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Adventures in Polite Reporting

Jonathan Martin writes about the possible, if unlikely, “nightmare” scenario of cafe owner Tamyra D’Ippolito succeeding in her fringe campaign to get on the Democratic ballot to replace Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.). D’Ippolito has not reported any campaign funds raised and has not provided a clear estimate of the number of signatures she’s gathered. (She’s required to submit at least 500 valid signatures in each of the state’s nine congressional districts.) And between the lines of Martin’s report, one can see a candidate who is not ready for prime time.

She said she was committed to the race in part because she was sick of the male-dominated Democratic Party in the state.

“It’s very much an old boys club in Indiana and I’m out to break it,” she said.

Before hanging up she added that she wanted to offer a “reminder:” “Indiana is 52 percent women.”

D’Ippolito also suggested that Bayh’s announcement was timed so that the state’s top Democratic officials could hand-pick his successor.

“I don’t know if they’re smoking cigars there, but the decision has already been made,” she said.

Democrats I talk to think D’Ippolito’s only path to the ballot would be a quasi-dirty trick by Republicans to help her out, the sort of thing some operatives pulled in 2006 in an unsuccessful bid to get Carl Romanelli on the Pennsylvania ballot as a Green candidate for U.S. Senate — before that, the efforts by some operatives to help Ralph Nader get on presidential ballots.

But this isn’t a candidate who can deploy a political machine or war room to get the job done.

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