues also helped the state's Democratic Party, which managed to win control of the state's lower house, hold nearly all statewide offices and, by 1999, end Indianapolis's status of being one of the few big cities in Republican hands.

    Bayh continued to maintain his conservative image, even as he tended to vote alongside his party more than 72 percent of the time. For this, he has reaped such benefits as being a perennial vice presidential aspirant; he was considered a possible contender for the Democratic presidential nomination three years ago, before Barack Obama's successful campaign. His well-practiced calls for "practical solutions," along with his formation of a "moderate Democrat working group," also gives the party a counterweight to more-demonstrably left-leaning (and often, more-polarizing) colleagues.

    This, in turn, makes Bayh a target of ridicule among the Democratic Party's left-leaning activist wing, which blames him for wishy-washiness and for watering down "cap-and-trade" and other legislation it holds dear. Declared notoriously snide blogger Matthew Yglesias earlier this year after Bayh raised objections to one of President Obama's rounds of proposed tax increases: "If you're dramatically richer than most Indianans and sociopathically unconcerned with the well-being of your fellow citizens, then Evan Bayh is fighting for you."

    BUT BAYH-BASHING IS NO longer just the favored sport of the progressive movement. Growing choruses of more-conservative Hoosiers voters are also none too pleased with him. Particularly irksome is Bayh's support for the healthcare reform plan, which has proven to be more of an arrangement among the Obama administration, health insurance firms, and the pharmaceutical industry to expand federal power and increase subsidies to the industry at taxpayer expense. The senator's heavy dependence on fundraising (and family income) from pharmaceutical giants such as Eli Lilly -- which calls Indianapolis its hometown -- has cast his support in a harsher light.

    Other Hoosiers are waking up to Bayh's less-than-conservative voting record -- which includes a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America -- and his tendency for casting fingers to the air. As noted by the American Prospect's Ezra Klein, Bayh can go from a "flash of liberalism" to conservatism in just one year. Obama's current unpopularity, both nationally and in Indiana, brings another layer of inconvenience for Bayh's campaign team.

    Bayh can't count on state Democratic leaders to sustain his campaign. Since 2004, the party has lost two consecutive gubernatorial races to Republicans; Bayh's protégé, Bart Peterson, was ousted as Indianapolis mayor two years ago, leaving control of city government back in (admittedly incompetent) Republican hands. Bayh and other Democrat leaders in the state couldn't even get primary voters to back their favored candidate for the gubernatorial nomination during last year's primary; Hoosier Democrats also rejected Bayh's choice for the presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, and backed Obama instead.

    Given the popularity of the state's current governor, Mitch Daniels, who lives up to his reputation for taking sharp, polarizing stances on key issues, Bayh's cautious approach could actually backfire on him this time around. Instead, it may favor Hostettler, who demonstrated a willingness to part with Republican leaders and former president George W. Bush on such matters as the Iraq War. Given Bayh's past support for the nation's costliest misadventure, Hostettler may even succeed in convincing a few Hoosier Democrats to stay home.

    Bayh may end up wishing he were ideologically consistent rather than a milquetoast actor.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by erowe1 View Post
    Hostettler just announced he's running for Senate against Bayh in 2010.

    Any chance we can get a subthread for him?
    hear hear! Subthread!

  6. #5

    What chance does this guy have to win? Is he considered a serious candidate? Right now I'm following Rand & Chuck DeVore on facebook.

  7. #6
    Bayh is a heavy favorite. That's for sure. I'd say Hostettler is probably the front runner for getting the Republican nomination. His biggest disadvantage in my opinion is his late start, since he just announced his intent about a week ago, and that doesn't leave a lot of time to collect enough signatures to get him on the ballot. Provided he does, then I think he should win the primary.

    It will take a perfect storm to beat Bayh. But 2010 might be the year for that to happen. It's going to swing to the Republicans' favor already. And Indiana is still a basically red state. I think it's not being too optimistic to say that there's a good 10% chance that Hostettler will get on the primary ballot and win both the primary and the general election.

  8. #7
    There's a little bit on Hostettler in this article looking back on the politics of his area over the past decade. Despite being a news source that wasn't usually friendly to him, it's a pretty fair summary:
    For 12 years, Republican John Hostettler represented Indiana's 8th congressional district by following his conservative convictions virtually without regard for the political considerations that animate most politicians.

    Hostettler's many controversial — but, in his view, principled — actions included voting against a $52 billion Hurricane Katrina aid package and a bill with the mom-and-apple pie name, the Violence Against Women Act. He was often part of tiny minorities voting against bills most House members dared not oppose.

    Despite the controversies, Hostettler ran off six consecutive victories in the district once called "the bloody 8th" for its frequent turnover in congressional representatives. In this he was aided by a combination of favorable political climates, little-known opponents and his own cadre of dedicated volunteers.

    But all that ended in November 2006, when another combination — a national Democratic wave, a popular opponent and Hostettler's own lackluster fundraising — finally caught up with him.

    In one of the nation's most closely watched congressional races, Democrat Brad Ellsworth defeated Hostettler by the largest margin — 61 percent to 39 percent — suffered by any other ousted House member that year.

    Since then, self-described "conservative Democrat" Ellsworth has largely avoided controversy and rolled up a 30-point victory margin over GOP challenger Greg Goode in 2008.

    Republicans have said they intend to will mount a spirited and well-financed challenge to Ellsworth in 2010, a year in which most political analysts expect the GOP to regain seats in Congress.

    Hostettler also figures to have an active 2010. The former congressman re-entered the political fray this month by announcing he will seek the GOP nomination to oppose Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., next year.

  9. #8

    Indiana: Republicans have gotten themselves a candidate here in the form of six-term Congressman John Hostettler. Although Hostettler is a notoriously weak campaigner and Bayh has historically won by huge margins, this race could conceivably become interesting at the upper bound conditions of Republican momentum.

    Coming from a liberal blogger, that is pretty decent news.

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  11. #9

  12. #10
    A Hostettler win will probably help to significantly reactivate the Antiwar wing of the party more than any other race. If he can win a senate seat after having voted against the Iraq invasion, the antiwar position might just start to become mainstream in the Republican Party. Especially after Obama didn't finish the war and lost the antiwar votes.
    Last edited by low preference guy; 02-06-2010 at 02:07 PM.

  13. #11
    I should also mention that when I saw Hostettler speak to a 2nd Amendment group a few weeks ago, someone asked him if he would support auditing the Fed. He replied that he absolutely would, and that he would even support abolishing the Fed altogether. He went on to explain that he doesn't see ending the Fed as as much of a high priority issue as some others because the same propensity to run unbalanced budgets would still exist using different mechanisms if the Fed weren't in place, and he prioritizes those battles over unconstitutional spending as the more important place to concentrate the effort.

    So he might have some slight differences in emphasis than where a lot of people here are coming from. But he's quite a bit closer than many may realize.

    I'd say that for socially conservative RP supporters, his policy positions are if anything better than Schiff's, and he probably stands a greater shot at winning.

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by erowe1 View Post

    I'd say that for socially conservative RP supporters, his policy positions are if anything better than Schiff's, and he probably stands a greater shot at winning.

    Perfect summary.

  15. #13
    I posted this quote way back in the summer during a campaign to draft Hostettler months befre he actually decided to run. And it's buried in the forums now. But here's something he said when he spoke at a tea party last summer.

    And so when I say that we need a renewing of our minds, I mean we must contemplate a society where April 15th is no different than January 15th or February 15th or April 16th for that matter. Some of us may be here under the false impression that the goal is lower income taxes. My friends the goal is NO income taxes. Do you honestly believe that history began on February 3, 1913 with the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment? For those of you who are familiar with the various theories of origins, I'm what you might call a believer in a "Young Earth." But I guarantee you that the Earth is not that young! If our political ancestry won its freedom from direct taxation once, surely we can win it back. And this time we can do it without firing a shot. But we'll never do it if we think we can't. When it comes down to it, the biggest difference between this generation of space travel, satellite television and the internet and the generation of Madison, Hamilton, Washington, and Jefferson is that we dream too small. Scripture informs us that without a vision the people perish. It is time that we regained the vision of the framers of the constitution and demand that our elected leaders honor their oath to abide by and operate within the narrow confines of that great charter.
    Last edited by erowe1; 02-06-2010 at 04:34 PM.

  16. #14
    Someone in the Hostettler campaign told me yesterday that Ron Paul wrote a recommendation for Hostettler's book on Amazon completely unsolicited. And sure enough, there are only 5 customer reviews of the book, and one of them is Ron Paul.

  17. #15
    I think trying to get Ron Paul's endorsement for John Hostettler would be a smart move:

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Flash View Post
    I think trying to get Ron Paul's endorsement for John Hostettler would be a smart move:
    I actually emailed them just yesterday coincidentally to ask about that. But I agree. I'm quite positive that Ron Paul would endorse Hostettler if asked. But I'm not positive that Hostettler would actually ask. So hopefully, either he would, or his campaign manager would, or else if there's a way grassroots people can make it happen hopefully we can do that.

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  20. #17
    I announce, after a little bit of research, that Hostettler is my new favorite politician. I am not joking.

    Go Hostettler!
    Last edited by nate895; 02-07-2010 at 12:35 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by GK Chesterton
    It is often supposed that when people stop believing in God, they believe in nothing. Alas, it is worse than that. When they stop believing in God, they believe in anything.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rt. Hon. Edmund Burke
    Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference.

  21. #18
    We need a Hostettler Forum!

    If we have a Chuck DeVore forum, we should at least put Hostettler in the same category as DeVore's.
    Last edited by low preference guy; 02-07-2010 at 12:39 AM.

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by nate895 View Post
    I announce, after a little bit of research, that Hostettler is my new favorite politician. I am not joking.

    Go Hostettler!
    Expand? I'm curious as to what you came up with. I know his foreign policy views are much closer to being anti-war than Rand's are, even though Rand's chances are much better.

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