By the Bayh
07-15-2008
A brief scheduling item caught my attention earlier today. Barack Obama will travel to Indiana tomorrow to convene a national security summit at Purdue University. What is of particular interest to me is that this will be the first joint appearance for Obama and Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, since Bayh strongly backed Hillary Clinton in her narrow win in the Indiana Primary on May 6th. Bayh has been mentioned as a potential Democratic vice presidential running mate as far back as 1992, when (at age 37) he was already finishing his first term as governor of the state. So this will be our first opportunity to see what a potential Obama-Bayh ticket might look like.
 
You may recall that in the current election cycle, Bayh initially flirted with his own presidential bid.  He formed an exploratory committee in December 2006, but only weeks later decided not to enter the race. Back in 1996, Bayh delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention (just like Obama in 2004), and, at the time, was cast as the moderate, post-Clinton face of the party’s future.
 
A lot has changed politically in the past 12 years, and Bayh is sometimes dismissed as a bland politician, but I would be surprised if he were not carefully vetted for the vice presidential spot. His armed services and intelligence committee work in the Senate, and his two terms as Indiana’s governor, certainly put him over the credentials threshold, not to mention the potential for putting an important swing state (and perhaps a few Clinton supporters) into play.  Tomorrow we should get a glimpse of whether there might be any ticket chemistry there.


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