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Scavenging Team Bayh

Minutes after Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) shocked the political world with his December announcement that he would not run for president in 2008, the staff scavenging began.

Members of Bayh's senior staff immediately became some of the hottest free agents in the ongoing talent primary -- the behind the scenes battle to scoop up skilled campaign operatives.

The latest member of Team Bayh to choose a new horse is Chris Hayler, who will be Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (N.Y.) Iowa political director. Hayler was serving a similar role for Bayh and during the 2004 race was Sen. John Kerry's (Mass.) southeastern Iowa field director.

Hayler joins former Tom Harkin chief of staff JoDee Winterhof on Clinton's Iowa staff. We hear former Iowa Attorney General Bonnie Campbell, one of the small group of Iowans who backed Bill Clinton's Iowa campaign in 1992, will chair Sen. Clinton's campaign in the Hawkeye State. The Clinton campaign denies any decision has been made.

Sean Downey, who was organizing New Hampshire for Bayh, has now signed on to do the same for Sen. Chris Dodd's (Conn.) campaign. (As usual, John DiStaso -- the preeminent political reporter in New Hampshire -- has this news first.)

Here's a look at other former Bayh staffers who have signed on with other '08 campaigns:

* Kory Mitchell: Mitchell, the finance director for Bayh's bid, will now ply his fundraising skills on behalf of Sen. Joe Biden (Del.). Mitchell headed up Kerry's Florida fundraising in 2004 and for a time raised money for former state party chairman Scott Maddox's (D-Fla.) brief race for governor.

* Nancy Jacobson: Jacobson, who was Bayh's principal fundraiser, is now on Clinton's team. Her husband -- Mark Penn -- is Clinton's pollster and a member of the senator's political inner circle.

* Dan Pfeiffer: Bayh's former communications director will be the traveling press person for Sen. Barack Obama's (Ill.) campaign. Pfeiffer spent the 2002 and 2004 cycles in South Dakota working on the reelection races of Sens. Tim Johnson (a win) and Tom Daschle (a loss), respectively.

With most of Bayh's team now spoken for, expect the remaining campaigns to turn their attention to staffers set free by John Kerry's decision not to pursue a second presidential bid in 2008. Michael Whouley, the field guru widely credited with saving Kerry's Iowa caucus campaign in 2004, is seen as the biggest get, but it remains unclear whether he is even interested in working on another presidential campaign.

One other name to keep an eye on: Amy Dacey, who was Kerry's traveling political director in 2004 and is very well regarded in Democratic political circles.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 8, 2007; 3:48 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

Hayler is an overrated 20-something who has like two campaigns under his belt. I can't believe how blogs like this hype the "talent" of these inexperienced staffers. It's simply amazing.

Posted by: values | February 13, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Bayh's staff. I can tell you they are first rate.

Best wishes to them and their future campaigns.

Posted by: Happy Camper | February 10, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks Whouley is talented also was awe struck with the head coaching of Richie Petibone.

Posted by: W. Pond | February 10, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Bayh had a top-rate team, and could have weathered out the Obama-Clinton storm. Hell, he probably could have picked up some of Kerry's people when Kerry quit!

But Bayh is one of the best choices for VP, along with Mark Warner.
Bayh and Edwards were friends when they were in the Senate, and apparently, Hillary and Bayh are somewhat close(They did just go to Iraq on a trip together). Bill also said that he hoped that he would be voting for Evan Bayh for President one day. Maybe 2008, '12 or '16?

The only place Bayh wouldn't be good as VP might be Obama, and probably Vilsack more than Obama. Bayh looks like Gore to Obama's Clinton put together-the guy is not the most inspiring of speakers. Also, the two of them are both Midwesterners, from neighboring states. And, the most obvious issue, of course-Bayh is a Colts fan, and Obama is for Da Bears.
This partnership will never work.

Posted by: Evan | February 9, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Bayh had a top-rate team, and could have weathered out the Obama-Clinton storm. Hell, he probably could have picked up some of Kerry's people when Kerry quit!

But Bayh is one of the best choices for VP, along with Mark Warner.
Bayh and Edwards were friends when they were in the Senate, and apparently, Hillary and Bayh are somewhat close(They did just go to Iraq on a trip together). Bill also said that he hoped that he would be voting for Evan Bayh for President one day. Maybe 2008?

The only place Bayh wouldn't be good as VP might be Obama, and probably Vilsack more than Obama. Bayh looks like Gore to Obama's Clinton put together-the guy is not the most inspiring of speakers. Also, the two of them are both Midwesterners, from neighboring states. And, the most obvious issue, of course-Bayh is a Colts fan, and Obama is for Da Bears.
This partnership will never work.

Posted by: Evan | February 9, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

and howard dean saved john kerry's 2004 iowa caucus -- no one else.

Posted by: paul tewes | February 9, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Amy Dacey is worthless.

Posted by: paul tewes | February 9, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why william even posts on these boards
Step One: William says something racist or something devoid of reason/fact

Step Two: Many (if not most) other posts say that William is a racist/idiot

Step Three: The board is officially trolled away from the topic or any sort of reasonalble debate/discussion of issues

Posted by: Moderates Unite | February 9, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

It is a shame that not enough of your readers showed enough Bayh support to encourage the fight that he could have won. Unfortunately, political journalists buried him under so much of his competitors hype, that he didn't have enough proper attention. I must disagree however that withdrawl on his part was a disasterous move, when in fact it probably made him the most obvious choice for a running mate for any other candidate. He is not looking at a bid for the 2012 race he is hoping to run as an incumbent in 2016.

Posted by: J Zimski | February 9, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | February 9, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Whouley is extremely talented but it was John Norris who saved John Kerry in the Iowa Caucuses of 2004.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 9, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I know many people on this list. Nancy Jacobson is just the best and if people do not know, she really is the person that brought Terry McAuliffe into the Clinton fold in 1992 after Terry supported Tom Harkin. I do have to disagree on one point Chris. Michael Whouley is THE most overrated consultant in American politics...He was somehow credited with helping the DCCC in 2006, when he did nothing..and credited with his field genius for Kerry, when he really did little...what I do know is that is has been involved in more poorly run field operations then I have seen in my 25 years in the business...See Anthony Weiner for Mayor

Posted by: L. Frogg | February 9, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

The truly hilarious part about this phony smear/non-story is the republican worrying about how Nancy Pelosi using a larger plane would cause 'climate change'..

ROFLOL -- don't they just kill you? you couldn't make this shi** up...

'House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received some rare help yesterday from the White House against a barrage of Republican criticism over how she intends to get home.

For security reasons, the Democratic leader is entitled to fly to her San Francisco district on military planes, just as her predecessor, Rep. J. Dennis Hastert (R), was able to fly home to Illinois on the planes. The House sergeant-at-arms, who helps oversee security for the House, suggested that flying nonstop would be the safest way home for Pelosi, who is next after the vice president in the line of presidential succession. That would require a larger plane than Hastert used.

*'Flying in a large Air Force plane, Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.) said, "appears to remove any spending controls from our operations and dramatically increases our impact on the environment, especially climate change."*

Then the White House weighed in: Too much ado about nothing.

"This is a silly story," said presidential spokesman Tony Snow, "and I think it's been unfair to the speaker."

For her part, Pelosi said: "I have never asked for any larger plane. I have said that I am happy to ride commercial if the plane they have doesn't go coast to coast."

Posted by: drindl | February 9, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

willaim is the most racist, drooling, knuckle-dragger i have ever seen. i'm really gllad you were offended by edwards bloggers, wiliam. i'd love to do it everyday. becuase everything that comes out of you is grossly offensive.

the idea of you as a chritian is a sick joke.

Posted by: lark | February 9, 2007 7:54 AM | Report abuse

william complains of the "stupid obamamania" - interesting coming from someone who trumpets the electability of haley barbour and other good ol' boys.

william, it's been 140 years. the confederacy lost.

get over it.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Of the current crop of Democratic Presidential hopefuls, Evan Bayh, was the most qualified. His staff he selected proved that, but Obama came along and stole the spotlight. But don't get too excited about Senator Obama he can only win in maybe five states in a general election, at best.

That is the problem with Democrats they would rather be idealists than realists, after overall there is always next time.

Evan Bayh managed the State of Indiana very well for eight years, with balanced budgets all eight years. His problem was that he forgot how to be refreshing and new. After 20 years of elected office in Indiana he became too calulating and caustious. It made an yound man old quickly. Obama has not been on stage long enough to learn that important lesson.

Posted by: Danny L. McDaniel | February 8, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Of the current crop of Democratic Presidential hopefuls, Evan Bayh, was the most qualified. His staff he selected proved that, but Obama came along and stole the spotlight. But don't get too excited about Senator Obama he can only win in maybe five states in a general election, at best.

That is the problem with Democrats they would rather be idealists than realists, after overall there is always next time.

Evan Bayh managed the State of Indiana very well for eight years, with balanced budgets all eight years. His problem was that he forgot how to be refreshing and new. After 20 years of elected office in Indiana he became too calulating and caustious. It made an yound man old quickly. Obama has not been on stage long enough to learn that important lesson.

Posted by: Danny L. McDaniel | February 8, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Considering the primo team Bayh had in place you can't help but wonder exactly why he really bowed out.

Perhaps for a for-sure VP spot under Clinton's high octane wing?

And, if that is so, then she would have to gear up in Iowa as a disappointed Vilsack would no longer be her Iowa stalking horse... especially since he's turning out to be a not very good one with his low poll numbers.

Just a thought.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | February 8, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

William, Guilliani is on record as being concerned about unregulated outsourcing and guest workers.... for these guys, that's all it takes. And, William, if you care to take a look, you will see a troubling coincidence of the people funding Clinton and McCain now and Bush in 2004, including the Swift Boaters. These people don't really care about politics except insofar as it affects their business. And they are setting about early in this election to ensure that the candidates from both parties don't effect how they do business and that there is no real choice in 2008.

Posted by: mb | February 8, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Guliani, a populist???

Are you demented?

That guy is 1984 personified!

Posted by: William | February 8, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Chris. Another little hint about the connection between the stories you have been running about Edwards and the Clinton-McCain tie in. Follow the money. Look at the contributions to both candidates from McKinsey & Co, HSPC, GE, Fidelity, Delphi, Dell, Bechtel, and Amercian Express. Now, take a good look at Carville and Rove and what they have been up to... and who has been funding the negative shots and digging dirt on opposition caqndidates. Edwards, Guilliani, Hagel, and Obama are populists and a threat to the free traders/globalizers and these guys are funding Clinton and McCain because they are both thoroughgoing free traders.

Posted by: mb | February 8, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Amy Dacey vs. Terry Nelson. Who would win?

Maybe Amy would ask Terry to "call her."

:)

Posted by: William | February 8, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Bayh was stupid for getting out this early. Ditto for Warner.

The stupid Obamamania will eventually evaporate. In fact, it is already. Even Libs who like Obama realize he can't be elected.

A lot of Dems still dislike Hillary, and even before this scandal, Edwards was an inexperienced, retread lightweight.

If Bayh or Warner had stayed in, I could EASILY have seen him getting the nomination, as a highly electable, moderate, anti-Hillary.

Bowing out so early was a massive strategic mistake on Bayh's part.

Posted by: William | February 8, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I HEART that Amy Dacey! She is the best!

Posted by: tube socks | February 8, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Chris is right - Amy Dacey is extraordinarily talented. She's going to have her pick...

Posted by: Commander Adama | February 8, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

But what is so great about having Kerry's SE IA field director and FL fundarising director? Kerry lots both states.

Posted by: NW DC | February 8, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I love ya guy, but this is the biggest non-story you have over blogged - okay more important than the news media coming to a stand still over Anna Nicole Smith - but in my opinion not even Anna is a story.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Now, I want my Snickers Commercial Back

http://balancingtheissues.com/snickers.htm

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | February 8, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Its interesting that Bayh's operation dispersed almost immediately, but Kerry's has stayed relatively intact both in regards to staffers and fundraisers. Must be tough for Evan who is already thinking about 2012

Posted by: Jonah Wells | February 8, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

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