Looks Like Bayh?


evan bayh hillary clinton twn.jpg
Rumors are flying that tomorrow in Indiana, Barack Obama is going to name Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) as his running mate.
Bayh denies it — and says that he doesn’t think anything special is being cooked up tomorrow.
This all could be a head fake — or a couple of head fakes. I’m still holding out for some of the other options — or I’d even be up for naming Birch Bayh, Evan’s legislatively successful father. Tom Daschle, Joe Biden, Tim Kaine would all be strong players.
But when I learned that ObamaBayh08.com is now directed to the Democratic Party website, this is pretty good circumstantial evidence that the Bayh fix is in — whether the surprise gets popped tomorrow or not. Bil Browning first turned me on to the website acquisition by the DNC.****(see update below)
None of the other possible VP choices are getting this kind of internet red carpet. As one friend of mine told me, John Kerry’s staff finally figured out he was going for John Edwards as his running mate when someone leaked that painters were stenciling Edwards name on to John Kerry’s airplane just before the announcement.
Reading tea leaves can be promising but has its limits — and still, these could be head fakes.
I can think of a lot of reasons why a Bayh choice is problematic. To some degree, it’s the Dan Quayle play. Evan Bayh is not charismatic. He’s hyper-controlled. When I’ve been with him in meetings or heard speeches by him, I don’t get the sizzle that just emanates from his father who I have had some incredible encounters with over the last year. Birch Bayh is someone every American should know much more about. He’s a true national hero for his work on gender rights, Title VI, and other legislative successes.
But on the other hand, what is really good about Bayh in Obama’s eyes is that he’s not charismatic. He’s controlled. He’s organized and blandly effective and won’t grimace at attending funerals.
Seriously though, the biggest plus is that he would have been Hillary Clinton’s choice — and if Obama is not going to run with Hillary, then picking Bayh is the next best thing at offering an olive branch to the Clintonistas. Bayh is from a midwest state — and may help with red state independents and white working class Dems who are still skiddish about Obama.
Party unity is important, and picking Bayh will help move that ball forward. In addition, just picking someone, anyone, will give Obama a bit of a bounce.
But he’s also bouncing a bit already. Today, he’s up 4 points over McCain in the Gallup daily tracking poll after being tied neck and neck last week. In an AP/Ipsos poll, Obama is actually up 6 points.
And at the fun and invaluable Intrade, Obama’s closing price was 59.8 while McCain closed at 37.
Obama-Bayh. . .Obama-Bayh. . .Obama-Bayh. . .still trying to get used to it.
And then will it be McCain-Pawlenty?
— Steve Clemons
****Update: TWN reader Ben Rosengart reports in that we’ve been spun! And he might be right. . .part of that head fake strategy. The url of ObamaBayh08.com belongs to an individual in Allston, MA and was registered in May 2007. He may be directing the website to the DNC independently I suppose.


12 comments on “Looks Like Bayh?

  1. Professor Hovhanness I. Pilikian says:

    You may like to cogitate on my Open Letter to Senators Obama and Clinton on
    which contains (1) a new Theory of History – that it advances by Mindset-shifts,(2) a radical historical interpretation of Warmongering – that it manifests Masculinist obsessions contingent on the rape of women and the murder of their children, (3)the proposition for a new socio-economic paradigm – universal CHILD-WELFARE – to achieve global peace …
    Yours Truly Prof HI Pilikian


  2. Mr.Murder says:

    The CHange candidate looks to select a white running mate, the ultimate form of pandering.
    Yet another Flip-Flop.
    McCain’s done the straight talk schtick and stuck to his guns.
    Obama’s waited to see if what McCain does is popular enough to tack that way.
    Of course he could always turn the tables with this oratory and rhetoric that “won” him the denates to the extent he lost a majority of the primaries:
    “Yeah, what SHE said…”


  3. Joe Klein's conscience says:

    You are right about Birch Bayh. I wish he was 20 years younger. Don’t forget that Evan Bayh co-chaired the Commission on the Liberation of Iraq with Lieberman and McCain. That will go over well with Democrats and undercut his message against McCain.


  4. rich says:

    In conventional political terms, Bayh is a great choice: Indiana, tilting conservative, white, he offers just the balance you might like—in ordinary times. In any other year I’d say No Way, but I keep coming to Bayh for those reasons.
    These are no ordinary times, though: I never saw Evan Bayh staunchly defend the Constitution, or responsibly and firmly hold the Executive accountable. (And his office got back to me when I called him on it.)
    He did not take the lead on defining a new economic pathway forward in the age of Enron accounting and petroleum dependence.
    Instead, Evan Bayh followed the well-marked path others laid out for him. And it’s a doooozy:
    “Welcomes Sen. Bayh; Adds to Bipartisan Consensus
    U.S. Newswire 14 Feb 2003
    Committee for the Liberation of Iraq Welcomes Sen. Bayh; Adds to Bipartisan Consensus
    WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 /U.S. Newswire/ — The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI) is pleased to welcome Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) as an Honorary Co-Chairman. Bayh becomes the third U.S. Senator to join the committee after Senators Joe Lieberman D-Conn.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced their participation on Jan. 28.
    “To remove weapons of mass destruction, we must remove the regime of Saddam Hussein,” said Bayh. “To think anything else is to delude ourselves.” Senator Bayh was a leading sponsor of the congressional resolution authorizing the use of military force in Iraq (P.L. 107-243), and was a driving force in securing the overwhelming vote in the Senate on Oct. 11, 2002.
    During the Senate debate on Iraq, Bayh made a compelling case for action: “It is my heartfelt conviction that weapons of mass death in the hands of a brutal dictator such as Saddam Hussein, combined with suicidal terrorist organizations that would all too eagerly use these instruments of mass destructions against us, represent an unacceptable risk for the safety and well-being of the American people.”
    <</end quote
    I think this was the actual press release from the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, crowing when Evan Bayh came on board.
    I’ve found Bayh to be rather likable the last couple years, and not even incomprehensible.
    But the path he chose is wrong for this country, then and now. America can’t afford to go to the same well that cost us 8 years, 4,000+ dead soldiers, untold trillions and everything that we are.
    Let’s get a proven quantity—and find a VP nominee whose integrity has not been compromised by Iraq, the process with which we went into Iraq, the GWOTerra, or the prevailing deviant approach to the Consitution.
    Given current circumstances and recent history, Bayh is not a viable candidate. Attractive, sure, but what’s he offer that’s game-changing? What’s his record of accomplishment? A stealth VeeP won’t cut it. It does not speak well for the Republican kingmakers that McCain is still standing. It’ll be real interesting to see Obama and McCain on the same stage, side-by-side. Dead-enders won’t ever admit it, but there are final, telling moments in every campaign, and that will be one of them for 2008.
    I want Obama to pic that Senator from Indiana—just not Evan Bayh. Birch, I liked.


  5. Steven Clemons says:

    WigWag — Thanks for posting the Zogby results. Hadn’t seen
    them and appreciate the finer breakdown among voting groups.
    best, steve clemons


  6. WigWag says:

    Speaking of Obama, this is what Steve Clemons says,
    “But he’s also bouncing a bit already. Today, he’s up 4 points over McCain in the Gallup daily tracking poll after being tied neck and neck last week. In an AP/Ipsos poll, Obama is actually up 6 points.”
    But this is what Zogby International says,
    August 4, 2008
    ATV/Zogby Poll Toss-Up! McCain 42%, Obama 41% as Undecided Voters Increase
    Obama loses support among his strongest demographic groups
    UTICA, New York – A national Associated TV/Zogby International telephone poll of 1,011 likely voters conducted July 31-Aug. 1 finds Republican Sen. John McCain taking a razor-thin 42%-41% lead over Democrat Sen. Barack Obama in the race for the U.S. presidency.
    The margin between the candidates is statistically insignificant, but demonstrates a notable turn-around from the Reuters/Zogby poll of July 7-9 that showed Obama ahead, 46%-36% in a four-way match-up that included Libertarian candidate Bob Barr of Georgia and liberal independent candidate Ralph Nader. McCain made significant gains at Obama’s expense among some of what had been Obama’s strongest demographic groups. For example:
    McCain gained 20% and Obama lost 16% among voters ages 18-29. Obama still leads that group, 49%-38%.
    Among women, McCain closed 10 points on Obama, who still leads by a 43%-38% margin.
    Obama has lost what was an 11% lead among Independents. He and McCain are now tied.
    Obama had some slippage among Democrats, dropping from 83% to 74%.
    Obama’s support among single voters dropped by 19%, and he now leads McCain, 51%-37%.
    Even with African-Americans and Hispanics, Obama shows smaller margins.
    The survey results come as Obama, fresh off what had been characterized as a triumphant tour of the Middle East and Europe, including a speech to 200,000 Germans in Berlin. That trip quickly became fodder for an aggressive response ad by the McCain campaign that questioned whether Obama’s popularity around the world meant he was ready to lead the U.S.
    Pollster John Zogby: “The McCain camp seems to have turned lemons into lemonade. Huge crowds and mostly favorable press reviews of Obama’s overseas trip have been trumped by McCain’s attacks on Obama. Loss of support for Obama among young voters may also be due to his perceived reversals on issues they care about, such as the war and government eavesdropping.”
    Electoral votes decide the Presidency, and this ATV/Zogby poll gives signs that McCain is making gains in winning key states. By region, McCain’s greatest gains came in the Central U.S. and in the West, home to several key battleground states. What was a narrow Obama lead in the Central U.S. is now a 45%-36% McCain edge. In the West, Obama’s 15% lead is gone, and McCain is now ahead, 43%-40%.
    Catholics, who are always a critical voting bloc, favored Obama by 11% in mid-July. Now, they favor McCain by 15%.
    Other groups where Obama’s lead has suffered include college graduates and those with family incomes of $25,000 – $35,000. Like the Zogby/Reuters poll, this one included Libertarian Bob Barr and Independent Ralph Nader. Both dropped just 1% between the two polls, with both now at 2%.
    Obama’s largest lead in Zogby phone polling since he clinched the nomination was 10%, both in mid-May and again in mid-July.


  7. Chris Brown says:

    Bayh is a vacuous talking hairdo DLC dead ender. The guy is so popular in IN that he couldn’t even swing IN democrats to Clinton. The speculation of his selection descended to cliche status a couple of weeks ago.
    Besides, why take a democratic senator from a state with a republican governor out of the senate. IN’s 11 EC votes are insignificant.
    This is all “head fakes” as you put it. I think Obama will likely pick someone not on the radar of the chatterers.
    This whole VP speculation is getting really tiresome.


  8. tom says:

    I’m not personally a fan of Bayh but I think he’d be a good choice
    as far as winning the election, to be blunt, adding a non-risk
    taking white dude to the ticket has few negatives. Btw, the person
    the domain name obamabayh08.com is registered to appears to
    be a domain squatter.


  9. Steve Clemons says:

    I have a lot of friends, Henry, that are into Tim Kaine — but his pro-life position will be very hard as a lure for women voters. I feel similarly about Evan Bayh, mostly in contrast to his father.
    This may all be a head fake. I’ve had a number of calls in the last hour telling me that it is — and that others are still in the race….particularly Tom Daschle and Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed….but we’ll see.
    I’m not saying this is happening tomorrow — just saying that a lot of folks in the blogosphere are buzzing about it. I prefer a number of people over Bayh — but not sure any of us has any influence on Obama’s course now.


  10. henry says:

    Evan Bayh? Can anybody tell me one single courageous, politically unpopular position Evan Bayh has ever taken? All he has ever done is run to the brown, borring center. Evan Bayh would undercut Obama’s message of being something different, new. There has to be someone better than Evan Bayh. Gov. Tim Kain of Virginia would be a better choice. Hillary Clinton would be a better choice.


  11. Steve Clemons says:

    Ben — How interesting. So it is Joe Chan himself that is directing this to the DNC??
    I need to add this to the story….
    Thanks, steve


  12. Ben Rosengart says:

    Steve, you wrote:
    Bil Browning first turned me on to the website acquisition by the
    But the domain name belongs to one (person calling himself) Joe
    Chan, of Allston, MA. And was registered in May ’07.
    You’ve been spun.


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