While Sen Steele initially offered himself as an alternative to the status quo as the Senate has come to know it over the past generation, some 23-25 GOP senators by one key senator's internal count favor principles of continuity, comity, stability, and moderation in a new leader. Responsibility and predictability--especially in terms of following the time-honored Senate rules--seem to be favored by many. Caucus unity needs to be an important component of the new regime, we're told, and one senator says that the "we go as a team" precept is important to the operations of the Senate. At least one senator also suggests to us that seniority should be respected.
All of this matters because, as another veteran senator tells us, while Sen. Steele is respected and liked by his colleagues, his brief tenure in the chamber and sometimes off-the-wall promises for reform simply "don't sit well" with many who have a full term or more under their respective belts."
Feigenbaum does not mention in his analysis that Steele is also a trial lawyer who sides more with the plaintiff's bar than the business community on tort-related matters. The Indiana Manufacturers Association and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce hold sway over many Senate Republicans and would be fearful that he might seek to bring Indiana's anti-plaintiff tort laws in line with the rest of the country. Sen. Garton used to occasionally flirt with pro-plaintiff legislation because of his close friendship to a lobbyist for the trial lawyers, which did not sit well with the pro-business lobby.
Feigenbaum provides this interesting tidbit about the Senate's resident, Christian right hypocrites, Brent Waltz and Jeff Drozda. A promise of a key leadership position for one of them has caused the two to throw their support for Weatherwax. I guess that leaves me hoping that Long comes out on top. You may recall that I predicted Long would be the likely choice to replace Garton months ago.