The man came to the front door in his boxers, a pair of large barking dogs pushing at the screen. On the other side of the door, Republican mayoral candidate Greg Ballard was trying to say hello and hand over a campaign leaflet. He didn't have time to do much more. The eager dogs brought the conversation to a quick conclusion.
Thus continued the 2007 campaign for mayor, which ends when voters head to the polls in two months. What a strange campaign it's been. Who would have thought the seemingly invincible Mayor Bart Peterson, the man whose popularity scared off a long list of potential opponents earlier this year, would look at least a bit vulnerable?
"I think we're just a little behind," Ballard said. "That's my sense of it. I'm pretty comfortable with where things are."
Most political watchers think Ballard is more than a little behind. But he's the confident sort. Perhaps it's the retired Marine in him. Perhaps it's that he knows many people agree when he says "these are troubled times" for Indianapolis.
Earlier this week, two weeks after I branded his campaign a joke "so far," Ballard invited me to join him as he knocked on doors in Irvington with GOP council candidates Benjamin Hunter and Kent Smith.
For two hours, they heard about crime, taxes and health-care issues. That was to be expected. But when you knock on someone's door, you never know what you're going to get.
Today's column is certainly an improvement over the one two weeks ago, but I do wish someone in the Indianapolis media would make an effort to educate people about who Greg Ballard is. Advance Indiana shared some insight into what the man is about here. Fellow blogger Joh Padgett had a nice interview with him here. We're still waiting on the mainstream media to do its job.