The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza wonders if the Democrats are trying to dissuade Dan Coats from challenging Sen. Evan Bayh in Indiana. Cillizza details the Democratic assault on the new candidate:
First came a detailed dossier from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee running through the clients Coats represents as a federal lobbyist — including PhRMA and Goldman Sachs.
Then the DSCC released a video from 2008 in which Coats tells a Republican audience he and his wife are planning to move to North Carolina — not Indiana — when he retires. (Coats currently lives in the D.C. area.)
And, finally, there was today’s report that Coats had lobbied for a number of foreign governments including Yemen.
Why might any of this make Coats reconsider his candidacy? Cillizza continues:
First, Coats hasn’t been involved in a competitive political campaign since the early 1990s — a time when things like You Tube weren’t even a glint in their creators’ collective eyes. By hammering Coats before he even becomes a candidate, national Democrats want to make sure the former Senator understands what he is in for over the course of the next nine months (or so) and how much the media environment — when it comes to politics — has changed.
Second, assuming Coats is committed to run no matter what Democrats throw at him, the goal of the string of negative stories is to change the narrative from “Bayh draws a serious challenge in Coats” to “Coats, former lobbyist, returns home to Indiana to run.”
Sounds like a lot of effort to go through to protect what had been thought to be a safe Democratic seat. Of course, I’ve argued that the seat isn’t necessarily safe even if Bayh has to face John Hostettler instead.