New lefty idea: Hey, let's run John Mellencamp for Indiana Senate

Music to my ears (no pun intended), not only because this tool is very far left at a moment when being very far left isn’t exactly a political asset but because it suggests Indiana lefties are already depressed at the prospect of Baron Hill or Brad Ellsworth as their nominee. Lo and behold, a Facebook campaign page is already up and running. My feeling about this is basically the same as my feeling about the trial balloon of Ed Schultz for senate in North Dakota: It’d be entertaining and a likely win for the GOP, so full speed ahead.

First of all, you can’t beat him for name recognition, especially now that he has settled on one.

He’s well-positioned to take advantage of the powerful but ill-defined populist atmosphere among voters. Both in the state and nationally, Mellencamp has generated a lot of goodwill with working people by virtue of his Farm Aid concerts, and he’s managed to retain working-class authenticity despite being a superstar.

As Daily Kos diarist jolculbe points out, he also doesn’t have a record to run from. With anti-incumbent sentiment running high, being a total outsider might be an advantage.

Finally, aside from his utter lack of experience, not the liability it once was, Mellencamp is tough to assail. His heartland street cred is so great that, despite his political leanings, John McCain made heavy use of Mellencamp’s catalog at campaign events before being asked to stop. The guy’s image is as American as it gets.

As American as it gets, eh? Go watch this classic snippet from a Charlie Rose interview Mellencamp did in 2007 explaining how we haven’t done nearly enough to engage in diplomacy with, er, Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Can’t wait for the campaign commercials.

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