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By Ed O'Keefe

Highlights of Tuesday's Post Politics Hour hosted by The Federal Eye, an hour devoted mostly about the retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.):

Politics Hour

Louisville, Ky.: Hello, Ed. Thanks for taking a break from shoveling to answer questions. This excerpt from a Tea Party story from the NY Times: "And in Indiana, Richard Behney, a Republican Senate candidate, told Tea Party supporters what he would do if the 2010 elections did not produce results to his liking: "I'm cleaning my guns and getting ready for the big show. And I'm serious about that, and I bet you are, too." The question, where do you see all this Tea Party anger headed? Do you think it will fizzle into history should the economy turn around?

Ed O'Keefe: Maybe if the economy turns around, but when's that going to happen? Tea Party members have made it clear -- they're a movement, not an organized party. They want to effect change from the bottom up. Some may do it through the Republican Party, others will elect to do it other ways.

But they're a force who will have to be paid attention to throughout this election cycle, if not beyond.

And shoveling? What shoveling? That's the beauty of living in an apartment building with a fantastic, hard working grounds crew!


Philadelphia, PA: Did you know that there are more Republicans retiring and leaving open seats than there are democrats? I just wanted to mention this b/c from the news reports one would think that there are only dems retiring and leaving open seats.

Ed O'Keefe: True, but remember that most of the Congressional Republicans retiring are leaving safely Republican districts or states. Democrats now have to defend seats where enough independents and Republican votes could tip the scales against Democrats and don't have solid recruits to replace those retiring.

That and a few more Democrats could still retire: Sen. Blanche Lincoln (R-Ark.) might still bow out, for example.


Could I have a moment of silence?: I grew up in Indiana and Bayh's 1988 election was the first time I was aware of and interested in politics. (I was 7 - weird, I know.) This ranks somewhere between Reggie Miller's retirement and Bob Knight's firing in the semi-traumatic, end-of-an-era moments in my life to date.

What's a fugitive Hoosier to do?

Ed O'Keefe: Good question! If you rank Bayh up there with Bobby Knight and Reggie Miller I suppose all you have left is Peyton Manning, right?


Jersey Shore: I just think its a damn shame that Senator Bayh's hair couldn't get him a VP slot, and now it seems it can't even keep him in the Senate. At the rate we're going, with the lack of comity and so forth, in a couple years a great head of hair will no longer seem to be sufficient qualification for a Senate seat.

And then where will we be?

Ed O'Keefe: Hahaha -- This raises a good question: Beyond Evan Bayh who has the best hair in the Senate?


Jersey Shore: John Kerry, of course, has the best remaining hair. Kerry's hair, had he been elected, could have redirected Katrina. The Kerry-Edwards ticket was the Mantle/Marris of political hair. I still can't believe they lost to Bush (who no slouch in the hair department, don't get me wrong) and some bald guy.

In retrospect, the 2004 presidential may be the end of hair based qualifications for federal office.

A moment of silence, if you will.

Ed O'Keefe: ........

Moment of silence now complete, keep submitting your nominations for Best Senate Hair.

I was a big fan of Elizabeth Dole's mane, personally.


I'm reading David Plouffe's book about the Obama campaign, The Audacity to Win, and had just finished the section on how Biden was selected over Bayh and Kaine for VP. They were impressed with Bayh and thought he was a "safe" choice, but Biden offered more of a contrast with Obama, given his working class roots and foreign policy experience. Since Bayh went on to be one of the Senate Democrats who provided the least support for Obama's legislative program, do you think being passed over for the VP slot played any role in his subsequent behavior?

Ed O'Keefe: It certainly might have yes, if only because it ended his more immediate, or easiest path to a presidential campaign.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 16, 2010; 12:07 PM ET
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My wasn't that a rather breezy reply to the fact that a possible replacement for Evan Bayh just said he's cleaning his shotgun ready to join the effort to overthrow the government if he and the other teabaggers don't like the results of the 2010 election.

Four words to remember Ed: Timothy McVeigh, Oklahoma City

Take these people seriously.

Posted by: rbottoms | February 16, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

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