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An Iowa Boost for Bayh

Who said good policy doesn't  -- sometimes -- make for good politics?

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), who is "considering" (wink, wink) a presidential bid in 2008, got a very nice boost Monday when a group of Iowa state legislators introduced an education plan based on the "21st Century Scholars" program Bayh shepherded to passage during his tenure as Indiana governor.

Introduced by state Rep. Janet Petersen (D) and state Sen. Jeff Danielson (D), the plan would ask 7th and 8th grade students either living below the poverty line or in foster homes to sign a pledge vowing to remain crime, drug and tobacco free, and maintain a "C" average throughout high school.

In return, the students would be given free college tuition at any Iowa state university or community college. The legislation's future is unclear. Republicans control the state House 51 to 49 while the state Senate is split evenly between the parties.

Currently in her 3rd term representing a Democratic seat based in northwestern Des Moines, Petersen said she got the idea for the program after reading up on Bayh following his visit to the Hawkeye State over the summer.

Petersen invited Bayh back to the state for a fall fundraiser to benefit her campaign.

He agreed, and donated $500 from his All America leadership PAC to Petersen during the visit.  Bayh was also Petersen's guest at a meet-and-greet lunch with a handful of Des Moines activists during that trip.  Bayh, too, has given money to Danielson ($2,500 from All America in September) and was hosted by the state senator in August at another event with Democratic party regulars in Waterloo.

Bayh is clearly trying to carve a niche for himself as a leading contender in the "ideas primary" for the Democratic nomination, regularly using the "21st Century Scholars Program" as part of his stump speech to national audiences. Dan Pfeiffer, communications director in Bayh's Senate office, called the scholars program one of Bayh's "proudest achievements," adding that the senator "often talks about the need to replicate it across the country."

Bayh's main competition at the moment in the "ideas primary" is Iowa's favorite son --  Gov. Tom Vilsack. Vilsack has used his Heartland PAC Web site effectively to start an online policy conversation, building a grassroots community in the process.

Vilsack would likely sweep the Democratic caucuses if he runs, but Petersen argued that other aspiring candidates would be ill-served to cede Iowa to the governor. "People are expected that if he does run, the big news story  out of [Iowa] is who is number two," she said.

Bayh seems likely to play in Iowa regardless of Vilsack's plans. A Midwesterner, Bayh has must make his stamp in nearby Iowa if he has any hopes in New Hampshire and beyond.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 24, 2006; 8:33 AM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party , Eye on 2008  
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In regards to Texas Laws someone needs to also check into the Gestapo tactics of the Texas Attorney General's Office. It seems that you don't need to have physical possession of your children in order to collect Child Support. All you have to do is go and claim you have the children and any judge will give you custody and then you can just give the kids back to the mother and as the Daddy you still get Child Support collected and given to you even though the children are not living with Dad. Then when the mom let's say, tries to go and collect child support because she has had the children all along, the Attorney General's office will readily treat you like a criminal. They are rude to the Non-Custodial-parent, even if you always comply. They will treat you like crap and make you feel as if you are the one who has done something wrong. If you are a Rio Grande Valley lifer, you have it made, everyone knows everyone else and they do stick together. The "Compadre" system has been in play in the Valley since the beginning of time and that will never change. If you know someone or you sleep with the right person there is nothing you can't get away with. The "Valley people" play by their own set of rules and they have their own type of justice.
If you are receiving child support for a child, you don't have to report to the Attorney General's office when that child is no longer living with you and you can still collect the money. Hey free Money!!! If you try to bring it to their attention, well let's just say you can't. It's so funny how "Valley Law" is different from Texas Law.

Posted by: Gloria | May 19, 2006 8:36 AM | Report abuse

that comment was directed at bp, who believes that tx dems are jew-hating conservatives. oh broken cliches- they're such a bitch.

Posted by: lawrencedem | March 7, 2006 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Wake up, folks. The Texas Democratic candidate for Senate is the Jewish Barbara Ann Radnofsky. Time to change old schema to reflect the facts.
need proof? her victory party is live webcast tonight at 9. i'll be watching. will you?

Posted by: lawrencedem | March 7, 2006 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Tom Vilsack is not a bad Governor, but compared to Evan Bayh's record, and Mark Warner's his looks bad. Read about Evan Bayh and Mark Warner's record. Mark Warner was rated one of top Governor's in America. Where was Vilsack. By no means, do I have anything against Tom Vilsack. I would gladly support him if he won the nomination, but he is probably one of my last choices,way in front of Hillary. Nonetheless, I am going to support the best Governor in the field, which is Evan Bayh or Mark Warner. If I choose to support a Governor. I still really like the thought of a Edwards/Clark ticket.

Posted by: Josh | January 25, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse


What do you mean Vilsack has a bad record? The Hawkeyes have been to 4 straight January bowl games, we're switching to E85 fuel, which will allow us to control the world energy market, and we now have over 17 million pigs.

Vilsack has presided over a golden age in our esteemed state's history.

Posted by: tl | January 25, 2006 11:10 AM | Report abuse

As a lifelong democrat and westerner, primarily residing in the red state of Colorado, I no longer buy the conventional wisdom of needing a southerner to win the presidency. Josh seems right that Bayh could take all the Kerry states plus Iowa and Ohio. I believe he might even do better in the west than a southerner. Warner or Vilsack might also do as well. Aside from Colorado Springs with its"Focus On The Family"fundamentalism, and mostly Mormon Utah, the western red states are fairly libertarian in social views, and highly suspicious of any government intrusions on personal privacy, not to mention the current oval office incompetence and corruption. Sure, Cheney is from this region, and McCain could see more early support here than in other regions, but the mentality here is now almost hostile to anyone currently in power. McCain no longer looks like a maverick who has any capacity to change his party. He seems to be far less effective within his own party than he hoped, still without any core Washington backing, making him now appear too weak to reclaim an image of being a cleaner, stronger kind of republican. The social conservatives would be relentless in opposition to him. Without some radical reallignments, he can't expect support from republican insiders who have gone on record against him so many times. His only clear path to the presidency would be running against Hillary. In the west,and probably all 2004 red states, any candidate will prevail if Hillary is the Democratic nominee, no matter what her platform. The hostility seems purely personal and so much more intense than what Gore and Kerry ever inspired here. I'm pretty certain the opposition to Hillary can't ever be overcome in the west. But at this point, almost any decent, moderate sounding midwesterner could win here.

Posted by: Leigh | January 24, 2006 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Tom Vilsack should stay home. Compared to the over Governor in the field Mark Warner and the exGov. Evan Bayh, Vilsack has had a bad record. Iowa has not been running the best under Vilsack. Evan Bayh although from the North is not considered a Northeastern Liberal. He is a Midwest liberal which is percieved as being faily moderate. The truth is if Evan Bayh is the nominee than he could take the other Midwest states of Iowa, and Ohio even if McCain another moderate is the nominee. Bayh could carry all of Kerry's states and much more. McCain would be the harderst person for Bayh to run against, but truth be told John McCain to the Republicans is like Joe Lieberman to the Democrats. For the most part they do not like him. So a Bayh nomination could do some damage, pair him with a Mark Warner or General Wes Clark and you have an unbeatable ticket.

Posted by: Josh | January 24, 2006 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The only reason I would be in favor of Clinton victory would be on the assumption that she wins and brings Bill back to the White house. However, in the interest of good politics, I am still banking on (and hoping for) a Bayh/Warner or Warner/Bayh ticket. I really wish that Hillary would stay in the senate, but I worry that conditions are too perfect for her to stay out. If she stays out of the race, I predict a ticket of Warner and Bayh (or the other way around) and a victory for the Democrats. Followed by, of course, a very pleasant and less partisan eight years.

Posted by: Jake | January 24, 2006 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree Dems have to win more red states. If they don't they don't have enough to win the EC. Either Bayh or Warner look like good possibilities.

I'm afraid of Clinton. I wish she would stay in the Senate. The whole country needs to get past the Bushes and Clintons. Maybe things will be less toxic then.

Posted by: tl | January 24, 2006 2:47 PM | Report abuse

If Vilsack runs, the real winner of IA will be the second place finisher but unlike Kerry, Bayh will not be able to translate IA into a NH victory because of Mark Warner. I expect Warner to avoid Clark's error and fight for IA and then both will battle HRC for NH. If the NH result is close then the fight goes south which gives Warner a HUGE advantage. The mantra for 2008 is which democrat can win red states (since those are the states we need to convert)..on that question alone..Warner is the answer!!

Posted by: Neville | January 24, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Say Bayh banks on a second place finish in Iowa, would the differential between Vilsack #1 and Bayh #2 make a difference? Hypothetically, what if Bayh finishes 2nd in Iowa, with Vilsack getting say 50 percent and Bayh getting 20, does that really provide a bump? And what if he finishes third behind Vilsack and Hillary? Dilemmas faced w/ Vilsack in the race.

I agree that Bayh plays very well in Iowa. If Vilsack does not run, I am confident that Bayh will win IA in 08 and pull a John Kerry and roll to the nomination, but unlike Kerry, he will win the general.

Posted by: If Vilsack runs.... | January 24, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Holy threadjack, Batman! That issue is COMPLETELY unrelated, Bobby Wightman-Cervantes.

Get your own blog, spammer.

Posted by: Dean Moriarty | January 24, 2006 11:47 AM | Report abuse



At the heart of plantation government is the notion the master can buy and sell his slaves. This is at the heart of how the Texas Democratic Party treats Latinos. Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, Dean of the Senate, believing we cannot be trusted in the Lower Rio Grande Valley to elect people who will represent the interests of Austin and John Whitmire's constituency in Houston, has requested that lobbyists fund the State House Campaign of Eddie Lucio III. lucio son

Brownsville, Texas is in the second poorest county in the United States. By a previous post I detailed the plight of Brownsville, Texas and how these DINO's, Democrats in Name only, have used the Lower Rio Grande Valley, for their own personal gain, while Austin has turned a blind eye to our plight. This time we will fight back.

I say to John Whitmire, the master over the plantation, we have declared our emancipation from the Democratic Party and you. You are without legal authority to sell us to the highest bidding lobbyist willing to do your dirty work. We will fight back - and while we may not win this battle today at the end of the day we will send plantation owners such as you packing - we demand emancipation now.

It is important that the reader understand that John Whitmire is from Houston. Why is he telling lobbyist to support Eddie Lucio III, from Austin, in a State House race in Brownsville? Eddie Lucio III is able to run for this office because the law-firm he works for in Austin which specializes in land development opened a special office in Brownsville so that Eddie Lucio III would have a residence in Brownsville. - Eddie Lucio is a carpet bagger from Austin.

Eddie Lucio III is the son of State Senator State Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. (Democrat) Who is Eddie Lucio Jr. He is the man who manipulated the Brownsville Navigation District into hiring
Dannenbaum Engineering to develop a new commercial bridge between Mexico and Brownsville. @1.4 21.4 million dollars later there is no bridge, the FBI has opened an investigation, and litigation has begun in Houston between Dannenbaum and Brownsville. Dannebaum is a Houston based corporation - home of Senator John Whitmire, Democrat.

Senator John Whitmire of Houston now is asking the same lobbyists to put Eddie Lucio III into power in one of the poorest districts in the United States. Senator John Whitmire, like the true plantation owner that he is has put up for sale this Lower Rio Grande House seat to lobbyist, who have a commitment from John Whitmire's marinero, cabin boy, Eddie Lucio III. The poor people of the Lower Rio Grande Valley cannot afford to compete with the influx of this lobbying money from plantation owner Senator John Whitmire of Houston. The end result will be the plantation owner John Whitmire will choose the representative from this poor district and not the people of Brownsville. This is the old plantation system of government at its worse.

Where is Hillary Clinton and the national Democratic Party on denouncing this system of plantation government - no where to be found - how true to form. When lobbyists and Democrats in back door deals buy and sell Latinos like slaves Hillary Clinton has nothing to say - then like the indignant slave owner she is she yells corruption when Tom Delay and the Republicans play the same games with lobbyists.

As Latinos we can emancipate ourselves from the racist Texas Democratic Party. We can show our clout by voting against Eddie Lucio III in the primaries and not voting in the race for US Senate or Governor. The Democrats cannot win statewide office without the Latino vote of the LRGV and West Texas. On the morning after the primaries if the numbers show that as Latinos we turned out for the candidates lower down on the ballot, but not for US Senate or Governor, the Texas Democrats in Austin will be forced to respect us. If the people of Brownsville reject Eddie Lucio III the plantation masters in Austin will know that they have lost control of the plantation slaves in the LRGV. Remember, even the slave had the ability to shut down the plantation by refusing to pick the cotton. In our case, by refusing to vote for Eddie Lucio III, or in the race for US Senate or Governor.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | January 24, 2006 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Hoosier, and I like Evan Bayh. However, there have been only 3 northern Democrats elected to President since the Civil War. There has been only one sitting Senator elected. It's a tough business.

While Evan Bayh is has some charm and good looks, I must echo some comments made by Lloyd Bentsen back in 1988 to another Indiana native running on the ticket, "Senator, you're NO Jack Kennedy."

Posted by: Dean Moriarty | January 24, 2006 10:53 AM | Report abuse

21st Century Scholars has made a real difference in Indiana. Tens of thousands of Hoosiers have been able to go to school **only** because of this program. And in fiscally tight, Republican Indiana, it wouldn't have happened without Bayh hugging it across the goalline.

Posted by: H_o_o_s_i_e_r_Ten | January 24, 2006 9:54 AM | Report abuse

if Bayh wins the democratic nomination game over, i dont care if McCain and Jesus Christ are on the Republican ticket (even though god and his son are democrats according to my bumper sticker)...i dont care that he is moderate and voted against partial birth abortion, we need someone who will stop dividing this country for their own pleasure...

Posted by: bp | January 24, 2006 8:37 AM | Report abuse

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