I recently met with Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard after the recent midterm elections and he told me some of his thoughts on the results.
Brainard has spent some time in Washington D.C., going to national conventions and meetings and even being one of the few Republicans serving on President Obama’s climate change task force. Brainard said he’s happy to see the power shift in favor of the Republicans and he thinks it could mean Republican congressmen could have an easier time getting their legislation signed by Obama.
“I hope the Republicans really do something with it in D.C.,” he said. “In some ways, it can be easier than trying to keep three groups happy – the president, the senate democrats, the house republicans – it’s now going to be congressional republicans and the White House. You really take one party – the Democrats – out of the mix. It might be easier. The president doesn’t really have to worry about his minority being happy.”
While Brainard has worked with President Obama and always speaks respectfully of the leader of the free world, this longtime Republican said he sees many, many things to disagree him on. He said he’s disappointed – but not surprised – that many of Obama’s more moderate promises haven’t been yet.
“For Obama’s ability to be able to connect with people during the first election, he has just lost it. He just can’t seem to do it,” he said. “If you looked at his background, you probably would realize this would happen.”
Meanwhile, on a smaller scale, Brainard was happy to see that Republicans did well in the state of Indiana. He also said he wasn’t surprised to hear his colleague Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard will not seek reelection. He said he thinks highly of Ballard and even though Democrats did well in Marion County this year, he said he thinks Ballard’s decision had nothing to do with whether he would have won.
“I think it would have been a tough campaign, but I’m convinced Greg would have won,” he said. “He’s managed to appeal to many Church leaders and he’s gotten many of the environmental people behind him. So he’s seen by many moderate Democrats as an acceptable candidate.”
As for the frontrunner for the Democrats for mayor? Brainard said he isn’t impressed by former U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett.
“Hogsett hasn’t really said what he’s going to do and I really don’t think he will,” he said.