Evan Bayh Served on Board with McCain, Kristol, Lieberman, Woolsey, and Scheunemann

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bayh lieberman coleman.jpg
As I reported the other day, Evan Bayh is the favored candidate to find himself on Barack Obama’s ticket. Obama will probably finalize his decision today or tomorrow and then announce his decision as he comes out of his Hawaii vacation. The Obama campaign has offered to text message anyone who wants early word of the decision.
I don’t think that such a selection is the end of the world but I do think that this pro-Iraq War, (pro-Iran War?) senator who sat on a board of directors with some of McCain’s top neoconservative advisers needs as much “public vetting” as possible. I think that there are far better choices – a number of them.
Taylor Marsh lays out Evan Bayh’s neocon relations best. She writes:

What’s the Matter with Evan Bayh?
Besides the fact that he was the co-chair of the neocon pro-war Committee for the Liberation of Iraq? That his friends on that committee included Bill Kristol, Joe Lieberman, James Woolsey and Randy Scheunemann. Oh, and one more, John McCain. You can bet that’s why he’s in the running though. The old Democratic ghost of being afraid of not looking “strong on defense” has reared it’s ugly head once again. With Obama being against the Iraq war, how could it not?

Randy Scheunemann, national security advisor to John McCain, is the guy who was simultaneously raking in big bucks from John McCain as well as the Government of Georgia while he was getting pledges of loyalty and mutual obligation and all that between Georgia’s President Saakashvili and John McCain.
Barack Obama terminated his campaign relationship with a volunteer adviser for Muslim outreach, Mazen Asbahi, because the young lawyer had been on a board eight years ago for a period of just three weeks before resigning because of discomfort with allegations about another board member who was essentially the Chicago-based American Muslim community’s version of Jeremiah Wright.
But Bayh did not resign from his neocon-dominated board and has made statements that he laments the possibility that Americans may be less pro-war, pro-conflict now because of their experience with the Iraq War.
How does that square with Obama’s “politics of hope”??
– Steve Clemons

Comments

33 comments on “Evan Bayh Served on Board with McCain, Kristol, Lieberman, Woolsey, and Scheunemann

  1. Sweetness says:

    Wig,
    You misunderstand me. My point had to do with the election. I
    don’t think Gore was a “forgettable” VP at all, and certainly has
    gone on to do good things. I’m a big fan of his.
    However, as I recall, I don’t think he played a big role in getting
    Clinton elected. He himself had never been all that electable
    outside of Tennessee, and I doubt he brought in many voters.
    Having said that, he was, as you’ve pointed out, a solid and
    perhaps unconventional choice for Clinton–one based more on
    mutuality of outlook than on mutuality of need.
    He did pretty well in 2000, I grant you, but not as well as he
    should have given the record he was running on. The conflict
    with and stiff-arming of Clinton probably did him in. He didn’t
    even win his own home state, which win would have given him
    the presidency. Of course, the election was stolen and decided
    illegitimately by the Supreme Court–but none of that would
    have occurred had he put away the election as he should have
    done. He’s just not a very good politician–which is both good
    and bad, I suppose–and I don’t think he likes the business very
    much. Just a guess.
    Believe it or not, I had an office down a few doors from one of
    his first cousins, a small-time slip and fall lawyer. He told me
    about how they used to walk to St. Albans together and cousin
    Albert would lecture him on how to lead a good clean life. No
    smoking. No drinking. No, no, no. Well, Al WAS right, IMO, but
    the lesson sure never took with this guy, unfortunately for HIM.

    Reply

  2. WigWag says:

    “I think Cheney mattered in 2000 and
    Johnson in the 60s…but everyone else has been forgettable…”
    Sweetness, Al Gore was not forgettable. He was very active during the Clinton Presidency on a number of important issues (e.g. government reform). At the time, he was widely hailed in the press as one of the most influential Vice Presidents in American history.
    He was active engaged as a major Clinton advisor in foreign policy and he played a significant political role during the impeachment effort.
    His successful Vice Presidential tenure is responsible for his strong electoral showing against Bush that many of us still feel he actually won.
    And of course, while there have been several presidents who have contributed extraordinary things after they retired from the Presidency (Carter and Clinton are two prominent examples), most Vice Presidents fade into obscurity. But not Gore; his contributions to public life after his retirement have been amazing. We all know about the Nobel Prize, the Oscar, the Emmy, the fight against global warming, etc.
    Why you think Gore was forgettable is mysterious. I think it’s pretty plain that he was one of the most successful Vice Presidents ever.

    Reply

  3. Sweetness says:

    Lots of good and interesting comments…
    My guess is…it’s Biden.
    Here’s why: Remove Bayh, and you lose a Democratic senator,
    because the Republican governor replaces him with a
    Republican. That hurts an Obama presidency. In Delaware,
    Biden is replaced by a Democrat.
    Second: Biden is strong on foreign policy which is, relatively
    speaking and in terms of the broad public perception, Obama’s
    weak flank. He can also give Obama strong advice.
    Third: Biden being experienced hand on Capitol Hill with lots of
    relationships can give Obama crucial advice and help getting
    things done up there. It’s worth remembering that this was
    Carter’s achilles heel.
    Fourth: Biden brings a different sort of charisma to the ticket–
    one that doesn’t upstage Obama, but enriches his presence.
    Having said all this–and perhaps contradicting myself a bit–
    I’m surprised at all the handwringing up thread about this
    choice. Since when has it ever really mattered that much whom
    was picked for VP? I think Cheney mattered in 2000 and
    Johnson in the 60s…but everyone else has been forgettable. If
    Bayh gets picked, it doesn’t make Obama a CLI fellow traveler.

    Reply

  4. pauline says:

    Wikipedia spits it out –
    Speaking to 2002 luncheon hosted by AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobby group, Bayh “described his lifelong affection for the state of Israel, beginning with a boyhood vacation there, and deepening with his many official visits as a governor and senator.”
    A report of the luncheon continued:
    The senator also stated his support for increased foreign aid to Israel. “We have to make the kind of investments necessary to prevent loss of life,” he said. “Israel is in jeopardy, they’re a strong ally of ours, and I think there would be congressional support for further aid to Israel, particularly regarding security issues.”
    On the subject of the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, he said,
    “Yasser Arafat is no partner for peace. Not until there is new and better leadership within the Palestinians will there be a chance for peace.”
    No wonder Joe Liarman is smiling so widely in Steve’s revealing photo. Maybe these two should give the world a break and retire from the august body of 100 and go live together on a kibbutz.

    Reply

  5. rich says:

    Dan and Steve,
    Evan Bayh is a smart choice, but not for the standard reasons. Obama is superceding the Clinton calculation on white, conservative, blue collar midwestern voters, not kowtowing to it.
    Were Obama picking out to ‘balance’ the ticket so as to please the Clinton’s current collective, tone-deaf judgment, we’d see him stumbling with an old-school pol from Michigan, Ohio or Pennsylvania. Instead, consistent with his method of challenging Republican ‘Red State’ dominance, Obama is (would be) going after reliably Republican but ready-to-turn Indiana.
    Why stay within the confines of ‘Democratic’ terrain? Obama travels beyond the boundaries of ‘possible’ Democratic districts, and works beyond the frame of reference held by pollsters like Mark Penn. If he wants Indiana it’s as a keystone state; if he wants Bayh, it’s not to triangulate but to colonize. He’s changing the landmarks.
    Unless the Clintons are far more neocon than we thought—they are—they’re not holding up the process for Evan Bayh. It’s possible, given the DLC-Iraq War alignment, but it’s not the simplest explanation. They may want & get swag, but Obama’s seen enough that he won’t have Hillary & Bill dictate his VP pick. Not now.
    Think: what are the Clinton’s gonna do? If either one sabotages the Convention, there’ll be hell to pay, and it won’t be just the liberals coming to collect. The Clintons are looking for redemption. Obama can give them that, and more.
    That said, Evan Bayh is a lousy choice.
    No one ends up co-chair of the Committee to Liberate Iraq by accident. You’re recruited or cultivated or you aggressively go out and join Richard Perle, Kerry, Woolsey.
    Evan Bayh was not triangulating or positioning himself—that’s what he really believes. “To the best of his recollection,” though, he can’t quite remember. Doesn’t pass the smell test: the purpose of the CLI was so obvious (oil, malfeasance) that someone like Bayh had to be aware of it. That’s why he joined.
    SEcond—the precedent Dick Cheney set for teh VP role still hasn’t been nullified. Bayh could walk in and pick up right where Cheney left off, at least in theory.
    Recall Joe Lieberman’s near-miss at the VP catbird’s seat, as we headed into 9/11. Had Gore won, a neocon would be offering sound advice, I’m sure.
    The closeness of Lieberman, McCain, Evan Bayh and Dick Cheney really don’t allow anyone to offer Senator Bayh the benefit of the doubt.
    He doesn’t remember? We do.
    Obama may just be signaling Bayh as a possibility to earn favor from voters and pundits alike for even considering Bayh (think Cokie Roberts). Letting us vet and reject Evan Bayh works neatly.
    Finally, I’ll believe it when I see it. Obama hasn’t waffled so much as people think. And the selection of Bayh isn’t something Obama can explain away (‘if offshore drilling works, I’d be a fool not to keep an open mind’ is just common sense).
    I actually like Evan Bayh far more than I’d expected 8 or 12 years ago. But it’s a stillborn selection.

    Reply

  6. Paul Norheim says:

    “I think I picked “extremist” because of Jay’s worldview.”
    (questions)
    Yeah, I thought of that too (and let`s hope it was a misreading of
    Jay`s worldview…), but just had to ask.

    Reply

  7. pauline says:

    Kathleen,
    My sister and family lived in Fort Wayne, In, for several years where she was one of the few progressives in that part of hoosierland. A hoosierland that if you didn’t actively support the “honorable” J. Danforth Quayle, she said you were socially ostracized!
    Bayh is what, where on the important issues? Does anyone, I mean ANYONE, know this guy by his non-distinguishing, under-distinguishing senatorial governing style, policies and philosophies? Hmm?
    Sell me hard,because of what I’ve seen and read, Bayh is centrist loser. . .period.
    Obama got the charisma?! If so, Bayh’s got the charisma-killing in spades. I can’t imagine citizens getting behind this guy with any enthusiasm.

    Reply

  8. questions says:

    Have to admit, the “extremist” thing is my own formulation and is not the best way to say it — but some huge percentage of this country is into death — the number goes down when the Innocence Project gets more publicity and it creeps back up when there’s a juicy murder. I think I picked “extremist” because of Jay’s worldview. If you’re totally against the death penalty then you must be an extremist at some level. Not that I actually know Jay’s views about the death penalty! So, sorry for both the bad formulation and the possible misreading of Jay’s views…. (I’m trying to be sunny!)

    Reply

  9. Paul Norheim says:

    Questions: for the record: I just wrote this (one minute before
    your last post), submitted it and went to get another cup of
    coffee:
    “”Obama is centrist, pro-market, is not a death penalty
    extremist…”
    I beg your pardon, question, but is someone who`s
    categorically against death penalty generally considered a
    “death penalty extremist” in America, or is it your formulation?
    Just a question…”
    ———–
    Then I saw that the captcha demon did not allow my comment
    to pass, went back to the tread and saw your comment…
    I`m happy to discover that we`re both death penalty
    extremists…

    Reply

  10. Kathleen says:

    pauline…. bye, bye, Bayh…

    Reply

  11. questions says:

    Clarification: what I mean by “death penalty extremist” is one who, like I, sees no value at all in the death penalty, and in fact, sees only evil in it. Obama is willing to allow certain crimes to be capital (Jeffrey Dahmer-style killings and, apparently, child rape.) I don’t think the state should be in the killing business. But that’s just me…..
    And Paul, you’re right, it’d be nice to see an embrace of undoing the dictatorial powers that have stuck, barnacle-like, to the executive branch — even if Hoosiers don’t like that.

    Reply

  12. questions says:

    “A bit beholden to the far left elements of the party” Huh?
    Obama is centrist, pro-market, is not a death penalty extremist, is not going to raise your taxes unless you’re filthy rich already (wasn’t the number $250,000? I think they can afford it.) He blames African American fathers for family failure, his affirmative action stance is that it should be class based, not race based. He’s shifted on Cuba and Palestine to a fairly standard position. He’s dissed DailyKos, that horrible bastion of leftist propaganda (that I rountinely link to on TWN).
    All this, and you need Bayh too? This is why I was happy to leave Indiana!!
    Get over it. If you think that the pro-war, anti-corporate tax, anti-abortion and anti-choice, appoint judges like Scalia, bomb Iran and so on John McCain is at all centrist, you haven’t been reading enough news coverage. John McCain’s only centrist positions (which he seems to have been willing to dump as needed) are something like campaign finance (look at all those lobbyists he supports), something like letting Mexicans stay to perform cheap labor (Okay, you win. First we seal the borders…), and something like the greenhouse effect is real (Drill Here! Drill Now!!)
    Obama has never been a leftist. Really. Though I’m a purist on a bunch of things on which he’s not, I sadly realize that only a small percentage of my neighbors across the country share my views and so I take my lumps. I’d rather have a pacifist vegetarian soak the rich and feed the poor stop the killing free schooling for all advocate for a lower standard of living with fewer toxic electronic gadgets realizing that cheap energy has done a lot of damage even as it has made life a whole lot more comfortable…kind of woman in the no longer white, but rather Rainbow House, but I’m a leftist at heart. Obama is not the least bit beholden to my nuttier views.
    And besides, the VP, unless it is named “Dick Cheney” is fairly meaningless all in all.
    I think what I’m really saying is, “Jay, I don’t feel your pain.” Or, for that matter, the pain of anyone else who can’t decide between the two.
    Sorry for the rant (and the odd grammar — they seem to go together), but it happens occasionally even to sunny-Me!

    Reply

  13. Paul Norheim says:

    It`s a bit confusing to refer to, argue with, or deal with a
    commentator who calls him- or herself “…”, but that`s the
    name given by the one above I`ll quote here, and this
    nondescript moniker somehow fits the issue at stake:
    “When Americans travel abroad Europeans and Asians carefully
    avoid them, ever so politely of course. They are still welcome in
    most African hellholes, while South Americans receive them
    with the facetious good humor reserved for rich a master that
    only barely conceals the sullen resentment within. America has
    no friends left.” (quote by:…)
    It`s correct that America`s reputation has been severely
    damaged, but there are still some Europeans who can
    distinguish between you and Dick Cheney or John Bolton if you
    visit one of our countries and happen to be a nice guy or girl…
    Actually, I think most of us are well aware of the sad fact that
    the elected President and his government don`t necessarily
    represent the wishes of the American people.
    What worries me as a European in this context (the VP-
    speculations), is that none of the candidates have promised to
    diminish the role and power of the Vice President (post Cheney),
    nor the power of the President (post Bush).
    If the profile of a certain candidate (in this case Obama) is
    becoming less and less clear (and contradicted by his choice of
    VP candidate), at the same time as he says nothing regarding
    the recent extreme extension of powers of the President
    (actually dictatorial powers during TGWOT) and his VP, then you
    have no way to know who you`re electing if you`re voting for
    Obama. The election is transformed to a lottery.
    This is, as far as I can see, the current dilemma facing those
    who want a Democrat as president, as well as all those who
    simply want someone who does not represent a continuation of
    the Bush years. There is absolutely no way to know what Obama
    actually will change – if anything. If the Americans knew that
    the role of the VP would be to attend funerals, the whole issue
    would be less important.
    I think it`s crusial for Obama to chose a VP who clarifies his
    own original positions. If not, this election will become so
    confusing for all those who want “change” that they may elect
    the one they know will lead them to hell, simply because they
    know him.

    Reply

  14. Jay says:

    As a Hoosier who is uncomfortable with Obama, I can say that
    selecting Evan Bayh would secure my vote. The Democratic party is
    a big one, and one of the things that makes me uncomfortable
    about Obama is that he seems to be a bit beholden to the far left
    elements of the party. It seems appropriate to me, then, that he
    should balance that with someone more moderate. Without a pick
    like Bayh, I will probably vote for McCain, who has a clear record of
    being a part of the centrist wing of his party. At the end of the day
    I, and I think many Americans, want to vote for who is most
    centrist, not most left or right.

    Reply

  15. pauline says:

    Bayh Bayh love
    Bayh Bayh happiness
    Hello loneliness
    I think I’m gonna cry-y
    Bayh Bayh love,
    Bayh Bayh sweet caress,
    Hello emptiness
    I feel like I could di-ie
    Bayh Bayh my love good-bayh
    Bayh Bayh my love good-bayh
    Bayh Bayh my love good-bayh
    Bayh Bayh my love good-bayh
    Bayh Bayh my love good-bayh

    Reply

  16. Kathleen says:

    Speaking of Dem Neocon Fellow Travellers ,associated with the Clintons, now being absorbed by Team Obama’ and potentially influencing him to veer to the right…to paraphrase Flynt Leverett….

    Reply

  17. Gerald says:

    If Obama chooses Bayh, that would be the final proof that Obama does not plan any change in the Empire. Obama has not said in absolute terms that the US military occupation of Iraq will end, and Bayh is even more skeptical.
    With Bayh or any of the other neocon-at-hear Democrats, Obama would need to watch his back and hire a second Secret service the moment that he angered the neocons.
    I can’t think of a worse move. Besides, the Senator from Illinois needs a VP with experience as a state governor, and not from the Midwest.

    Reply

  18. ... says:

    first FISA cave in, then neocon attitude towards palestine and russia, now this… it would appear obama and crew think they need to move hard right to ensure they don’t lose votes from those who pay for/control these elections.. america is a nation of warmongers, led by a group of warmongers.. i would like to quote a friend from another site..
    >>America has only war left. Chrysler can’t sell its SUV’s but at least its Sherman tanks have a buyer.
    There is really not much left of America, or at least the great empire it was in the middle of the 20th Century. It may have been “great” once – but then so was Portugal and Denmark …
    American culture, a tenuous concept always, has been reduced to the illiterate ramblings of black ghetto dwellers and the big screen escapades of cartoon characters.
    The country has no real moral authority left, and populace’s incessant yelling that “we’re number one” is true of social pathologies only. There doesn’t even seem to be any point in yelling anymore because even the yellers don’t believe it.
    Even the most ardent American xenophobe must sometimes at least reflect on just how morally bankrupt this “greatest country in the world” has become. Certainly everyone else knows it.
    When Americans travel abroad Europeans and Asians carefully avoid them, ever so politely of course. They are still welcome in most African hellholes, while South Americans receive them with the facetious good humor reserved for rich a master that only barely conceals the sullen resentment within. America has no friends left.
    Where once America protected the weak it now stomps about like a big lumbering brute trampling on anyone smaller to get some attention at least, but careful not to pick on anyone its own size. So we get more and more war … the demise of empires is nearly always accompanied by such behavior.

    Reply

  19. What Grief is Good? says:

    If Obama choses Bayh, “Good morning, Tehran.” Bayh was behind
    Senate resolution 580, which, along with H.Con Res 362, are
    popularly called the Iran war resolutions.
    As such, Bayh is willing to sacrifice the U.S. for Israel’s absolutely
    lunatic quest to obliterate Iran, a country that is not a threat to the
    U.S. NOR Israel.
    Why don’t we just let the Israeli Knesset run the U.S., after-all, it
    runs U.S. foreign policy and has run the U.S. straight into the
    ground.

    Reply

  20. Matt says:

    Come on, there’s no way he’s going to pick this Bayh guy. This is getting silly…

    Reply

  21. WigWag says:

    “…that I have to wonder if there is something else afoot here. Is Obama being blackmailed by Team Clinton? Is the selection of this noted Clinton backer, high-ranking DLC leadership team colleague of Clinton, and Iraq War supporter and general Middle East hawk the price for avoiding some threatened Clinton shenanigans at the upcoming convention?”
    Has there ever been a paragraph written at the Washington Note that more perfectly describes the pathetically delusional nature of Obama’s most fervent supporters?
    Despite being furnished with evidence for months that their candidate lacked any convictions, they blindly followed him, hoping against hope, that he shared their values. Now that he is about to offer up his greatest betrayal yet, the confused and distraught Dan Kervick can only think of one possible reason for his candidate’s newest dastardly act; it’s got to be the fault of the Clintons.
    Here’s a news flash for you, Dan. Picking Bayh won’t placate Bill or Hillary, it won’t placate the 18 million voters who voted for Clinton in the primaries and caucuses and it won’t placate Clinton’s bundlers and high end donors either.
    Picking Bayh may help Obama win Indiana (which could really help him in the general election) but it will be at the expense of one less Democrats in the Senate because Indiana will almost certainly replace Bayh with a Republican.
    My suggestion, Dan, is that you brush up on your Shakespeare. Try Julius Ceaser. You know, this part, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves.”
    Sorry Dan, this is not about Bill or Hillary, it’s about Barack.
    And it’s about you.

    Reply

  22. JamesL says:

    Bayh in the same sentence with McCain, Kristol, Lieberman, Woolsey, and Scheunemann made me shudder.
    I know one must speak to the enemy, work with the enemy in fact, to maximize the chances for peace, and minimize them for war. The five are definitely the enemy from my point of view, so I would view Bayh as an Obama VP choice as being dependant on Obama knowing more about Bayh than I do. After Cheney, US VPs will be stronger than many past US Presidents.
    Obama’s “capital” at this point is being spent in campaign compromises, prone to very ephemeral accounting. I believe he has spent more than he thinks so far, and in larger amounts than he anticipated. He must count his compromises carefully, and not overspend, for he will not be able to access the final dregs. He can only spend down to the tipping point where his core supporters become able to question him. He must continue to speak about American ideals, and his actions must be consistent with those ideals.
    One thing worse than Obama being defeated by McCain in the election is Obama himself destroying the faith and hope he has built.

    Reply

  23. DonS says:

    Robert Paulson says “Steve, you’re being misleading here. You’re just trafficking in false characterizations about Bayh.”
    What does it tell us about and individual who can be quoted and characterized in such disparate ways?
    Simply being against Iran getting nukes says nothing and is a statement practically every politician would find hard not to mouth even though it barely scratches the surface of this difficult issue.
    And could it possibly be that Bayh is trying to rehab his image to make him more acceptable outside his conservative roots. And let’s face it, in America there is little price to pay for being hawkish, which is Bayh’s pedigree despite his efforts to round off the edges.

    Reply

  24. Greg P says:

    Ed,
    Re: Clark — I do find it mildly intriguing that the convention theme for the night the VP will be accepting the nomination is “Securing America’s Future” — which is verbatim the name of Clark’s leadership PAC. It’s odd that they chose it, because certainly the Obama folks knew that, and given that Clark seemingly got thrown under the bus a month ago. Probably nothing, but…
    Clark is someone who I’m confident in — in terms of understanding the situation we face in the Middle East and having his head in the right place on Iran. Bayh — agree with Steve — he causes me concerns — not so much because I think he agrees with the neocons, but more because he seems to be a finger-in-the-wind opportunist.

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Bayh makes perfect sense, if you are of the same mind as I am. Sometimes the think tankers simply over complicate matters to the extent that common sense and deductive reasoning flies out the window.
    For eight years now we have had a media that has completely failed in its role as a Fourth Estate. It has not only failed to inform on a myriad of issues, but, as a general rule, it has also failed to question. And worse, it has acted as a complicit co-conspirator in this Administration’s criminal subversion of the truth.
    Now why would a mainstream media that has actively abetted the neo-con agenda suddenly create this media sensation “Obama”, if in fact Obama will work against the neo-con agenda? Make no mistake, Obama is a media created sensation, with virtually NO background experience or qualifications. Some here will claim a successful campaign is a qualification by itself. That is, of course, absolute horseshit. A “successful campaign” has far more to do with money and media exposure than it does with leadership skills. Someone, or something, behind the wings is propelling Obama forward. And that someone, or something, is the same force that put Bush in office. Obama’s consistent slide to the right underscores that fact. The people no longer elect the president, so Obama’s slide to the right is understandable. Its not “the people” that will put him in office, or block him from attaining office. He is pandering to the power, not to the people, hence the slide to the right.
    One has only to consider the treatment the media doled out to the Kucinich and Paul campaigns to realize the ascension to the Presidency is a media controlled event, and that true representatives of “change” are immediately hamstrung with media campaigns of demonization and marginalization.
    If Obama represented true change, he’d be acting in the same side show that Kucinich, Paul, and Gravel are acting in. The irrefutable truth, if one looks at these last eight years honestly and logically, is that we no longer have a representative government, and the charade of “representation” is becoming shallower, and more transparently hollow, as each day passes.
    It won’t be long now before all pretense of representation is shed, and the illusion of representation can no longer be maintained. When these people no longer have to conceal what and who they are, watch out. We mean no more to them than a stack of naked Muslims do.

    Reply

  26. ed says:

    Bayh brings nothing to the table. In fact, he takes things off the table.
    Clark (another Clintonian–another reason to pick him) is still the best choice by far. obamaclark.com
    Judah Freed makes my case for me:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/judah-freed/and-its-got-to-be-gen-wes_b_116812.html
    A sampling:
    “1. Officially, Obama says the main criteria for his vice presidential pick are that the person must have integrity, independence, vision, a useful “knowledge base,” and the ability to help him govern. Clark meets all of these criteria.
    2.Unofficially, Obama knows that if he does not pick Hillary as his VP, he will need a “friend of Hillary” whom Hillary’s supporters can rally behind. Clark meets that criterion.
    3. Obama knows that he’s weakest among middle-aged educated women, so he needs a VP candidate who can appeal to them. Clark meets that criterion.
    4. Obama needs a white male who appeals to voters in the southeast and southwest, the voters that may resist electing a black man. Clark meets that criterion.
    5. Obama needs somebody who appeals to independents, moderates and even crossover conservatives nationwide. Clark meets that criterion.
    6. Obama needs somebody older than himself because his base of voters in their 20s and 30s is not enough for victory. Clark meets that criterion.
    7. Obama needs somebody with military credentials that match or exceed the military credentials of John McCain. Clark meets that criterion.
    8. Obama needs somebody with impressive experience in foreign policy and dangerous international conflicts. Clark meets that criterion.
    9. Obama needs somebody trusted by intelligence agencies and yet who has openly opposed the use of torture in the war on terrorism. Clark meets both criteria.
    10. Obama needs somebody whom voters see as capable of being the president and commander in chief (just in case). Clark meets that criterion.”

    Reply

  27. Dan Kervick says:

    Has the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq ever been formally investigated? Were they involved in any intentional purveying of bogus intelligence or information to Congress or the American public? The next congress should look into this. Obviously, any elected officials determined to be involved in this sort of activity would be subject to censure or impeachment. Bayh could be high-risk for Obama.
    I just looked at the CLI membership list again. There isn’t much that is definitive in politics, where everyone is knee-deep in the muck of compromise and the art of the possible. But I know this much: the folks on that list the ones with the black hats.

    Reply

  28. Robert Paulson says:

    Steve, you’re being misleading here. You’re just trafficking in false characterizations about Bayh.
    Here’s Bayh’s current (as of july 2008) stance on Iraq: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,386863,00.html
    BAYH: A couple of things, Chris. First, General Petraeus was asked recently about whether a 16-month period was a reasonable period of time, and he said it would depend on a variety of factors. He didn’t say it was unreasonable.
    We’ve been there — will have been — 16 months from when the next president is inaugurated, almost seven years. We’ve spent $700 billion. Just think of all the other things we could have done — finished Afghanistan, energy security for our country — with those amount of resources.
    What’s really surprising is that John, a man I admire and respect, says that even knowing there were no weapons of mass destruct in Iraq, knowing all the consequences that have been adverse in Afghanistan because of our fixation on Iraq, he would do this all over again. That’s what is really surprising.
    So Barack thinks that 16 months from January is a reasonable period of time. Let’s go for it. Let’s see. Let’s try and bring this to a conclusion on that time frame. If there are difficulties, we’ll address them when they arise.
    Here’s video (http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?rn=49750&cl=1122676&ch=787806&src=news) of Bayh discussing his views on Iraq from Nov. 2007. Bayh is not pro-Iraq war. He is not pro-Iran War. He’s for “let’s not let the Iranians have nuclear weapons so that they can intimidate their neighbors in the Middle East.” I know — quite wild-eyed and crazy.
    Steve, you’re better than this.

    Reply

  29. michael king says:

    No need to post this. I just wanted to thank you for conducting this needed “deep look” into Senator Bayh’s foreign policy and national security record, AND for your series of informative posts on the mess in Georgia and environs.
    I see a connection between the unfolding disaster in the Caucasus, and what I believe would be a very bad choice should Obama select Bayh as his running mate. Bayh is emblematic of mode of foreign policy and defense analysis within Democratic Party ranks which has lead all too many Democrats to come down so firmly on the Georgian side. Too many of the D figures in our country’s foreign policy establishment — including Senator Bayh — are still approaching the post-Soviet world in quasi-Cold War terms (e.g., pushing the expansion of NATO deep into what has been Russia’s sphere of influence long before the Soviet Union was even a glint in Lenin’s eye). This reflexive, “running on inertia” approach has the insidious effect of empowering the Neocons in their pursuit of an American global hegemony, because it fragments the opposition to the Neocons and makes it all the more difficult to make a coherent public case against their irresponsible, dangerous program.
    The office of Vice President has been transformed in the last 32 years, and the country can no longer afford to treat with indifference the selection of someone for that position who could push a President Obama in the wrong direction on these vital issues. Here’s hoping you good work pays off!
    Mike King
    Seattle, WA
    P.S. I am the fellow who ha sent you a couple of “gloom and doom” e-mails about the danger of war with Iran. I am still worried, but it DOES seem that SecDef Gates and the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have really found their voice. What Mullen reportedly told the Israeli military (“no overflights of Iraq allowed”) does seem to have put a bit of a crimp in Israeli enthusiasm for attempting a strike. We are not out of those particular woods yet, but this was good news!
    mbk

    Reply

  30. Steven Clemons says:

    Dan — I would love to quickly chat with you by phone. If you could
    email me at clemons@newamerica.net, I’ll send my phone number
    to you if you have a quick moment. Thanks.
    Steve

    Reply

  31. Dan Kervick says:

    The choice is of Bayh, if it is really going to go down, would be so bad in so many ways, such a colossal disappointment to the core Obama supporters who are most responsible for putting him where he is, and so certain to spark a totally unnecessary firestorm of protest from progressive Democrats, that I have to wonder if there is something else afoot here. Is Obama being blackmailed by Team Clinton? Is the selection of this noted Clinton backer, high-ranking DLC leadership team colleague of Clinton, and Iraq War supporter and general Middle East hawk the price for avoiding some threatened Clinton shenanigans at the upcoming convention? Is somebody holding back the big donation checks unless Bayh is selected? Is Obama being forced into choosing a running mate who is so embarrassingly at odds with the defining policy position of the Obama nomination campaign: his opposition to the Iraq War?
    If Bayh really is Obama’s selection, rather than a selection being foisted upon him, then the move has “choke” written all over it. It signals a amssive failure of nerve. Obama might as well say, “I hereby withdraw my 2002 opposition to the Iraq War.” Why is Obama drifting in the opposite direction from the American public? What the hell is he afraid of?

    Reply

  32. Steve Clemons says:

    Steven Miller — you might be right if I had not been in touch with Asbahi and other members of the American Muslim community with direct knowledge of his terminated relationship with the campaign.
    But that said, the Obama campaign is appointing another Muslim outreach adviser — which is a great thing — and they are reaching out to Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans.
    But you are incorrect in asserting that I don’t know the back story. I’m well informed about it.
    Thanks for the comment.
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  33. Steven Miller says:

    “Barack Obama terminated his campaign relationship with a
    volunteer adviser for Muslim outreach, Mazen Asbahi, because
    the young lawyer had been on a board eight years ago for a
    period of just three weeks before resigning because of
    discomfort with allegations about another board member who
    was essentially the Chicago-based American Muslim
    community’s version of Jeremiah Wright.”
    Actually, you have no idea why Asbahi resigned because all that
    is known, from my reading, is that the Wall Street Journal sent
    questions to the campaign followed by his resignation.
    According to this:
    http://www.douglasfarah.com/article/384/a-look-at-the-
    resignation-of-mazen-asbahi-and-the-muslim-
    brotherhood.com
    there is ALOT more to the story and who knows what else is in
    the guy’s background.
    Also, whatever Jeramiah Wright may b, he was not connected
    with Hamas fund-raising and the Muslim Brotherhood as the
    other board member was:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-
    0402080265feb08,0,3486861.story

    Reply

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