INdiana Systemic Thinking

February 24, 2008

Dems Still Hopeful Bayh Will Be on Ticket

A few months ago, I posted that I thought Senator Evan Bayh made huge political mistake by endorsing Hillary Clinton. My take was/is he wanted the VP slot so bad he would violate a cardinal rule of politics by showing his hand too early. Well, turns the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette is now wondering aloud what the consequences of his early endorsement will mean. Sylvia Smith goes way out of her was to rationalize and justify why Bayh should be on an Obama ticket. I’m not going to post any quotes, because the story is so far from being anything close to political reality that it would be a waste of space here.

However, I will use the space to say this. Folks, get over it. Bayh isn’t going to be anywhere near a Presidential ticket. Obama needs someone older…way older than Bayh, and someone who can deliver some hefty electoral college votes from a very swing state. Bayh isn’t the guy. While he may be well known in Indiana, no-one knows who he is outside our borders. Argue with that all you want, but it’s the political truth. Add to it that he has never done anything memorable legislatively, he continues to enrich himself through his wife’s woefully unqualified “employment” as a professional board member, and the fact he has never had a real job, and he will never pass a national vetting.

So, can we please go back to sticking our heads in the sand on Bayh?


January 20, 2008

Bayh to Name Post Office

This from the Indianapolis Star.  Sen. Evan Bayh will ask that an Indianapolis Post Office branch be named for the late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson.  Here is the story:

U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., announced Saturday that he plans to introduce legislation to rename the Mapleton annex post office in Indianapolis as the Julia M. Carson Post Office, in honor of the late congresswoman.

Carson advocated for the construction of the Mapleton branch, 2650 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., which opened on July 15, 2005, and she attended the building’s dedication ceremony, Bayh’s office said in a news release.

Bayh plans to introduce the legislation when the Senate reconvenes Tuesday. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., has agreed to co-sponsor the bill, the release said.
Carson, a Democratic member of the U.S. House from Indianapolis, died Dec. 15 after a battle with lung cancer.
She served in public office for more than 35 years as a member of the state House of Representatives and state Senate and as Center Township trustee.

January 4, 2008

Bayh (Probably) Screwed Up

One of the things most impressive to the Blogmeister about U.S. Sen. Even Bayh is his political craftiness.  Being the highest elected Democrat from this predominately red state is no small feat, no matter who your father is.  Granted, having Birch Bayh as your dad does get you a lot of political mileage, but once in office, the goodwill will evaporate quickly if one starts doing unpopular things or sticking your neck out too far.  While it is arguable how much Bayh did while Governor, and in his current position, one thing most agree on, whether R or D, is he didn’t screw anything up.

It was surprising then, when early on in the Iowa campaign, Sen. Bayh threw his unquestionable support behind fellow Sen. Hillary Clinton.   When I say unquestionable, he left no wiggle room or doubt.  She was his candidate.  Maybe he really believes she is the one, but probably more likely, he felt he was on the short list for the Vice Presidential slot, should she be the Democratic party’s candidate and supporting her early helped position him.  It is no secret he has been looking to move up since…well, his entire life.  However, it appears he let his ambition get the better of him.  In doing so, he violated one of the cardinal rules of politics:  Don’t show your cards until you have to.

Bayh showed his cards way too early in expressing his support for Clinton.  The benefit of this:  If she wins the nomination, he looks like a loyal supporter and increases his chances of the V.P. slot.  The negative, if she doesn’t get the nod, no one else will touch him for the same reason.  He thought she was the anointed, he played the odds, and he probably lost.  Now he’s left looking like he bet on the wrong horse and exercised poor judgment.

Today he was in Indianapolis and WTHR reported he said the following:

“Senator Obama has represented hope and change. That is a good thing. I think Senator Clinton represents change as well. The question is who has the experience and the ability to bring about change. That is an ongoing dialog we are going to have with the American people,” said Bayh.

Many political insiders think Bayh would be a promising potential vice-presidential pick for Clinton.

“A lot of Indiana politicians got behind Hillary Clinton, most notably Evan Bayh,” said Indianapolis Star political analyst Matt Tully. “The chances of Evan Bayh being on the ticket as a vice presidential nominee really rely on Hillary Clinton getting the nomination, so that’s really important for Indiana Democrats.”

Of course we are still really early in this process and things can change.  One caucus or primary does not a nominee make, but the margin by which Clinton lost casts doubt on her ability to pull this one out.  If she does pull this one out, Bayh will look like the smartest guy in the room.  However, if she doesn’t, which appears more likely, he looks like a political novice for throwing his support to her so early.

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