Share Your Views on Evan Bayh: Pro and Con. . .

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evan bayh and hillary clinton twn 2.jpg
Word has reached me that at Barack Obama’s Hawaii retreat, Evan Bayh‘s chances to find himself the next Democratic VP candidate have moved to better than 50/50.
The conflict between Georgia and Russia has been one of several factors that has helped boost his status. Bayh’s support of the Iraq War and general hawkishness are seen by some as a balance to Obama’s call for a new and different kind of global engagement strategy that McCain’s followers consider naive.
I could make a case why Bayh might make sense for the Obama ticket — but it would be an intellectual case based on regional politics and an olive branch to some Hillary Clinton supporters, not one of passion. Recently, I wrote about Birch Bayh, Evan’s magnificent father, the other day who has led on women’s rights, civil rights, and civil liberties protections in ways that Evan, the son, hasn’t come close to matching.
But just stating that the son doesn’t yet fill the shoes of the father won’t seriously handicap Bayh in Barack Obama’s estimation.
So, i want to open the door to others to share their views.
In a constructive, civil manner, share with readers — and with the Obama campaign — why you think Evan Bayh SHOULD NOT BE or SHOULD BE Senator Obama’s running mate.
What turns you on? What turns you off? Again, be civil, please.
I’ll start with my own:

1. Why Bayh Should Not Be VP — In contrast to his indefatigable, passionate, and legislatively masterful father, Evan Bayh’s approach to policy and politics comes off as flat and squeezes the air, sizzle, and enthusiasm out of the Obama balloon — a balloon that has already been deflating somewhat as Michael Tomasky conveyed in the Washington Post this last Sunday.

Look forward to your views pro and con. . .
– Steve Clemons

Comments

54 comments on “Share Your Views on Evan Bayh: Pro and Con. . .

  1. Mr. B says:

    Colorado Dem has it nailed.
    Bayh is someone who can tell Obama when he disagrees.
    For those calling him a neo-Con he has a 95% ADA rating. Compared to Clinton and Obama’s 75% each he’s a far more liberal choice.
    Unlike Biden, he voted against HR 3043 which was a backhanded limitation on abortion-rights.
    The only reason to not have him would be to keep Mitch Daniels from appointing a Republican to his vacated Senate seat. Something that is questionable at best, since most Governors will appoint someone from the vacting person’s own party.

    Reply

  2. Sally Forth says:

    He is a Neo-con. He is for unconditional support of ALL Israeli policy bad or good.
    He is for war with Iran.
    He is Lieberman 2.0

    Reply

  3. Rick says:

    Dear Lord, please not Bayh!
    Why not just dress up a mannequin and put a nice rug on top.
    Bayh stands for nothing but riding the coattails of his father’s name and acting like a GOP Senator in disguise.
    Biden or Clark, PLEASE. They are everything you need (foreign policy, guts) and everything Bayh is not.

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  4. JR, Boston says:

    Sen. Obama should to select the person he feels most comfortable with in terms of building strategy and executing policy in a dynamic environment.
    However, in our real world, other factors come into play. If, for instance, he felt most comfortable with Gen. Powell, then there may be a sense that two black men on the ticket won’t fly. And other sensitivities might turn him away from Govs. Kaine and Sebelius.
    It very well may be that, all things considered, Bayh is the best choice. And it also very well may be that the office of VP would free Bayh from Indiana politics and allow his true political opinions and agenda to be expressed more fully.

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  5. Colorado Dem says:

    Bayh would be an excellent choice. He has an outstanding record as governor, he lowered taxes, created over 300,000 new jobs, balanced the budgets and left the state of Indiana with over a one billion dollar surplus. For the past ten years he has the experience of being on both the Senate armed services committee and intelligence committee – important national security background. His experience on the Senate banking and small business committees are also vital to understanding the challenges facing the current economy. He is very well respected in the entire Midwest region of Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and other states.

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  6. Kathleen says:

    questions….Yessss, republiccchhhh party

    Reply

  7. Colorado Dem says:

    Bayh would be an excellent choice. He has an outstanding record as governor, he lowered taxes, created over 300,000 new jobs, balanced the budgets and left the state of Indiana with over a one billion dollar surplus. For the past ten years he has the experience of being on both the Senate armed services committee and intelligence committee – important national security background. His experience on the Senate banking and small business committees are also vital to understanding the challenges facing the current economy. He is very well respected in the entire Midwest region of Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and other states.

    Reply

  8. Tony says:

    I really hope obama doesn’t select Bayh as his running mate. He’s like a caricature of all the bad Democratic presidential candidates over the past 15 years. He’s like a combo of Dukakis, 2000 Gore and Kerry all in one. He’s a milquetoast, poll-endentured, risk averse, DLC-style Democrat. I’d have a real difficult time coming up with a more uninspired, brand-x nominee if I tried. This is really starting to get ridiculous. Obama’s becoming more and more disappointing and blah as the weeks go by. I’m praying he picks almost anyone other than Bayh.

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  9. chopper says:

    If Obama is going to choose, Bayh, he might as well choose Hillary.
    Hillary has everything Bayh has (which isn’t much) plus more.
    She’s a moderate Dem, plus she’s got her name, charisma, and following.
    It would be idiotic to choose Bayh instead of Hillary. Not that I’m for Hillary. She’s not the best. Far from it. But she’s light years better than Bayh, even with all her negatives.

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  10. digdug says:

    Evan Bayh is a “huh?” candidate for Obama.
    He will illicit neither hatred nor passion. He is as bland and
    middle-of-the-road as you can get. He will bring absolutely
    nothing to the ticket. Though he will subtly undercut Obama’s
    brand of judgement and change. Bayh’s placement on the ticket
    will quietly bleed away support for Obama.
    Bayh is a terribly weak choice. Absolutely not the type of
    leadership choice that earns respect from anyone, left to right. No
    one will respect Obama for this very important first “presidential”
    decision. Not his base, not his enemies, and not the undecideds he
    needs to convince of his abilities and vision.

    Reply

  11. questions says:

    Spent some time as an unwilling Hoosier. Just say no.
    Re “Democrat”, Kathleen, maybe we could start referring to the “Republic Party” — emphasis on
    IC(k)…..

    Reply

  12. Kathleen says:

    Charlie.. I’m with you on the ‘”Democrat” Party blaoney…rhymes with that sulbiminal ‘Rat’” that ran across the screen in the ad that launched the 2000 Repugnican race…not a co-incidence….

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  13. adam says:

    Bayh is an extremely conservative and boring choice, and that is why he has such a good shot. The Obama campaign has grown increasingly conservative since Obama returned from Europe–Dems are supposed to win this year and are trying not to blow it by doing anything too controversial. It’s an essentially defensive outlook and frankly boring. I’d rather see Clark get the nod, but he has already generated “controversy” (really a false controversy, but that’s how the media operates these days) by his comments about McCain and will probably not get the nomination.

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  14. Susan Canlis says:

    With civility…he is boring, lacks the chops to stand up against the smears the republicans will throw at Obama…and him too, for that matter. Will upset the women and progressives due to his votes on women’s issues. His vote and strong alliance with McCain and Bush on the war. Did I mention he is boring? Brings nothing to the party and will not be able to assist President Obama in governing this country. Boring?! Would not want him to be president should something happen to the president (god forbid!!!) Lets put a little pop into this election and really step up to the plate on this selection…
    JOE BIDEN FOR VEEP 2008!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  15. David James says:

    Birch Bayh should put his son across his knee. I am a Hoosier, and have had many occasions to write this milquetoast Democrat about his lame stance on the Iraq war and other issues. I don’t want to see him on the ticket. He would turn the Obama commitment to water. Sure he’s a cute face, but Obama is good looking enough for the ticket. Get Evan’s DAD for the ticket. Now there’s something I would support! What happened to Richardson? We need the likes of him, not a “talking head.”

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  16. charlie says:

    Having just returned from a multi-week visit to wonderful Indianapolis, a great place to be from, I’m reminded of why I left. This is the state that produced Jim Jones and whose juvenile justice system rehabilitated Charlie Manson. While there I listened to the local NPR station discussing the Indiana political arena and neither the moderator or the “Democratic” representative challenged the Republican spokesperson’s use of the term “Democrat party”. A slur that has been expunged from the lexicon of my current state’s public radio stations. There are no Air America radio stations in the capitol city, at least that I could find, every other license plate, it seemed to me, I saw had the motto “In God we Trust” on it and yes that’s the drivers choice. The state’s current governor is a BushCo alumni, Mitch Daniels. A man who sold the states toll roads to foreign companies (forfeiting 2/3 of the expected income over 75 years to balance the current budgets), and instituted daylight savings time over the objections of many.
    Evan Bayh has been in the political arena of this state essentially since he was born, his father being a 3 term Democratic Senator. This is still a very reactionary state, and the only way that Evan Bayh remains their senator is that he is very conservative. Despite all this right now pollster.com’s Indiana chart has Obama on an upward trend line and McCain is trending down, and they’re separated by less than 1%. Why dismiss all the progressive energy that got him the nomination to name a Iraq war supporter as VP?
    If Obama needs military credentials on his ticket get Wesley Clark, who at least espouses progressive ideas, has the intellect and experience to defend them, and who still thinks Iraq was wrong.

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  17. Carroll says:

    Against.
    * First his drum beat for war with Iran.
    In 2007, Bayh “supported the Kyl-Lieberman amendment that Obama made a key part of his critique of Clinton.” Also introduced less than a month ago, Resolution 362, also known as the Iran War Resolution, could be passed by the House as early as next week. The bill is the chief legislative priority of AIPAC. On its Web site, AIPAC endorses the resolutions as a way to ”Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program” and tells readers to lobby Congress to pass the bill. In the Senate, a sister resolution, Resolution 580, has gained co-sponsors with similar speed. The Senate measure was introduced by Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh on June 2. It has since gained 19 co-sponsors.
    * His vote for the Iraq war.
    Bayh was an early supporter of the Bush administration’s policies on Iraq. On October 2, 2002, Bayh joined President George W. Bush and Congressional leaders in a Rose Garden ceremony announcing their agreement on the joint resolution authorizing the Iraq War, and was thanked by Bush and Senator John McCain for co-sponsoring the resolution.The Washington Post reported in July 2008 that Bayh has remained steadfast in his support of the Iraq war and has refused to renounce that support.
    * His membership and BOD position in foreign interest organizations like the Israel Project. Now more than ever we need a completely unbasied evenhanded approach to the ME and Iran.
    * His circulation of the AIPAC letter urging congress not to support Rice’s efforts for a ‘bilateral nuclear agreement’ with Russia unless they suspend any relations with Iran. This is definitely not in US best interest and the exact opposite of what Obama’s dem platform was on containing nuclear weapons globally.
    * His ‘immoral defense of the use of cluster bombs in Lebanon.
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    If Obama is going to choose a current senator for a VP I would rather see someone like Jim Webb who is not too far right, not too far left, all American. If team Obama becomes so similar to team McCain what incentive do disgusted with it all GOP voters have to cross over? Why Bayh anyway? If he is a sop to the Hillary losers why not just choose Hillary.
    I never thought I would say it but hells bells, Bush’s new, more realistic attitude on confrontation with Iran and Russia is looking better than Obama or McCain.

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  18. Kathleen says:

    Bayh…zzzzzzzz

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  19. eliot says:

    Bayh — meh…
    Kaine — great bio, a little too thin on national issues …
    What about Tim Roemer?
    + from Indiana; now lives in VA
    + moderate, bipartisan
    + Catholic
    + solid cred on foreign policy & intelligence
    + great record on support for education, sciences, and national service (AmeriCorps)
    + voted against NAFTA
    That he is pro-life might be a show-stopper for some. I would argue that there is a difference between being pro-choice and pro-life.
    The question is, would he support legislation to make all abortions illegal? would he seek to appoint judges that would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?
    A person can be pro-life, but not anti-choice.

    Reply

  20. Dan says:

    NO NO NO NO NO!
    Can that be any clearer?
    Evan Bayh voted for the war in Iraq and is as unrepentant as Hillary Clinton about that vote. There is a reason why Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton in the primaries, and why he will beat John McCain in November. Barack Obama was against the war in Iraq.
    Now, granted Mr. Obama did not have to make the choice of voting for it or not, and my guess, from the evidence I’m seeing, is that he would probably actually have voted for it. Very very sad. But he didn’t.
    We need to have people held accountable for their actions. Mr. Bayh refuses to apologize for that vote. He is not allowed to be rewarded.
    NO NO NO NO NO!

    Reply

  21. evan500 says:

    A big no to Bayh. He helped lead us into this very stupid war. He
    too conservative. He’s too bland.
    My favorite for quite a while has Wesley CLARK. Smart,
    articulate, exceptional military credentials when national
    security is such a big concern.
    Tim Kaine while he sounds okay on paper, is just too
    inexperienced, and has no foreign policy experience.
    Biden is obnoxious, but I might be able to hold my nose and
    support him.
    I need to know more about Sebelius to have a well-formed
    opinion on her.
    I grew to hate Hillary (even though I have been happy to have
    her as my Senator) during the primary, but I could be convinced
    she would be a good choice. She has the experience box
    checked off, and has already shown she is a ferocious
    campaigner.

    Reply

  22. Carolyn McCrady says:

    Evan Bayh is a hawk and his presence on the ticket will confuse Obama’s message about diplomacy first. We don’t need a mixed message but a strong one that is supported by public opinion that stands against the ravages of the Bush administration. Bayh would be a huge mistake.

    Reply

  23. Chris says:

    In that case, carsick, I’ll rephrase my theory concisely: I was discounting white males whose main — if not entire — presumed benefit to the ticket consists of being *known* as white males.
    If Obama wants to make his ticket, “Obama/Some White Dude,” that’s his choice, but I’m not sure it’s a smart one, and given current American racial politics, it would sound like an apology for being black… which seems to be what the DC political-media complex wants from Obama.
    If Obama wants to make his ticket “Obama/Some Conservative White Dude,” that’s also his choice, but he should’ve had the guts to tell the Democratic primary-voting public before getting everyone’s hopes up with all that “Change” and “Hope” stuff.

    Reply

  24. carsick says:

    Chris,
    I was questioning your seeming discounting of white males. I’m not supporting Bayh for VP but, as I noted, I was laying out the rationale as I saw it for those who do.

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  25. Chris says:

    “Please tell me how selecting the only Democratic Senator to vote AGAINST the Democratic Budget resolution is good for the party, for Obama, and for the country?”
    Actually, Adam, selecting the only Democratic Senator to vote against the Democratic budget resolution would be one of the infinite number of required steps for a “serious” Democratic presidential candidate to prove that he can put the nation above his party, which Obama needs to prove he can do, now that Joe Lieberman accused him of putting himself ahead of his country. (which, yes, *is* rich, for a number of reasons)
    It’d be good for the country because it would continue the effective Republican veto on Democratic power.
    It’d be good for the party because Democrats are horrible at maintaining party discipline on anything important, and this would embolden the capitulation-minded centrists in the party, whose support will be crucial to Obama if he wants to get anything done, because otherwise those party loyalists will join Republicans in screwing Democrats, because they’re such staunch, respectable, loyal, Democrats. Let a thousand Liebermans bloom.
    It’d be good for Obama because… um… I don’t know, it’d impress David Broder? Which is pretty much why we have elections, isn’t it?
    Having said that, I’m going to stop being sarcastic for a moment:
    Those will all be seen (note use of the passive voice; seen by whom? *Exactly*.) as reasons *for* Obama to pick Bayh, which makes me think that it’s exactly what’s going to happen.
    Here’s to being wrong…

    Reply

  26. Chris says:

    What, carsick, are you a gay half Cherokee paraplegic woman, and you’re hoping Obama picks you?
    On a less sarcastic note, what do you think the average voter knows about Bayh?
    That he’s a white guy from Indiana.
    They might not attach any substantial legislative achievements to his name. That’s fine; Republicans have pretty much prevented Democrats from getting any substantial legislative achievements for the last twelve years, and I don’t suppose playing the “But he didn’t do anything in Congress!” gotcha game.
    They might be aware of his pro-war position. You tell me if you think that’s a plus. Has Bayh come around to the Kerry-esque “I was sort of for it, like y’all, so now that you’re changing your minds, I can go along with that, too” argument? I don’t know. Do you think Bayh plans to make that argument? Do you think your average voter knows either of those things, or can guess smartly at either?
    No. Bayh is under consideration because he’s seen as an inoffensive white guy from Indiana.
    Do you think the best Obama can do is to pick someone who’s seen that way?
    And that’s not even my main point, which is that I don’t think picking Bayh would help Obama win. Any of the following would be better: Clark. Napolitano. Reed. Sebelius. Edwards (okay, that’s probably going to stir stuff). Richardson. Biden.
    And some of them are even white guys.
    On the other hand, picking Bayh would define Obama’s agenda as “running scared from Republicans.”

    Reply

  27. Adam says:

    Please tell me how selecting the only Democratic Senator to vote AGAINST the Democratic Budget resolution is good for the party, for Obama, and for the country? Not to mention that he would most likely be replaced by a republican senator. Does Obama relish filibusters? Does he like having his agenda stymied?

    Reply

  28. asl says:

    While Obama properly asserts his opposition to the Iraqi invasion, his foreign policy now is hardly progressive. He speaks of moving soldiers from one war to another; plans ‘residual’ military forces at least until 2013 while not opposing permanent bases; taking a Republican-style hard line with Iran and fully supports Israel’s apartheid with Palestine. And for God’s sake, he wants to increase the military by more than 75,000 soldiers and marines! To do what? Sit around?
    So if the argument against Bayh is that his hawkishness is inconsistent with Obama’s policy, that’s false. Of the ones mentioned, Tom Kaine would be my choice but it is he whose military philosophy is inconsistent with Obama’s.

    Reply

  29. pauline says:

    Bayh is a boring, do-nothing senator. Who can describe his governing philosophy and style? Anyone?
    If Barry O wants to keep using “change” for his campaign motto, the best I can think for Bayh is he’s “no change” and a charisma drain all in one! If my “change” needs a “drain”, I’ll call a plumber instead, thank you.
    Bayh should just go and fall asleep back in his Indiana cornfields where his mind has been. He’ll probably wake up enough though from his leadership napping to continue fooling enough hoosiers so he can keep living off the public dole in DC.
    It’s funny how many in Washington rise to that occasion.

    Reply

  30. carsick says:

    Chris,
    Your really think America is ready to embrace change to such a degree that Obama should pick anyone but a white male. That certainly shortens the list of candidates. It may be ground breaking for Obama to pick a gay, half Cherokee, paraplegic woman as his running mate but will it get him any closer to getting his agenda into the White House?
    Winning has always been a key factor in choosing a running mate. Complete political synergy and novel firsts are way down the list (though McCain may look that direction just to get some attention). It seems to me remarkable that a relative newcomer named Barak Obama is even leading considering the environment left after 9/11.

    Reply

  31. Chris says:

    Picking Bayh would say a lot of things about Obama, most of them not flattering:
    1. “I’m afraid of being attacked by Republicans, so I’ll put a conservative Dem from a conservative state on the ticket with me.” Because that’s how Obama got this far in the first place.
    2. “I was right on the war, but in order to ‘get something done’(tm, by David Broder), I’m going to suck up to the conservative DC establishment.” Screw change and hope.
    3. “Identity politics still matter. That’s why I’m picking a white guy.” Who here really thinks putting a white guy on a ticket with a black guy is going to persuade racially-minded voters (much less racists) to vote Democratic this year? And exactly how much would you dilute the Democratic agenda in pursuit of those votes?
    4. “Centrism and capitulation have gotten us into this mess; they’re going to have to get us out of it.” Yippee.
    5. “I don’t actually have principles that I’d fight for — whether policy or partisan — I just want to win.” Everyone knows this is how you prove to the vaunted DC Democratic Establishment that you want to win. Everyone also knows this is not how you actually win, given the DC Democratic Establishment’s track record in elections.
    6. “I’ll move to the center on anything.” FISA, off-shore drilling, apparently supporting the admission of Georgia — a Central Asian country — to the *North* *Atlantic* Treaty Organization. Actually, cancel “center” in the above sentence; Obama seems to prefer saying, “I’ll move to the *right* on anything.”
    Yeah, by all means pick Bayh. It’s easier than fighting Republicans. Assimilate now. Resistance is futile.
    (also, what JohnH said about Obama needing to consider his VP as life insurance against the prospect of attempts to remove him from office.)

    Reply

  32. JohnH says:

    Obama needs to select someone who will cement his message of change and provide him security against assassination or the lunatic fringe’s almost certain attempt at impeachment–someone who will do for Obama what Cheney did for W. “Impeach me? You get Cheney! Ha! Ha!” Someone with Kucinich’s worldview would be perfect for VP.

    Reply

  33. carsick says:

    A caveat before I go to my opinion on Bayh. I’ve been assuming Obama would not pick a popular governor for a long time because he needs to assure national security oriented independents that he won’t make naive mistakes in that arena. Therefore,”
    For Bayh
    - He is a conservative dem. from a conservative state which reiterates Obama’s “One United States of America.”
    - Obama provides enough charisma and energy for any campaign. He still needs charismatic surrogates but not particularly on the ticket.
    - He will clearly not be a co-president and I think many people will be happy at that development.
    - He gives Obama a chance to win Indiana and that could change the partisan map for years to come.
    - It shows Obama doesn’t need “yes” men around him and welcomes differing opinions.
    - He may have been wrong about Iraq but so was Hillary and a vast majority of people who actually had to publicly vote on the issue. I don’t think it will hurt Obama’s base. They may feel disappointed but they’ll still vote for Obama.
    - He has international credentials (see above to caveat).
    Personally, I’d rather see Wesley Clark but I can see the rationale for Bayh.

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  34. Punchy says:

    Evah Who?
    ‘Nuff said.

    Reply

  35. brendancalling says:

    Bayh is a bad choice. Co-chair of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. That should say it all.
    However, Obama seems to be turning his back on a lot of the people who supported him, so I won’t be surprised if it’s Bayh. Disappointed, but not surprised.
    So much for change and hope I guess…

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  36. Matt says:

    2. All of the above.

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  37. Matt says:

    Why Evan Bayh should not be VP
    1. Lincoln Chafee would be way better.

    Reply

  38. Arun says:

    Obama should pick someone who can help advance his agenda. Of course, winning the election is the first, most important part of the agenda – but winning the election at any cost, at the cost of the agenda is not.
    Bayh would let out most of the air from the Obama balloon.

    Reply

  39. Dan Kervick says:

    Against:
    If Bayh is selected, then Democrats who spent months working to nominate Barack Obama and defeat Hillary Clinton are going to wonder why they even bothered. Bayh represents pure, unadulterated and unreconstructed Clintonism. So what was that whole nomination campaign about? Is Obama out to tell us that change is really impossible after all?
    The selection of Bayh would signal a lack of confidence in the very foreign policy positions that are supposed to make Obama distinctive. It would convey a failure of nerve, a final surrender, and make Obama look weak and callow. It would seem to say that while Clinton lost her personal battle, she won the war.
    And to use Steve’s terminology, Bayh will drain the Obama campaign of its last remaining reservoirs of sizzle.
    The only plus that I can see is that Bayh is very, very, very boring, and would pose no threat of stealing any of the limelight from Obama. And he might snow a few middle of the road voters who confuse unimaginative blandness and an intensely risk-averse phobia of innovative or independent thinking with something akin to sobriety and sound judgment.

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  40. EmptySuit says:

    Bayh is an empty suit. No substance. Obama should take a risk and take Hagel or Daschle.

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  41. oooHNooo says:

    Like the people in Indiana are gonna say, “Oh boy! Our precious Evan is running with un-American Obama, now I’ll vote for Obama!”
    And that is the only reason ever to put Bayh on the ticket, thinking you are going get Indiana, a place where Obama will never be American enough after McCain gets through with him.
    Have some principles and don’t put a Right-winger on the ticket in the false hope that people singin’ “This is Our Country” in their pick-ups are going to cotton to an un-American black man who is trying to seduce their daughters, as per how McCain will increasingly frame Obama for Appalachia and their near neighbors, people who ultimately have the final say in the election of the president thanks to the electoral college system.
    Please rise (little waving flag in hand):
    God Bless America,
    Land that I love.
    Stand beside her, and guide her
    Through the night with a light from above.
    From the mountains, to the prairies,
    To the oceans, white with foam
    God bless America, My home sweet home.

    Reply

  42. Chuck Dupree says:

    Why Bayh should be chosen:
    1. He reinforces Obama’s appeal to the right wing of American politics. If you consider that a positive.
    2. He won’t be the loose cannon that Biden almost certainly would be.
    3. He won’t try to be co-President. He’ll stay in the background, and will look good at state funerals.
    Why Bayh should not be chosen:
    1. He adds nothing to the ticket, no pizazz, no fire, no executive experience as far as I know.
    2. He’s been wrong on nearly all the major issues (but then so has Obama).
    3. He’ll be removed from the Senate, which will leave an opening that the Republican governor of Indiana will fill with a Republican, thus helping the Republicans maintain their ability to filibuster every bill.
    4. He’s got nothin’.

    Reply

  43. jonst says:

    Bayh is a mediocre, right leaning Dem. Always on a defense posture with regard to the GOP. Not one major legislative sucess in the Senate. Heavens to Besty he should out in front of anything in the Sentate. Always asking…’how will it play with the David Broders, Cokie Roberts, and Jim Hougland’s of the world, along with the right-leaning voters of Indiana. He is a boring speaker. He got to where he is his now because, in some measure, his pedigree. And his cautiousness. If that is the kind of man Obama is looking for than Bayh is perfect. And given Obama’s recent performance….it is the kind of man he is looking for. Empire Lite is the motif.

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  44. Douglas W. Remington says:

    How much of a neocon (or Democratic Party equivalent) is Sen. Evan Bayh?
    Perhaps Mr. Clemons or someone else has some insight.
    Would a Vice President Bayh be a force supportive of Israel/Palestine peace?
    Would a Vice President Bayh be a force pushing for confrontation or dialog with Iran?
    I would be extremely relieved if someone out there could assure me that his past associations were just normal politics and nothing to worry about.
    “This is a hallmark of Evan Bayh. A former chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council and a past recipient Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson Award for Distinguished Service from the neoconservative security think tank JINSA, Bayh has been running to the right of his Democratic colleagues on foreign affairs for a while now.”
    http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/02/03/evan_bayh_tough_but_smart.php

    Reply

  45. Joe M. says:

    I would make arguments similar to those above. But rather than continue to say that Bayh would compromise Obama’s central message (and especially on Iraq) and also adds little other than that he is from Indiana, I simply can’t see Obama passing up on people who are so much better. My personal favorite that never seems to be mentioned is David Bonior from Michigan, who is popular enough in the state to make it solidly Obama. But otherwise, there are dozens of traditional democrats who are charismatic and popular, yet provide real vision rather than Lieberman-like republicanism with a democratic hat on… like Bayh… It’s really sad that he is being considered.

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  46. Mr.Murder says:

    Bayh faced who?
    He ran for Sen. in a state his dad was one.
    Think you overestimate his traction nationally.
    Nothing against him personally. Obama doesn’t “need” to “balance” his ticket, he’s running on the hope and change express.
    He already painted himself into a corner for what he can campaign on and who he can select. Bayh is a DC insider.

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  47. Tahoe Editor says:

    Dick Morris:
    The race may boil down to Obama-Bayh vs. McCain-Romney.
    But it should be Obama-Biden vs. McCain-Lieberman.
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/08/mccain_and_lieberman_perfect_t.html

    Reply

  48. Joel Silberman says:

    Bayh is a major problem because he undercuts every part of Obama’s message except generational change, and even there he is actually less helpful than he appears to be. To elaborate:
    1) As mentioned above, he muddies the anti-war and immigration positions that keep Obama strong with progressives and (more importantly) Hispanic voters.
    2) His personal blandness combined with his incompatible votes undercut the “bold leadership, clear vision” argument that Obama holds so dear. (Doesn’t help that his DLC cautiousness comes across as inauthentic in my view.)
    3) As the son of a Senator who has apparently been running for president since birth, he certainly can’t help with the “running against Washington” theme.
    4) His debate and speaking style are not going to contrast with Obama’s or win Obama many new voters. Obama either needs to have a bruiser like Biden or someone (say, a woman) who would naturally bring in another constituency.
    5) He isn’t reassuring. He’s too young and too much of a stranger to most Americans to get the mileage Bush got out of Cheney (I call it the “well, he’ll have ____ with him” factor).
    6) Tagging onto 5, I actually don’t think his youth is a good thing. The one part of Obama’s message that I think has totally registered with the American people is “change”. No matter who Obama puts on the ticket, he will be “Mr. change”, in no small part because of his complexion. Many people (especially white ones) will feel much more comfortable voting for an African American with limited experience if the running made is reassuring. Bayh just ain’t.
    The only true positive Bayh brings is his executive experience as governor of Indiana and his popularity in that state, but I just don’t think that’s enough in a national election. Obama would be better served by either a reassuring attack dog like Biden (though he would undercut the “running against Washington” message) or a coalition grower like Kathleen Sebelius.
    Incidentally, Sebelius would be reassuring in another way: She would highlight Obama’s Kansas roots and that would likely make him seem less Other to some whites. Similarly, the media would surely bring up Biden’s “clean and articulate” gaffe and Obama could let him off the hook for it again in a more public forum than that low-rent debate in Iowa last December. That would get some mileage with whites as well, cynical as it may sound.

    Reply

  49. Joe Klein's conscience says:

    Robert Morrow:
    Kaine’s popularity in VA is sagging right now. The last time a VP helped carry a state was Lyndon Johnson. Senators don’t have a political machine like Governors or mayors.
    And to continue what has been mentioned elsewhere, Bayh was co-chair along with McCain of “The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq”. He would indeed undermine Obama’s talk about judgment. It would also re-ignite the relevance of the DLC. That’s not good. It would also put Bayh as the front runner for 2016. No thanks.

    Reply

  50. Robert Morrow says:

    I would go with Tom Kaine of Virginia because he and Obama apparently are close friends, and it would put Virginia in play.

    Reply

  51. Tim says:

    I’d rather see someone like Wes Clark with serious hands on
    national security experience plus the ability to passionately
    argue progressive causes. Clark’s point that McCain’s military
    experience did not include management and leadersip
    experience was well put, if misread by much of the media.
    Bayh, in contrast, has no comparable experience on any issue.
    He’s a nice enough average politician, nothing more. It would
    make it hard for me to vote for Obama if he chose average for
    such a critical spot.
    If Obama is a hack, he’ll choose someone boring and safe like
    Bayh. If Obama is truly a change agent, he’ll choose someone
    exceptional and experienced like Clark.

    Reply

  52. Karl says:

    For once, I hope your sources are wrong.
    1. He undermines Obama’s core message of judgment. How can you argue that your team vastly better then the other team when each team has one of the biggest boosters of the war on it. Sure Bayh has apologized for it but he was one of the biggest promoters of the war. Picking him would go against Obama’s central foreign policy theme.
    2. He voted against immigration reform. That is just one of a series of conservative and problematic votes that he and Obama disagreed on. That would hurt Obama among Hispanics (McCain might pick a pro-immigration reform VP, then who is more committed to reform in the eyes of some?). Bayh has the third most conservative voting record of any Democrat. There are ALL KINDS of problems like that.
    Point is Bayh is not a empty book. He’s a very full book full of things contradicting Obama. For the next two and a half months we would be hearing about issues in which they disagree, what is there position then? It would undermine the campaign’s message.
    On the other hand, pick someone like Kathleen Sebelius and you will get stories about what she’s done in Kansas and how that’s like what Obama has proposed for America, how she’s worked with Republicans, how she’s won the trust of a red state, how she has fought repeatedly for things even if they are not popular and still remained popular as a governor.
    Bayh would not be the end of the world, but he would be pretty damn close. Outside of a few Republicans and Sam Nunn he is the worst choice I could think of. Out of what most people consider the shortlist (Bayh, Kaine, Sebelius and Biden) he is far and away the worst. Kaine comes after that but at least Kaine fits Obama’s narrative. Sebelius is hands down the best choice.
    Those are my thoughts.

    Reply

  53. Lee Mortimer says:

    Surely Obama can do better than Evan Bayh. Wasn’t he for the Iraq
    war before he was against it. Wasn’t he a big co-sponsor of the war
    resolution and then joined Bush for the Rose Garden signing
    ceremony. I’ve been a volunteer in Obama’s campaign, but if Bayh
    is the running mate, I just don’t know how I’ll get motivated to do
    anything. Evan Bayh–surely not.

    Reply

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