Friday, December 29, 2006

Evan Bayh for Vice President?

The December 25 issue of The New Republic has an interesting article about Evan Bayh, whom they call the “sleeper candidate” for President—and they aren’t really being complementary when they say that. Since that article appeared—but not because of it—Bayh has announced that he won’t be a candidate in 2008, which is too bad, but unfortunate. Bayh almost certainly could not have been nominated, but a serious run would, I think, have highlighted his strength as a politician which is to be a uniter (a real uniter, not a phony like George Bush). He’s not a negative guy, he’s all about expanding the center. He was a two term governor and he’s in his second term as Senator from a very red state, and he’s done a good job by not straying too far from the middle. While I might wish his positions to be more progressive, there’s also no real point in alienating a large part of the electorate that is conservative. We’ll never have a candidate who can appeal to the radicals on the right, but there have to be moderate conservatives to whom someone like Bayh would be attractive. With Mark Warner also out of the race, I’m not sure who that’s going to be. Here’s Bayh’s statement, taken from All America Pac:
"During my two terms as Governor and now in the United States Senate, it has always been more about the people I was able to help than the job I held. As you know I have been exploring helping the people of my state and our country in a different capacity. After talking with family and friends over the past several days, I have decided that this is not the year for me to run for President and I will not be a candidate for the presidency in 2008. It wasn't an easy decision but it was the right one for my family, my friends and my state. I have always prided myself on putting my public responsibilities ahead of my own ambitions."
So, no run for the Presidency this time. But might he make an attractive candidate for VP? He’s a youthful 51, with a political name and lots of experience, a pretty family, a good if not exciting record. He’s not going to alienate anyone. Hmm. Keep him on your list.

No comments: