Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

The Case for Evan Bayh

There is no hotter candidate in the vice presidential sweepstakes right now than Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh. In addition to taking over the number one slot in last Friday's Veepstakes Line (no higher honor exists), Bayh was also at the center of veep speculation during a joint appearance with Obama last week in the Hoosier State.

VP Watch

Then on Sunday Bayh appeared on "Fox News Sunday" where he (again) addressed the issue -- in the classic non-denial denial that is common to any close observer of the veepstakes.

"Well, I've said that's not the sort of thing you'd say no to, Chris," Bayh said to host Chris Wallace.

"Which means you'd say yes?" asked Wallace.

"Well, that's the type of thing you do say yes to, and I've said that, but you should probably ask Joe [Lieberman, who appeared with Bayh on the show], he has more experience with the vice presidential questions than I do," Bayh replied.

Is Bayh peaking at the right time? Today we make the case for Barack Obama to pick Bayh. Tomorrow we argue the opposite.

It's All About Indiana

Pennsylvania
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) (By Jae C. Hong -- Associated Press)

The Democratic presidential candidate has carried Indiana only twice in the last 72 years -- 1936 and 1964.

But, public and private polling seems to suggest that Obama is running competitively with John McCain in the Hoosier State and likely will have a chance to make history in the fall.

The simplest way to tip the scales is for Obama to name Bayh as his running mate. Even Bayh's detractors acknowledge that he is extremely popular in the Hoosier State, having served as the state's governor from 1988 to 1996 and in the Senate since then.

Bayh is also part of one of Indiana's most prominent political families. His father, Birch, served in the Senate from 1962 to 1980 (he was defeated that year by Sen. Dan Quayle) and ran for president (briefly) in 1972 and then again in 1976. Evan Bayh's mother, Marvella, was also a beloved figure in the Hoosier State before she passed away in 1979.

Not only would Bayh tilt Indiana -- and its 11 electoral votes -- to Obama but he also has the potential to help the ticket in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and maybe even Kentucky.

As a Midwesterner and one who hails from a state where the manufacturing industry has been decimated by the recent economic downturn, Bayh is a credible messenger to the blue collar white voters in the Rust Belt -- the same voters who Obama struggled to attract during the primaries.

Hybrid Appeal

If you believe, as The Fix does, that Obama faces a stark choice between a fresh face and a elder statesman in his vice presidential pick, then the only candidate being seriously considered who could bridge that gap is Bayh.

At 52 (he looks younger), Bayh would allow Obama to cast the choice between the tickets as generational in nature. McCain's age is certain to be an issue for voters in the fall election -- at 72 he would be the oldest person ever elected to a first term as president -- and many Democrats see this election shaping up as a re-run of the 1992 race when the underlying choice was between young and old. For many Democrats, an Obama-Bayh ticket would look a lot like that 1992 Clinton-Gore ticket -- a successful blueprint that led to eight years of Democratic control of the White House.

But, although Bayh is on the young side, he also has a deep and nuanced political resume that would seemingly allow Obama to fight back against the inexperience charge being lobbed at him. Bayh can speak authoritatively on a broad palette of issues ranging from tax cuts to American policy toward China -- the result of his years spent in both state and federal government.

Given McCain's unswerving focus on Obama's experience and readiness for office, picking someone who meets the commander-in-chief test as vice president is considered something close to a necessity among many within the Democratic Party. At the same time, reinforcing Obama as the change and youth candidate with his vice presidential pick would seem to be a no-brainer too.

Only Bayh among those being seriously considered allows Obama to make both arguments simultaneously.

Less Flash, More Substance

There's no debate about which of the two candidates for president this year is the better speaker. Obama is a once-in-a-generation orator; McCain is, at best, a passable speaker.

Knowing that, the McCain campaign has sought to turn Obama's rhetorical gifts against him -- arguing in a recent ad that "beautiful words cannot make our lives better." (Worth noting: this strategy is very similar to the tact taken by Hillary Rodham Clinton in her unsuccessful primary challenge to Obama.)

To counter that, Obama and his campaign have abandoned the arena-type speeches that typified his primary candidacy in favor of smaller gatherings of voters in which the Illinois Senator can speak more frankly (and less grandiloquently) with voters about their everyday concerns.

And yet, it's hard to imagine the McCain campaign giving up on their "all talk, no action" line any time soon. The best way for Obama to deal with that charge then is to put someone on the ticket who is widely regarded as a substance first, style second politician.

Bayh qualifies. He is regularly castigated by the D.C. chattering class as "too boring" and "too vanilla" to be president. Bayh, by his own admission, isn't particularly showy or charismatic as a politician. While that lack of style led to his early exit from this year's presidential race, it also recommends him as a perfect compliment for the uber-flashy Obama.

Obama in many ways can't help the fact that he is treated as a rock star by many people inside and outside politics; by the same token, Bayh can't help that he is seen as a genial policy wonk without enough flash to sell his positions. Together, however, the way the two candidates are perceived compliment each other perfectly and, collectively, the ticket is stronger than either might be alone.

Central Casting

On paper, Evan Bayh is the perfect fit for the vice presidency. He is young and handsome with a postcard-perfect family that includes his wife, Susan, and their twin sons.

In that, he has much in common with Obama whose wife, Michelle, and two young daughters evoke the sort of all-American family that voters like to see in their presidential candidates.

Several observers contacted for this piece by The Fix noted that the combination of the Obamas and the Bayhs on the campaign trail would be an attractive and appealing package for Democrats to sell to voters this fall.

And, while we're on superficialities, Bayh has proven himself -- both in this presidential campaign and in his own past races -- to have a reassuring television presence that connects well with voters. That ability played no small role in the routs of his opponents Bayh has enjoyed for the majority of his political career. (Check out Sen. Bayh in this recent Post Talk interview.)

Many political observers are quick to pooh-pooh the focus on how candidates look -- either in person or on television -- as entirely immaterial to picking the people to run our government.

And yet, electing a president is not unlike selling a product to people. While you may well buy an Ipod because of its functionality and storage capacity, the fact that it looks cool and has become code in our culture for hipness doesn't hurt either.

Obama won't -- and shouldn't -- pick Bayh because of how he looks. But, to discount that as a factor is folly.

Outperforming Low Expectations

The fact that Bayh is widely regarded by political insiders as impossibly boring actually could work to his benefit in the vice presidential sweepstakes.

Witness Bayh's performance in a joint appearance with Obama last week in West Lafayette, Indiana. Asked about his interest in the vice presidency, he acknowledged it was "good for my ego" but demurred on whether he was really in the running. Bayh also managed to work in praise for Obama's hoops skills during his closing remarks -- a sure winner in the basketball-crazy Hoosier State.

Evan Bayh cracked a joke? He made a basketball reference? Yes, Virginia, he may well even be a regular human being.

Those who know Bayh well and have followed him closely over the last few years insist that the Indiana Senator's rapport with voters and ease on the national stage improved vastly during the time in 2007 that he was exploring a bid for president. People, and politicians, mature and change, Bayh allies argue, and the caricature of the wooden (or plastic) Indiana senator is no longer accurate.

The expectations bar for Bayh is set so low that even the smallest amount of personality and jocularity is sure to endear him to the press corps and voters. It's uniquely possible that in picking Bayh, Obama would allow for a re-introduction of the Indiana senator to the chattering class even as he is introduced more broadly to voters.

Our bet? Bayh would perform much more strongly -- from a personality perspective -- that many people would believe.

As always, this piece is meant to spark conversation, so feel free to agree, disagree, condemn or compliment in the comments section below. Tomorrow: The Case Against Bayh.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 22, 2008; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Veepstakes  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McCain To Meet With Jindal
Next: Analysis: Obama's Gravitas

Comments

Other strong points for Bayh are that he would be a perfect set up man to run in 2016, unlike Biden who would be much older. Bayh was a Hillary supporter so that would help bridge the gap between Obama and Hillary supporters. Also Bayh is a UVA grad which helps at least slightly with Virginia. Obama needs to consider someone who can support his message of working with the other side of the isle, which Bayh does perfectly after being a two term gov. of a red state. Obama needs to appear a moderate to win and Bayh defines moderate. Bayh is the perfect choice. I am a hoosier and from speaking with many politically active people on both sides, I can confidently say that Bayh will win Indiana for Obama.

Posted by: David | August 8, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I am getting excited about Bayh, like I did about Obama. I watched him campaign for Hillary and, although I supported Obama, I was impressed with Bayh and I am certain his involvement made the difference for Clinton in her narrow victory in Indiana. He has all of the qualities and experience that a VP requires and his strategic influence in the Mid-West and all "blue-collar" areas can not be underestimated. If Bayh is Obama's choice, I will not be disappointed.

Posted by: JohnWinNC | August 7, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Bayh and Nunn are much better choices than Tim Kaine.

It would also be nice if Hillary turned it down first and she made a statement to that effect.

Posted by: repugnicant | August 6, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Some *exceedingly* prescient person predicted Bayh several weeks ago. This'll get you to the article-- http://tiny.cc/o8ama8ayh08

Posted by: TomHarrison | August 5, 2008 3:36 AM | Report abuse

Please allow me to interrupt your conversation with an important announcement.

It's not Milk-toast (a tasty breakfast combination)

It's Milquetoast (a spineless, unassertive person. The term originated with Caspar Milquetoast, a meek and cowardly character created in 1924 by Harold Webster for his comic strip "The Timid Soul").

If you're going to insult someone, take the time to learn how to spell the insult. (Especially such a decidedly American insult.)

Otherwise you look like a lazy buffoon (seriously, the proper spelling took 3 seconds to look up, let alone the meaning).

Thank you and have a good day.

Posted by: English-Language Police | August 4, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I am a Hoosier and I will vote Democrat for the first time ever if Evan gets this shot. Evan is not only a strong political figure working for the greater good of our Hoosier citizens, but he's a family man. If he takes this slot, I wouldn't be shocked to see a landslide win for the dems this time around. Frankly, I think he's the only reasonable choice for the dems. I hope this happens, as I would have some actual hope for this great nation. Evan, if you in the odd event are reading any of this, we as Hoosiers are very proud to have you and we would be honored as a nation to have you as our VP. Obama, if you're reading this... DO IT. He's your only chance and a wonderful opportunity to grabe the entire rust belt.

Posted by: Chad | August 4, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Evan Bayh is the best and only politician alive that I trust. Not only have I met the man but he helped campaign for my father when he was Gov. of IN he came to my family's house for dinner multiple times. I even spent half an hour debating the legal rights of minors with him at one of those dinners. I was an intern at the state house when he was Gov. and everyone even his enemies respected him. He does what he says he will do and always has the people's interest in mind. I would love to see Evan run for President but VP will do, for now. Obama will get my vote regardless of his VP pick but I think Evan would help him more than any of the other possibilities besides Clinton.

Andrew E.

Posted by: Andrew E | July 31, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks Bayh is dull or uninspiring is underestimating him. True,he
isn't a great public speaker, but he knows
how to get things done, and he is well connected.He could be just what Obama needs.He might not be most people's first
choice, but his selection makes sense as
far as the support he could bring to Obama's candidacy.
OBAMA "08" YES WE CAN

Posted by: miss anthrope | July 24, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks Bayh is dull or uninspiring is underestimating him. True,he
isn't a great public speaker, but he knows
how to get things done, and he is well connected.He could be just what Obama needs.He might not be most people's first
choice, but his selection makes sense as
far as the support he could bring to Obama's candidacy.
OBAMA "08" YES WE CAN

Posted by: miss anthrope | July 24, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

With respect to the situation should Bayh be the VP pick and the Dems win, the new governor would be sworn in before he would have to resign his seat. While an upset is possible, the odds favor the Republican governor's being relected.

Indiana law calls for a special election when a Senator resigns, but the governor appoints a replacement to serve through the special election.

Posted by: judas_priest | July 23, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

As a long time suffering Hoosier Democrat, I strongly believe that most are underestimating Evan Bayh. He won two terms as Governor after 20 years of Republicans running the Statehouse. He almost single-handedly rebuilt the State party from the ashes. Now the congressional delegation is Democrat 5-4, the State House of Reps is Dem and Jill Long has a resonable shot at retiring the USA's worst Governor. He made it thru 8 yrs without raising taxes and demonstrated that Democrats can govern as moderates. His last Senate campaign didn't even draw a Rep opponent. Sure he is no Birch Bayh, but still a smart choice for Senator Obama.

Posted by: Jack | July 23, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

as someone had said so wisely once

"too much change during times of tumult makes for a nervous electorate"

without familiarity... the American electorate is easily swayed to think stability is missing from the ticket.

when the money isn't there to pay the rent and medical bills and the future is frought with instability... even with a bad administration

...change can be a sword that cuts both ways...too much change and a learning curve to find out who the ticket is can make a nervous voter very queezy and searching in the voting booth for the stability message even in a mess.

Posted by: dl | July 23, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Bayh is low hanging fruit that puts Indiana into play. Bob Casey may be a better pick than Bayh. He was loyal and supportive and influential in Pennsylvania, which had a massive deficit to make up. Pennsylvania wasn't the kind of bloodletting loss it could have been, thanks in part to Senator Casey. And it may put Pennsylvania into play.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

It needs to fit the "Change" message.
Even Bayh is most probably the pick.

Posted by: ES NYC | July 23, 2008 3:31 AM | Report abuse

I think Obama's performance on this trip to the Middle East has given him a LOT of breathing room on the need to pick someone with foreign policy experience. What we've seen is the Iraqi's, the British, and the President of the US beginning to come around to Obama's position on our troop presence there. Obama looks like a leader over there. He appears confident, comfortable, and fully capable of handling any issues that arise in the Middle East.

I think Obama will pick someone who won't hurt him. He doesn't need to pick someone because he/she can "bring him a state". If you look at the state-by-state polls, this race is shaping up to be an electoral landslide, and that's BEFORE he announces his VP pick. So he doesn't really need someone who will bring him a state. He's doing enough of that on his own.

That leaves me to believe he will pick someone who will above all else, not cause him any problems. He will pick someone safe. He will pick someone who won't make stupid off-the-cuff remarks that are twisted and over beaten by the media. He'll pick someone who won't make him lose sleep at night worrying what this person might say in his/her next interview.

So yes, I believe the VP nominee will be a boring, milktoast candidate. At this point, that's what Obama needs.

PG

Posted by: PeixeGato | July 23, 2008 3:13 AM | Report abuse

I think Obama's performance on this trip to the Middle East has given him a LOT of breathing room on the need to pick someone with foreign policy experience. What we've seen is the Iraqi's, the British, and the President of the US beginning to come around to Obama's position on our troop presence there. Obama looks like a leader over there. He appears confident, comfortable, and fully capable of handling any issues that arise in the Middle East.

I think Obama will pick someone who won't hurt him. He doesn't need to pick someone because he/she can "bring him a state". If you look at the state-by-state polls, this race is shaping up to be an electoral landslide, and that's BEFORE he announces his VP pick. So he doesn't really need someone who will bring him a state. He's doing enough of that on his own.

That leaves me to believe he will pick someone who will above all else, not cause him any problems. He will pick someone safe. He will pick someone who won't make stupid off-the-cuff remarks that are twisted and over beaten by the media. He'll pick someone who won't make him lose sleep at night worrying what this person might say in his/her next interview.

So yes, I believe the VP nominee will be a boring, milktoast candidate. At this point, that's what Obama needs.

PG

Posted by: PeixeGato | July 23, 2008 3:09 AM | Report abuse

I think Obama's performance on this trip to the Middle East has given him a LOT of breathing room on the need to pick someone with foreign policy experience. What we've seen is the Iraqi's, the British, and the President of the US being to come around to Obama's position on our troop presence there. Obama looks like a leader over there. He appears confident, comfortable, and fully capable of handling any issues that arise in the Middle East.

I think Obama will pick someone who won't hurt him. He'll pick someone safe. He doesn't need to pick someone because they can "bring him a state". If you look at the state-by-state polls, this race is shaping up to be an electoral landslide, and that's BEFORE he announces his VP pick. So he doesn't really need someone who will bring him a state.

That leaves me to believe he will pick someone who will above all else, not cause him any problems. He will pick someone safe. He will pick someone who won't make stupid off-the-cuff remarks that are twisted and over beaten by the media. He'll pick someone who won't make him lose sleep at night worrying what this person might say in his/her next interview.

So yes, I believe the VP nominee will be a boring, milktoast candidate. At this point, that's what Obama needs.

PG

Posted by: PeixeGato | July 23, 2008 3:07 AM | Report abuse

1 mmore thing...

notice Biden's right hand guy is next to Obama with Reed and Hagel on this trip

and the flurry of Bipartisan bills Biden passed this week

1 more thing the height difference on stage between reed and obama made them look like a curcus act...I think he's out too.

Posted by: dl | July 22, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Hillary, Caroline Kennedy, Pelosi, gawd oprah

are more Presidential and comfortable to lead to America...they are more macho lol than Bayh...

and obama needs Macho... it was the most attractive thing about Hillary and Obama...she got "balls" so to speak.

Balls/Macho, comfort and foreign policy cred to the ticket... it ain't Bayh...or Kaine.

Posted by: dl | July 22, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

yeah

Obama isn't a candidate with a long resume like Bush Sr., Gore, Kerry...and Clinton didn't have a country as nervous and precarious as we have now...

He can't take a guy that most of America thinks was a head and shoulders model whose dad was a pol so he became a pol somewhere in the midwest... but no nothing about his policy stances...Obama would have to get America up to speed and make Bayh look like he could be president.

THAT is not what Obama needs... Indiana, supporter of Hillary and a fade into the background candidate is the LAST thing Obama needs.

there is a macho factor missing...Bayh ain't macho. sorry it's just the case.

I think he would be a great VP for Biden...maybe Dodd...definitely McCain...

but not obama. think about it.

Posted by: dl | July 22, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Chris

again you got this wrong ...sorry

too much milktoast not enough bulldog.

It's going to get ugly and quick...

Bayh has no foreign policy cred (as much as people keep falsely saying that...not sure where that comes from)...

He outdoes Romneys weird stepford politician look
If Obama was going to pick Bayh he would pick Edwards a far more popular milktoast guy.

Obama has a little too much milktoast still...he needs blue collar and he needs familiarity...and he nees more foreign policy cred.

It's going to be Biden... sorry that is the math...

Posted by: dl | July 22, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

http://nohillaryvp.blogspot.com/

Sorry Hillary, Vice-Presidential candidates don't select themselves


For the last 50 years, the selection of the Vice-Presidential nominee in both parties has basically been the sole prerogative of the Presidential nominee. What is more, those who might have coveted the job were obliged by custom to at least feign indifference or perhaps outright non-interest.

The most recent exception was in 1956 when delegates at the Democratic convention actually chose the Vice-Presidential nominee, but only after Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson threw the selection process open to the delegates. Even in this instance the prerogative of the Presidential nominee was predominant.

Never ones to be bound by custom or taste, as Hillary's prospects for winning the top spot on the ticket grew increasingly dim in May and June, the Clintons suddenly decided, "well, okay, we'll take the Vice-Presidency." It wasn't that explicit of course. First there were Clinton surrogates suggesting a so-called "dream ticket" of Obama and Hillary, then it was revealed the Bill Clinton said Hillary had "earned" an offer of the Vice-Presidency (one wonders what Bill's reaction would have been in 1992 if he was told Paul Tsongas or Bob Kerrey had earned the offer to be his running mate and he was obliged to make the offer?). Finally, it was reported that in conversations with supporters, Hillary did not reject the plans to mount efforts to "encourage" Obama to choose her.

The taboo of expressing uninvited interest in the Vice-Presidency has been broken before. 2008 also-ran former Senator Mike Gravel submitted his name for the Vice-Presidential nomination at the Democratic convention in 1972 but was soundly trounced by the Presidential nominee George McGovern's pick Thomas Eagleton. What is unusual is the speed in which Hillary began a campaign to anoint herself Vice-Presidential nominee and intensity of her supporters' tactics. Blogs have been set up to promote her candidacy, Hillary supporters are being encouraged to flood online polls, they are employing hot rhetoric to demand Obama choose her.

What Hillary and supporters don't seem to understand is Vice-Presidential nominees are not self-selected. Even if selecting her was a good idea, and it isn't, the tactics of her supporters look like an ultimatum to Obama. For him to agree would be a sign of weakness.

Posted by: Philip Meyer | July 22, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I live in Indiana. For those of you who don't know, Indiana is a VERY conservative state. Evan Bayh has had to learn to appeal to moderate conservatives,and independents. Some here characterize him as "dull". Well, an outspoken liberal doesn't play well here in Indiana and I dare say that it doesn't play well across the midwest. I consider myself to be a moderate, to many of you I would probably look more like a conservative. But, that is the point. Evan Bayh can resonate with people like me. And I think he can deliver Indiana for the Democrats.

Posted by: ceaser7 | July 22, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I posted my prediction for Evan Bayh on The Fix about two weeks ago. I'm way ahead of all of you on this! Check out my article if you want to know Obama's VP pick (as well as the next prez):

http://lisajean.newsvine.com/_news/2008/07/18/1677618-astrological-predictions-obama-bayh-2008

Posted by: Lisa JM | July 22, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I read an article last week that may lend support to Bayh possibly being Obama's running mate. Here's the deal: type ObamaBayh08.com into your web browser. It takes you to the DNC's home page. Maybe that's a sign.

Posted by: ed from Arkansas | July 22, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

great, 2 wealthy white guys on the democratic ticket

(the only black about barack is his using AA to get ahead)

oatmeal redux

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

I had a strong hunch abouta month ago that Bayh would be the pick for VP. He isn't my choice per say but he certainly has the required background and experience. The best indication he is leading the contest for VP is that he is the prime surrogate for Obama right now on TV and apparently is doing that job very well.

Just think. If Obama wins the Kerry states (he leads in all of them right now) and then wins Iowa (7 electoral votes) and Indiana (11 electoral votes) he is elected President. Bayh is pure Midwest All America and he would help lock down that region for Obama.

Posted by: Cederico | July 22, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Please note than Bayh is also a UVA grad...

Posted by: Bill | July 22, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Biden is a big hit with older, political junkies. But to a cynical public at large, he is a crusty insider who has spent more than a 1/3 of a century in DC. How does Obama shout in INVESCO stadium "Joe Biden and I are going to bring change to Washington!" with a straight face? He's been there for 35 years. That's 6 years longer than he hasn't been there!
Biden also comes across as angry and defensive, whereas Bayh comes across as hopeful and pleasant.

Posted by: Justin | July 22, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

What is it with Democrats? FDR, Truman and Wilson must be rolling in their graves. Obama has to go searching for a boring VP. Nearly every candidate in history has angled for a boring VP because they didn't want to be shown up. Now that the Dems have the one person who cannot be shown up, they want boring. I have no problem with Bayh on qualifications, he is perfectly qualified, but the fact that he is boring is a plus is sad commentary on the state of the nation and the Democratic party.

In 2000 Gore was too cerebral. He had to worry about 'picking on' Georgie in the debates. It was bad manners to show up W and implicitly point out that his opponent was intellectually challenged. I mean God forbid the President of the United States of America was smart!

Now being an orator without match on the national stage is somehow a handicap? What are school children taught about US Presidents? After Washington and Jefferson it is the Gettysburg address, FDR's nothing to fear but fear itself and JFK's ask not and ich bin ein Berliner speech.

Such a pity Obama is a FISA supporting totalitarian and I can't vote for him.

Posted by: muD | July 22, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The constant accusations from out of nowhere that Bayh is so, so boring have always baffled me to the point of irritation. Almost every politican out there including the majority of the others for consideration to be VP are more boring than he is, speak less well than Bayh. So cut it out.

Posted by: Justin | July 22, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Joe Biden refer to Obama as "clean and articulate"?

Posted by: PeaPod | July 22, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the map, If Bayh can deliver Indiana and it's 11 electoral votes, this thing is over with or with out Ohio and Florida

Posted by: swalker3 | July 22, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I met Evan Bayh some years ago and found him pleasant but dull. However, I have to admit that this FOR case is very compelling for a lot of reasons, some of which you guys have already pointed out. Two more: First, Evan's fundraising capacity, based on his family ties and his long career, would, we suspect, be formidable. Second, Obama's performance in Jordan today was so impressive, so Presidential, that I'm wondering whether this gives him some breathing room on the "foreign policy credential" question. Interesting to think about!

Posted by: McGee2 | July 22, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Bayh would be my pick. He does come from a region that has voted GOP in the past and could be had by Obama due to the economy.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | July 22, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

What ever happened to Webb of VA? Strong minded, smart, good looking and young and he would definitely help bring Va into the fold. Plus, he has a military background and would fare well with some voters who have not yet found a common thread with Obama.

That said, Biden, Bayh and Dodd are all good choices.

Hillary would be a disaster and would drive away many who are on the fence; knock them off the fence and back to the other side. Enough with the Clintons, these polarizing, scandal ridden throwbacks to the past. Didn't they prove themselves disruptive enough and inept enough and negative enough in the running of their own campaign? Do we need them on the inside of Obama's campaign to screw up the general election? Gives me the shivers.

Posted by: AndyGarciaLongBeachCa | July 22, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The spelling, usage, and grammar police are out in force because for a Democrat there is little enough to complain about, about Bayh, so go after WAPO's mechanics checker. (I really wish its diction ary were more competent). Still, the last time the Democrats got such a plain vanilla VP, Al turned out to be an excellent choice.

The Republicans, of course, having to be agin something, still have problems with any credible complaints.

Just remember, north of the Ohio and Potomac, plus the tier adjacent to them in the mid west, plus the West Coast, plus Hawaii equals electoral vote landslide. If any VP candidate can insure that mix it is Evan Bayh.

And as has been pointed out, he might bring Kentucky too. The above mix plus Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia is a major landslide.

So how will Bob Barr effect John McCain elsewhere?

Prediction: Obama gets 450+ electoral votes. The Dems pick up 11 Senate seats. (And Mitch Daniels only gets to appoint a replacement until the state can hold an election to fill the seat.)

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | July 22, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

~

Just one more reason NOT to vote for Obama.

~

Posted by: DickeyFuller | July 22, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Phil--Jill Long Thompson is the democrat, a former house rep and Clinton admin undersecretary of ag--she's been working on food safety since 2001 and the Institute of Politics at Harvard. She barely won the primary and is currently 5% down to Daniels.

Posted by: dwfortin | July 22, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Chris: You didn't mention that IN has a Repub. Gov. (who fills Senate vacancies?)

Please research/report back what happens if Bayh is elected VP but Gov. Daniels is defeated for re-election. Who appoints Bayh's replacement?

Posted by: Phil | July 22, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Chris--all politics is local and choosing Bayh would hand a senate seat to the GOP. The incumbent governor is a republican with a lead in the polls for reelection. If Bayh were the VP, his replacement would be chosen by the governor until the next election, and GOP governors have no compunction against selecting replacements from a different party . Why risk tossing this seat to the wolves and even risk a possible majority that would be too strong for GOP blocking maneuvers over a VP spot that may or may not help Obama?

Ditto for Hillary in New York, where the political climate isn't the best for democrats right now, given the mess in Albany. The best strategic move would be to chose a governor...

Posted by: dwfortin | July 22, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Chris--all politics is local and choosing Bayh would hand a senate seat to the GOP. The incumbent is a republican with a lead in the polls for reelection. If Bayh were the VP, his replacement would be chosen by the governor until the next election, and GOP governors have no compunction against selecting replacements from a different party . Why risk tossing this seat to the wolves and even risk a possible majority that would be too strong for GOP blocking maneuvers over a VP spot that may or may not help Obama?

Ditto for Hillary in New York, where the political climate isn't the best for democrats right now, given the mess in Albany. The best strategic move would be to chose a governor...

Posted by: dwfortin | July 22, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"this strategy is very similar to the tact taken by Hillary Rodham Clinton"

Sorry, Chris, I think it's "tack" taken, i.e., "to change the direction of (a sailing ship) when sailing close-hauled by turning the bow to the wind and shifting the sails so as to fall off on the other side at about the same angle as before". --http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tack

Your friendly neighborhood grammar Nazi.

Posted by: Max | July 22, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

FOCUS ON FOREIGN POLICY POSITIONS

What Obama should do first is announce who he intends to select in important foreign policy positions.

Doing this would allow Obama to address voters' concerns about his national security experience. Picking Sam Nunn, Dick Lugar, Chuck Hagel, Wesley Clark and people of that ilk would allow him to also come across as more bipartisan and less liberal.

Then, once that has been achieved, he can select a more conventional candidate like Evan Bayh as his vice presidential nominee.

Conventional Democrats would certainly oppose Obama picking a Chuck Hagel as VP nominee, but I doubt they would be too upset if he was nominated as Secretary of Defense.

Picking Hagel AND Bayh for important positions would help Obama with moderate conservatives and traditional Democrats.

Why can't Obama announce his Cabinet nominees in advance? I look forward to reading answers.

Thank you very much,
ZWrite

Posted by: ZWrite | July 22, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Paul Grooom wrote:
Obama/ Bayh; Illinois/ Indiana; Not exactly geographically diverse!

Good point. If Obama wants to stay in the same area why not just pick his buddy and fellow Illinoisian Durbin in that case and someone he is comfortable with.

I did hear on Hardball last night that Obama really would like Biden. He is comfortable with him, intellectually stimulating and not a yes man. And can give him the mental challenge in foreign policy.
Plus Biden won't roll over in a debate with McCain's vp pick. Or with McCain for that matter.
I like Kaine of Virginia but, he only has domestic experience.
I would love to see McCaskill.
Richardson is another great pick.
Dodd would be great as well.

There are several good choices for Obama as long as it is not the dull Bayh or the Billary circus
But, I'd like to see Bayh over Clinton any day.

Posted by: vwcat | July 22, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Bayh is just too weak. He doesn't bring any ferocity to the table, and that's what Obama needs, which is where Biden comes in. He's catholic, he's hard-nosed, he's got McCain beat on "straight talk" up and down the court, and he's got foreign policy and military chops to make General MacArthur jealous. Sure he "shoots from the hip" but so did a lot of former presidents and other successful politicians. Americans like a bit of "raw" factor from their leaders, and Biden has it.

Posted by: Brian | July 22, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Yea yea yea. I guess I've been exceeded in my capacity as political junkie.

Is it Friday yet? Can we do the winners/losers thing? Post something about foreign policy - stating the obvious - so was can trash W some more.

:)

Posted by: NoOneImportant | July 22, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I still think Bayh doesn't provide much by way of the electoral map. Obama has shown such strength in states that border his own -- he doesn't need Bayh. Biden would be a much stronger 'elder statesman' choice and Richardson could bring the 'new West'.

But, if you're sure he's really high on the list, you'd better start investing in the cosmetics industry before a Bayh-Romney debate. Guy Smiley v. Guy Smiley -- can't wait to see The Daily Show on that one!

http://ilfamilypolitics.blogspot.com

Posted by: Julia Kelly | July 22, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Christ, Diane72, show some f-ing class. You are a troll. Jealous much?

Posted by: squintz | July 22, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Chris: Obama is blowing McCain out of the water in his so-called strength, foreign policy. Why no coverage?

Now that British PM Brown has indicated he plans to pull troops out of Iraq by 2010 and Iraqi PM Maliki is on record as favoring this same timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal, this is the top story of the week. Obama has demonstrated chops as an international strategist of the highest calibre. McCain is left huffing and whining in the dust, trying to figure out if Iraq and Pakistan actually share a border (hint: they don't).

And yes, Chris when you put it that way, Evan Bayh would make a fine VP candidate. He is on the conservative side, certainly a disappointment to those who remember his father with such admiration. I recall Birch Bayh, and Evan is no Birch Bayh!

Posted by: dee | July 22, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Chris, I disagree with having Bayh as vp. He is much too DLC/centrist right.
Bayh is the perfect Clintonista vp. But, not Obama. Obama is all about a new era and age and not about nostalgia and the 90s. Bayh is not new era.
While a pleasant seeming yes man, that is also not what Obama needs. He needs someone who can keep up intellectually with Obama and be able to disagree. And challenge his mind and his ideas.
Bayh is all wrong for what Obama needs or is looking for.
He is just some pleasant, bland, center right DLC democrat that makes the Washington pundits feel secure in the continuation of the old 90s type politics and conventional wisdom. It give the Beltway their link to the Clinton era.
That is what the democrats need to severe the most.

Posted by: vwcat | July 22, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Yawn. Biden is best.

Posted by: Soonerthought.Blogspot.Com | July 22, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Dianne27 - I am genuinely interested... I have found your posts all over the web under multiple names, some female, some male. As soon as you are discredited thoroughly on one site (and you have been banned from more than a few!), you pop up with the same rumor or a brand new one, on another site. But....everyone here here wants to know who is paying you? Really! Is it T. Boone or another of the Swift Boat funders? Maybe the McCain campaign? A reconstituted American Nazi Party? Who? No one has the amount of time you have for posting on their own, or the inclination. SO, you are pretty obviously an employee of sonmeone. So, fess up, who is it? "Inquiring minds want to know".

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 22, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

'Can you imgaine her sitting down to tea with Queen Elizabeth II?'

You really are a freak, Dianne? Why should americans worry about impressing an anachronistic queen?

You're the one with no class.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

DIE-ANNE -- no one here is more laughable than you.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I see the DianneBOT popped up again. Time for a reboot!

BB

Posted by: Fairlington Blade | July 22, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see someone more progressive a heartbeat away from the presidency.

But let's also consider Bayh's first name--Evan. Evan has been enormously popular for the last 10 years or so as a boy's name. Loads of people will have positive associations with the name due to the little Evan in their life. Positive associations are generally good--though being associated with a 7 year old isn't exactly presidential. And there aren't exactly a ton of older Evans to counter-balance the image.

Posted by: Jane | July 22, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

look at the love in his eyes! this picture of bayh is absolutely ridiculous.

Posted by: Acacia | July 22, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse


"I hope I'm not pre-empting tomorrow's piece, but Bayh is old Washington. Number 7 on his lifetime donor list is The Carlyle Group, the politically connected private equity underwriter (PEU). Evan came to Carlyle's defense recently on the issue of sovereign wealth funds buying chunks of American companies."

This makes Bayh completely unacceptable. The Carlyle group is a major war profiteer and a major partner is HWBush. WE don't need anyone a heartbeat from the presidency who is involved with this creeps -- nor anyone who cheerleads Saudi Arabia and the oil rich sheiks of the ME essentially buying America lock, stock and barrel.

I don't want to be owned by a caliphate, thanks.

Posted by: Sam | July 22, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

During the primaries Bayh urged freshman Democratic Congressmen in Indiana who were on the verge of endorsing Obama not to endorse, since that could come back against them in the fall (during a theoretical Hillary Clinton candidacy, I guess, or maybe during any campaign).

I didn't like that. But now that the dust is settled, I think it was a clean enough move and Obama, avid basketball player that he is, knows how to shake hands after the game (in this case, the primary) is over and move on in good fellowship. So I guess we can let go of that minor grudge, especially since Bayh has certainly come around totally to Obama as the nominee since then. Chris has me convinced Bayh is a great pick and I look forward to getting to know him if he's the one.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | July 22, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

RE: POST BELOW, "BAYH CAN'T DO WHAT DODD CAN DO":

Did I forget to mention that Dodd's a Catholic?

Take this one to the bank.

Posted by: scrivener | July 22, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I hope I'm not pre-empting tomorrow's piece, but Bayh is old Washington. Number 7 on his lifetime donor list is The Carlyle Group, the politically connected private equity underwriter (PEU). Evan came to Carlyle's defense recently on the issue of sovereign wealth funds buying chunks of American companies.

Mrs. Bayh sits on the Board of Directors of WellPoint, the giant health insurer. She shared the table with President Bush's Uncle Bucky and Al Hubbard (who recently accused the public of eating "medical caviar"). The Bayh household got much richer flipping Susan's stock option compensation the last few years *(over $1.5 million at last count).

Bayh's a Blue Dog Democrat, which means he frequently sides with Republicans. If Bayh's the pick, the public needs to be wary.

Posted by: Alan | July 22, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The grammar police are out in full effect today, but bondjedi thinks it swell, because they're finally contributing. Might as well show off they stayed awake during ninth grade.

Bayh is cut from similar cloth as John Edwards and Dan Quayle, except he's not a sneak and he's not stupid. He's got a pedigree and from his committee assignments he has some gravitas. Ignore the geography, it's overrated - as someone noted, Indiana has a Republican governor,and it's better to have the Gov than the VP candidate if you hope to win the state.

Bayh's appeal is broader than the Hoosier State. Chris is right on when he handicaps this one, though we will all be floored when Obama picks someone from left field (like Wesley Clark or Colin Powell).

Posted by: bondjedi | July 22, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Bayh is the safest choice available, and that should put him in the top five or so possibilities right up until the final choice is made. Ask people in Indiana what Bayh represents and many will say, "Hoosier values." He has successfully branded himself as a man of his people, who are not that different from the people of Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Kaine, obviously popular in the Washington Post's home territory, is a good choice for reaching out to devout Roman Catholics, a vital group in the industrial Midwest. If he could help with Virginia too that would be a bonus

Tim Roemer and Bob Casey are two others with legitimate Roman Catholic credentials similar to Kaine's. Although Roemer is virtually unknown on the national stage, he has an impressive resume that should help introduce him positively. Like Bayh, Roemer is from Indiana.

What all these candidates have in common is the ability to represent the combination of progressive and centrist values that the majority of people in this country want right now. Obama came to the national stage appearing to have this quality, but that image has been eroded during the primary campaign. It is not too late to repair the damage. One of these Vice-Presidential candidates could help do that.

Posted by: JohnJT | July 22, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

BAYH CAN'T DO WHAT DODD WOULD DO.
IT'S TIME FOR SILVER-MANED SAGACITY.

Chris:

You have got me to thinking about this one. Your analysis makes some sense. And anyone who works in a "cool" iPod reference alongside the grandiose adjective "gradiloquently" must be taken seriously.

But here's the problem: Yes, picking Bayh would underscore the "new generation/change" arguments.
I agree, the race for the White House is a lot like selling any product. Sizzle and vigor count (notice how Obama's been dropping the "v" word lately?)

But isn't Obama tacking toward the center-right these days? And who among the electorate realizes, as you do, that Bayh's considered a blue dog?

If Obama wanted to be branded for the general as the candidate of youth and a new generation, why then would he be trumpeting traditonal "values"-related positions such as:

Faith-based initiatives; a reverence for the Second Amendment so great that he eschews handgun regulation in bullet-riven D.C.; and an embrace of an expansion of application of the death penalty at a time when his constituency worries about wrongful convictions.

And, as you note, Bayh looks oh so young -- schoolboyish, and not in a helpful way.

Normally, a youthful countenance is an asset; but not when the ticket could use some balancing on the side of maturity.

You call Bayh "the hottest candidate" for veep these days. Last week, Joe Looselips was the "pick of the litter." No, I'm still laying odds that Obama gives Chris Dodd the nod... not just for his sagacious, silver-haired countenance, but for his devotion to civil liberties, the Constitution, and the rule of law over the purposeful evasion of judicial process in favor of draconian measures imposed in the name of "keeping America safe."

And Dodd could teach Obama how to be politically efficient without sacrificing core values to political expediency -- Obama's Achilles' Heel going into the convention season.

IF YOU CARE ABOUT DEMOCRACY, THE RULE OF LAW
AND THE RIGHT OF DUE PROCESS, PLEASE CLICK
ON THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/vigilante-injustice-organized-gang-stalking-american-gestapo-are-they-doing-hi-tech-torture?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1

Posted by: scrivener | July 22, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Let's cut through the crap. Obama wants 50 states and working class and women, as well as breaking the Clinton stanglehold?

Nominate Caroline Kennedy. John F.'s daughter. She could be the (real) progresive, and Obama the conservative. Maybe then this country can start experiencing some long term policy changes and get moving again.

As for Bayh? We don't need any more phoney Democrats.

Caroline Kennedy!

Posted by: pekopper | July 22, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Indiana's governor, Mitch Daniels, is a republican, but he is also up for re-election in 2008. I don't know anything about Indiana's government, but most governors are sworn in in December. So if Bayh were to be the pick and win, as long as he didn't resign his Senate seat until after the governor (new?) was sworn in, then the Party would likely be fine with the choice.

Posted by: bayma | July 22, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Bayh is just a boring white guy. We don't need any more boring whites. Obama needs Bill Richardson or Harold Ford.

Posted by: Jake | July 22, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Well lets see the case for him. Indiana a purple states where he has won the governors seat and the senate, therefore has executive experience. It is not all about Indiana but I think he would do well in the Heartland.

You can see him being president. He does not pose any liabilities and a lot of foreign experience.

He seems like the right choice.

Posted by: Kylie | July 22, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Obama/ Bayh; Illinois/ Indiana; Not exactly geographically diverse! I don't have a horse in the veep race, but seems to me Obama is going to be far more vulnerable in the South than in the rustbelt!

Posted by: Paul Groom | July 22, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Indiana has a Republican Governor. The end.

Posted by: Aleks | July 22, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

How can a guy like Bayh navigate anything but the status quo? Democrats need someone with the guts to change policies of the future, not milk-toasts that can be manipulated...

Posted by: pekopper | July 22, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cilliza, just can't bring yourself to write about Obama's trip, eh?

Posted by: Louis | July 22, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Chris forgot to mention that Evan's father, Birch Bayh, wrote the Equal Rights Amendment and was the main sponsor of Title IX which established equality for women in collegiate sports. Birch also saved Ted Kennedy's life after a plane crash in 1964.

For trivia buffs, the slogan for Birch Bayh's 1976 campaign was "Yes we can."

Posted by: John | July 22, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Okay Chris...I will agree with most of what you have said about Bayh. I personally would like to see Obama choose someone who supported his presidential run early like Tom Kaines or Kathleen Sebelius. These folks were with Obama when he was up and when he was down.

Having good looks is a factor in public politically perception but being geniune is more important. Obama and Kaines have a good dynamic together, unlike Bayh. Bayh was an early Hillary supporter (back in September 2007 I believe) and looks a little stiff when pared up with Obama.

But a Obama/Kaines ticket combines youth, energy, charisma, and reinforces Obama's call for Change!

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 22, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I can't get by the ongoing assertion that a VP candidate actually helps a Presidential ticket in his/her home state. Is there any credible evidence to support this ongoing claim? It strikes me as weak, superficial babble - not analysis.

Posted by: bsimon | July 22, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

If Obama's going to pick a red state-er, I have to think that Tim Kaine is a better fit with Obama's campaign message. I suppose there's a thin line between being post-partisan and being pandering/expediency-driven, but Bayh's reputation strikes me as the latter while Kaine's is the former. Bayh certainly has unimpeachable domestic experience, but he doesn't bring much on military or foreign relations issues (he is on the Armed Services and Select Intelligence Committees).

As far as aesthetics, the Bayh family probably has a slight advantage, but the Kaines have three children, and in politics I think the rule of thumb is the more children you have, the more you're associated with being family-oriented.

Bayh also brings the potential advantage of placating some Clinton supporters, but that never seemed like a top-issue consideration to me.

I guess it comes down to whether Obama wants to play it safe (Bayh) or whether he wants to go all-in and reinforce his post-partisan, generational-shift message (Kaine). Although I think playing it safe is usually under-rated as a strategy, in this case I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for the Virginian.

Posted by: dan | July 22, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Geez, the grammar police are out today. My contribution "Ipod" should read as "iPod".

I think this is a good list of pros for Sen. Bayh -- and we'll see a less forceful list of cons tomorrow. The big "unknowable" is what direction BHO himself wants to take with his running mate selection. Establishment pick to "shore up" his thin political resume (e.g., Biden, Dodd), a newcomer to reinforce the "change" message (e.g. Sebelius, or someone not even on the radar), or something in between (e.g. Bayh, Lincoln Chafee?). Obviously, McC has the same dilemma, though for different reasons.

Certainly, their choices will say something about their judgment. But neither can afford a Quayle.

Posted by: mnteng | July 22, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Look at the electoral map, I have been thinking he should pick Evan Bayh for weeks. The polls have Obama leading most of the Midwest and Northeast, with his weakest lead being in Indiana. If Bayh can bring him Indiana and help in Ohio, Obama can sweep the midwest and the northeast. He wins what amounts to a landslide and he doesn't even need Florida to do it. I think this is his best choice, not crazy about plain vanilla, but I like the taste of victory.

Posted by: greeeney | July 22, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Blarg, they don't waste the copy editors' time at the website, obviously.

Try copy-pasting CC's column into MS Word and run the grammar and spell checker. I will bet that it will not pick up any of the elementary errors we have seen glaring from the page.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | July 22, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Seems odd that there is no discussion about the wholesale absence of geographical balance if the P and VP were from neighboring states. Obama already has a healthy lead in Ohio and a solid if not huge lead in Michigan. He won't need Indiana to clear 270. Makes more sense to shore up his base in the south.

Posted by: 33rdSt | July 22, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Bayh is a strong choice. However, the pick of Bayh goes against the ubiquitous "change" message.

However, from what I gather, Bayh knows how to get things done legislatively, which is what Obama is saying about himself too. So that might work.

He's certainly a better choice that Biden, Hagel, or Clinton.

Sebelius and Bayh are the front-runners in my opinion.

Posted by: RollTideTaylor | July 22, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Just go to http://www.votenic.com and see who America thinks should be the next VP.

Posted by: bRaNdOn | July 22, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Birch Bayh didn't just consider a run for president in 1972. He actually ran in 1976. And he was far more progressive than his son.

Posted by: Paleo | July 22, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

"(Worth noting: this strategy is very similar to the TACT taken by Hillary Rodham Clinton in her unsuccessful primary challenge to Obama.)"

The word is "tack", not "tact". It's a sailing term.

Posted by: Blarg | July 22, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Hey Chris,

Senator Bayh is working on his personality in a big way. Mika Brzezinski and Andrea Mitchell yesterday interviewed him about Barack Obama's Iraq trip and a friend of mine who cares little about politics referred to him as a 'jovial fellow.' He appeared happy to be on MSNBC and came through as a friendly guy. My preference for VP would be Governor Kaine. However, he is rather young and a potentially risky choice. Senator Bayh is boring yes, but he is a reassuring presence. And let's not pretend, a white male. Finally, did you notice that he is the same height as Barack? Their height synchronised ticket would no doubt tower over the vertically challenged McCain. Go Obama-Bayh 08 - Sounds rather exotic I must admit :-)

Posted by: Frederick | July 22, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Tartempion, I suggest you made two great catches. But the third use of "compliment" may have been correct. After all, only in the light of the first two errors would we have called the third attempt into question.

Posted by: MoreAndBetterPolls | July 22, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

One major problem. Mitch Daniels would appoint a republican as Bayh's replacement. If Obama can not count on 60 votes in the Senate, he needs each one that he can have.

Posted by: Peter Zenger | July 22, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"perfect compliment for the uber-flashy Obama"

"compliment each other perfectly"

"condemn or compliment in the comments"

Please!! Compl_e_ment.


Posted by: Tartempion | July 22, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

With the DNC Aug 25-28 , immediately preceded by the Olypics Aug 8-24, it leaves Obama only two weeks to make a splash with his VP pick ...

Posted by: VP Soon? | July 22, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Evan Bayh would be a dull and uninspiring a choice. If Obama wants someone with no principled core who is in politics for personal aggrandizement, he should just pick Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: Steve | July 22, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Evan Bayh would be a dull and uninspiring a choice. If Obama wants an utterl

He is an utterly unprinciplied, Clintonian climber with nothing to show for his years in politics. He is a pale shadow of his father, the extraordinary Birch Bayh.

Posted by: Steve | July 22, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Bayh would be a credible VP for the political considerations CC lists, but also because he is competent and could be a president.

When I watched him With Chris Wallace, I could not help but compare his performance to the sort of [leading lambs to slaughter] appearance JB could have made.
I will save further comparison for the "case against".
-----------------------
"...a elder..." should read "...an
elder..."
------------------------
Alan In Missoula, blert, and Boutan:
eml me at

mark_in_austin@opermail.com

All will be revealed.


Posted by: MarkInAustin | July 22, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company