Bayh for now?

With the Democratic Convention only weeks away, Obama is expected to announce his running mate soon. I would have thought that Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius would be the best pick, being so bi-partisan, and what with all those “Hillraisers” running loose. But no, the smart money is on…

Senator Evan Bayh (Birch Evans Bayh III; pronounced like bye). The son of an Indiana Senator, Bayh served as Governor of Indiana before being elected to the Senate in 1999.

So, what’s Bayh like? Well, he’s not a bleeding heart liberal, that’s for sure. He’s pro-state murder (a.k.a. capital punishment). According to wikipedia, he’s big on “fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, job creation and lean government.” As Governor he instituted the “largest single tax cut and largest budget surplus in state history,” ‘welfare-to-work’ programmes, increased school funding, oversaw the creation of over 350,000 new jobs, boosted law enforcement and improved environmental quality.

Perfect for Indiana and therefore very popular there. He’s not so well known outside Indiana, so he is not perceived as favourably across the country as unfavourably, but that would change, no doubt.

In the Rasmussen Reports markets, Bayh is favoured by 39.3%, up from 33.9% a week ago, with Tim Kaine at 24.9% (18.2%), Sebelius at 16% (13.3%) and Joe Biden at 11.4% (15%). Clinton is near the bottom at 5.9% (3.9%). No one is trading John Edwards.

The announcement may be made soon. The travelling press has been notified they’ll be spending 21 hours in South Bend, Indiana starting 6.30pm Tuesday evening (US time). That’s a mighty long campaign stop, let alone in Indiana’s fourth largest city. (Hat-tip: Open Left)

As MNCBS’s FirstRead point out, “Bayh’s home town is near Terre Haute, Ind. — about four-hour drive from South Bend. But South Bend is a nice geographical point between Illinois and Ohio, and just south of the Michigan line.”

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3 Responses to “Bayh for now?”

  1. Hugh Says:

    I think Sibelius is seen as not as good a bet as Bayh for the following reasons:

    1) She would offend Clinton supporters who would see her appointment as a way to avoid giving Clinton due for those sections of the population who prefer her to Obama (middle-aged women, working class catholics)
    2) She doesn’t bring a state (Kansas is safe Republican regardless of who’s on the ticket. Conversely Indiana is a swing state, as if Virginia, Kaine’s home state)
    3) She’s percieved as a poor speech-giver – her answer to the State of the Union was not received well, and Bush didn’t exactly provide strong competition

  2. jafapete Says:

    Hugh, Yeah, It’s hard to know how the Hillraisers would view Sibelius, but you could be right about getting an adverse reaction. The conventional wisdom seems to be that the VP candidates rarely ever bring a state, although you’d think that Bayh’s popularity would be a major help. I should probably also have mentioned that Bayh also brings some foreign policy and Washington experience cred, which Sibelius doesn’t.

  3. Neil Says:

    he’s got a few problems here. he’s had to throw a series of his misogynist friends under the bus – the latest being Ludacris. they all deserved the push but it does raise the question of why he was close to these people in the first place.

    in that light chosing the macho Bayh might not look that great a move.

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