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Bayh Watch

I noted yesterday that Evan Bayh, oft-mentioned moderate presidential contender, was staying on the True Path of Righteousness with regard to the bankruptcy bill while many of his Democratic colleagues were selling out. I hadn't realized until now that he was also one of only thirteen Democrats to vote "no" on Condoleezza Rice's nomination to become Secretary of State. Someone to keep an eye on, as I said before.

March 10, 2005 | Permalink


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» Evan Bayh in 2008? from i'm just waiting for the robot invasion
Others are starting to note that Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) is looking more and more like a good bet for '08 - something we've mentioned previously. Though the moderate Hoosier is running at 41 to 1 in our latest odds, his actions over the past couple of mo... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 10, 2005 12:50:46 PM


I don't know. Naming one of your kids "Beau Bayh" shows an astonishing lack of good judgement.

Posted by: mark | Mar 10, 2005 11:59:52 AM

This seems to summarize the guys point.

"Standardized testing in American public schools is out of control, and NCLB has contributed mightily to that problem. But it is not the only -- not even the most important -- problem we face. With all due respect, the continuing issue of equity -- the growing resegregation of American public schools, the numbers of failing inner city schools and the achievement gap -- is far more important. Ask any inner city parent. The mounting efforts to privatize public education, now using our failures to provide equity in education as an argument for vouchers, tuition tax credits and the like, are far more important. Only from the vantage point of well-to-do suburbs, which provide quality public schools to all who live there, does standardized testing become the primary issue. And only when standardized testing and NCLB is seen as the primary issue does one rush to ally with the Cato Institute, the advocates of states rights and the Utah State Legislature."

Is it not obvious that except for a small minority of inner city whites, everybody else is pretty much for resegregation? Am I missing something hear? From I've seen in Atlanta, whites have predominately already moved to the northern suburbs of Atlanta. But what's more interesting is that middle class blacks are now moving to the southern suburbs. They are not moving to the good schools in the northern suburbs. I haven't asked inner city parents. I've just watched what they have been doing.

So it seems to me that deciding whether integregation is possible when both sides don't seem to want to integrate is a big question.

Posted by: Chad | Mar 10, 2005 12:00:13 PM

Wrong post. Sorry.

Posted by: Chad | Mar 10, 2005 12:00:38 PM

It might turn out that having someone Bush trusts as secretary of state may lead to better foriegn policy. Initial signs look good. Condoleezza Rice is still an incompetent liar though.

Posted by: joe o | Mar 10, 2005 12:10:21 PM

Good call. I will send him money.

Posted by: alex | Mar 10, 2005 12:22:53 PM

So who's in?

Mark Warner?

That's a pretty strong field. Should be fun to watch.

Posted by: JP | Mar 10, 2005 12:24:26 PM

Gore's out, according to Chris Matthews. Kerry and Clinton are in, according to everything they've done so far. The only question mark is Warner.

Posted by: mark | Mar 10, 2005 12:28:28 PM

Bayh/Lugar in 2008.

Posted by: moonbiter | Mar 10, 2005 12:51:27 PM

Bayh, like Lugar in '96 and Bob Grahm in 2004, is one of those people with a great resume and appears like he would be a stellar contender for the presidency, but ultimately won't go anywhere. I do admire his foresight in opposing the bankruptcy bill and voting against Rice as a nod to the grassroots that he barked at with hostility in 2003. It's a sign he realizes that he needs some credibility with the partisan wing of his party.

I'm going to name Warner and Gore as the only contenders with even a shadow of a chance at the presidency.

Posted by: Constantine | Mar 10, 2005 1:10:04 PM

I don't know that between Edwards and Bayh (and Clark) there's enough room for a candidate like Warner, especially to whatever degree national security remains a key issue. His skills as a politican are overestimated by those who haven't watched him fairly closely. He's by no means bad, but he doesn't have star power. For example, he won 4 years ago by just 4 percent, against a weak GOP candidate in a weak GOP year. His success as governor has come from from moves in the capital and capitol; getting moderate GOP leaders in the state to accept higher taxes. It wasn't a popular groundswell kind of thing.

And Warner's lt. governor Tim Kaine, has an uphill battle to win election as governor this year. Warner thus far has stayed out of that race, not wanting Kaine's percieved liberalism and problems as a candidate to rub off. This is backwards. The Virginia Democrats have a good chance of getting swept in all 3 state office races this year. If that happens, people will notice (the VA guv race has been called the marquee race in 2005, true I think).

So it's important to not construe political victory in a statewide race, even in the south, as evidence of wide ranging, Clintonian appeal. Warner has high approval ratings, but he's not loved.

That being said, the Dems could do much, much worse than Mark Warner as nominee. A Warner-Bayh ticket or a Warner-Clark ticket would be ideal, unless Hillary really is a superstar.

Posted by: SamAm | Mar 10, 2005 1:19:10 PM

SamAm: Bredesen.

Posted by: David Weman | Mar 10, 2005 1:35:52 PM

Don't leave out the Russel Potts factor. Potts is the Winchester Republican who ditched his party to run as an "Independent Republican" because he's pissed off at the right-ward shift in the party. Potts may actually take a lot of votes from Kilgore among pro-business but socially moderate Northern Virginia Republicans. If Potts really goes through with the race he will seriously jeopardize Kilgore's chances.

Posted by: Elrod | Mar 10, 2005 1:53:41 PM

Yeah, I'm leaning towards a Bayh or Warner-type, nut whoever we nominate we need something that the rest of the world calls, wait for it, AN AGENDA.

I know, what a lame idea that is!

Posted by: KevinA | Mar 10, 2005 2:31:57 PM

I meant "but," not "nut" in the last post.

Posted by: KevinA | Mar 10, 2005 2:32:55 PM

I think the main problem with Graham and Lugar is that they both looked about 70 years old. That just doesn't sell anymore, in the MTV age.

If Bayh has a charismatic personality, he'll be fine. But I have no idea whether or not that's the case.

Posted by: JP | Mar 10, 2005 2:52:56 PM

To follow up on what Mark said, and just to be extra-shallow: 'Evan Bayh' has got to be one of the least presidential-sounding names ever. Right up there with Wendell Willkie and Millard Fillmore.

I know, it's a terribly narrow and unliberal thought. Just sayin'.

Posted by: Ryan | Mar 10, 2005 3:12:23 PM

"Someone to keep an eye on, as I said before."
Keep an eye on him all you like. He's not going to be the nominee.

To reach back into history, Bayh's is a candidacy like Glenn's in '84, Gore's in '88, or Lieberman's in '04: there isn't any there there. Bayh suffers from a combination of lack of passion from any significant faction of the Party, and no matter how radically he tries to move left, a lack of acceptability to be the base. It's a combination that determines Bayh will never get traction.

If you're looking for someone who has the ability to be more electable and a better evangelist to gain new voters for the Party than Hillary, look to Edwards, Warner, or Bredesen.

I remain partial to Edwards because of his message and biography highlighting lefty economics over social issues, along with his superior communication skills. But I also like Warner and think his detractors out there are missing his appeal.

Look for where the best Democratic consultants go in early '06 and follow them. If Jarding/Saunders and Axelrod go with Warner, for example, I'd follow them away from Edwards.

Bayh is running to increase his stature within the Party and to possibly position himself for a Vice-Presidential nod, not to actually win the nomination. He is a dead end.

Posted by: Petey | Mar 10, 2005 3:52:41 PM

Well, if Sen. Bayh is running against Sen. Frist, they might as well both agree to get new names. Baily Evans and Fristgerald Franklin?

Posted by: Jake Haisley | Mar 10, 2005 3:53:10 PM

Bayh did almost no campaigning in IN for his Senate race. He has it sewn tight. But the grassroots missed him. Not even signs out, barely.

Posted by: John Isbell | Mar 10, 2005 4:05:51 PM

What we need to do is to import a king from somewhere. I suppose we could find and crown some domestic fellow, like this Warren Buffet guy, but it really would be better to get someone with class, someone who knows what fork to use for deserts, speaks a few languages and all that. What would be really swell is if we could kidnap King Abdullah of Jordan and make him the king of the US of A, he's a great fella, His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein.

Posted by: abb1 | Mar 10, 2005 4:05:59 PM

Oh, I was just kidding, of course - no need to kidnap anyone, but we could invite him.

Posted by: abb1 | Mar 10, 2005 4:08:50 PM

We don't even need to get Abdullah himself--he's got lots of relatives. One of my friends is a member of the Hashemite family.

Posted by: Maureen | Mar 10, 2005 4:47:06 PM

Okay, I'm sorry to be a total blog whore, but the assertions that Bayh "won't go anywhere" are just wrong. If you look at this post on Bayh examining his record, appeal, etc., you'll see "during Kerry’s veep-selection process, Republican pollster Frank Luntz was asked to test the appeal of seven potential running mates. Bayh won hands-down (even beating John Edwards)." And he is a memorable speaker.

All this, btw, care of a Hoosier blogger who isn't even particularly a big Bayh fan.

As for naming his kid Beau, his dad's name was Birch Bayh - whaddaya expect? :-)

Posted by: Shakespeare's Sister | Mar 10, 2005 5:30:32 PM

"the assertions that Bayh "won't go anywhere" are just wrong. ... Frank Luntz was asked to test the appeal of seven potential running mates. Bayh won hands-down"

Of course, that doesn't have much to do with the nomination process. Past Democratic fields are littered with candidates like Bayh who will test well with the larger electorate, but have no raison d'etre in the primaries.

Likewise, Rudy Giuliani polls best among Republican '08 candidates among the larger electorate, but he "won't go anywhere" either.

The sweet spot is finding a candidate like Edwards who can appeal to the base through his economic populism, doesn't have embedded hatred from areas of the base the way Bayh does, and can still appeal to the larger electorate.

Posted by: Petey | Mar 10, 2005 6:17:25 PM


He voted Yea on the Bankruptcy Bill. Link

Along with 18 other Democrats. Bunch of lily-livered bastards.

Posted by: Violet | Mar 10, 2005 9:49:30 PM

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