Monday, August 04, 2008

Veepstakes: Bayh time?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The Bilerico Project's Bil Browning (of Indiana) is "making a prediction. Barack Obama will announce his vice-presidential choice Wednesday morning. It will be Indiana Senator Evan Bayh."

Why? Well, the Olympics start on Friday and, it just so happens, Obama will be in Indiana tomorrow with, yes, Evan Bayh. Plus, "[t]he press has been told to plan on staying until Wednesday afternoon/evening." Bil has been invited to attend an Obama campaign event on Wednesday. Mysteriously, the campaign is keeping the nature of the event a secret.

Evan Bayh... Obama-Bayh 2008...

Well, it could be worse. I suppose.

I realize that Bayh would bring some significant positives to the ticket -- he has extensive political experience in both Indiana and Washington and key swing-state credentials, the media generally like him (because he has that whole "centrist" thing going for him, which means he's held in high respect, justifiably or not), and he was one of Hillary's more prominent supporters -- but I've never much liked him. He's generally too "centrist" for my liking, too much the slick careerist politician, too much the Democrat willing to abandon Democratic principles in order to make nice with the other side. It's not that I have no respect for him, or that I am in fundamental disagreement with him, or that, to put it another way, he's just another Joe Lieberman, it's that he's too much what Obama, to me and to many of his supporters, is running against. Bayh is old-school politics, old-school Washington -- and, at a time when America and the world need progressive statesmanship in the White House, the kind of forward-looking leadership that Obama personifies, he's just not the right pick.

I would support him, of course, and I would focus on the good not just in Obama-Bayh but in Bayh himself. As I've mentioned before, though, of those on the presumed shortlist, my preference is Joe Biden.


Over at MyDD, Todd Beeton makes a fantastic case for Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed -- and I would prefer Reed over Bayh (and almost as much as Biden): As one who opposed the Iraq War from the start, he has "that judgment [Obama] talks so much about." As well, "a quick glance at his voting record shows someone who has not been cowed by the Bush administration. He voted against the Dick Cheney energy bill, against the bankruptcy bill, against Roberts and Alito, against extending the Bush tax cuts and most recently against the FISA 'compromise.'"

Very impressive.


More from Todd on when to expect the pick: "[O]ne more clue that Obama is likely to announce this week, both The Politico and William Kristol are reporting essentially the same thing: that the McCain VP pick is most likely going to come not only after Obama announces his pick is but actually after Obama accepts the nomination on Thursday, August 28, all the better to blunt the impact of the Democratic convention. That doesn't give him much of a window though since the Republican convention starts that following Monday. Seems to me the only reason for Obama to wait past this week (and announce during the Olympics) is to gain some advantage by letting McCain go first. Doesn't look like that's going to happen."


Just a thought...

What if it's Hillary? (Could Team Obama be keeping a huge secret, floating some names to distract us, and waiting for the right time to announce? It's possible... right?)

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