Ellsworth in for U.S. Senate: This guy is described as a conservative Democrat and has all the trappings that might lead the red-leaning state to elect him as the successor to retiring Senator Evan Bayh this November.
Telegenic, a former sheriff, and a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Ellsworth is a two-term congressman who won by big margins in Indiana's 8th district. Republicans plan to pick apart his support for the bank bailout and the stimulus plan to counter his credentials as a fiscal conservative.
At this point, it appears Dan Coats, a former U.S. Senator, will likely run against him in the general election. Coats has the support of national Republicans. He also has name recognition and experience running for and winning statewide office.
But if he wins the GOP primary in May, he'll have to fend off criticisms of being a well-connected Washington insider - a dooming epitaph for Republicans and Democrats running this year.
Health Care back in the Spotlight: At a town hall in Henderson, Nevada, President Obama said Congress's historic attempts to overhaul America's health care system shouldn't be squandered.
His remark comes days before a bipartisan White House summit to jumpstart health care legislation stalled after the Senate Democrats lost their supermajority with the election of Scott Brown to replace the late Sen.Ted Kennedy.
Meanwhile, as the White House is preparing to unveil its latest health care proposal, Senate Republicans put out a fact sheet listing 18 Democratic senators who have gone on record in the last year against reconciliation (a procedural tactic to avoid a Republican filibuster) as a way to advance reform legislation.
More Bad News for Democrats: New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg has been diagnosed with stomach cancer (B-cell lymphoma). The good news is that his cancer is curable.
His doc says he'll receive six to eight chemo treatments. Democrats are breathing a sigh of relief because Lautenberg says he has no plans to retire.