Patterico's Pontifications


HuffPo Contributor Makes Pretty Good Case That Indiana Sen. Bayh Will Be Named VP Pick by Obama Wednesday

Filed under: General — WLS @ 2:50 pm

Posted by WLS:

HuffPo contributor Bil Browning (who has his own blog site “The Bilerico Project”  — a little “rico” evny?) has a piece up at HuffPo making a pretty good circumstantial case that Obama will name Bayh as his running mate on Wednesday morning, in advance of the start of the Olympics.

Among his comments are that Obama has a stop planned in Elkhart, Indiana tomorrow afternoon for a campaign event, where he’ll be joined by Bayh.  But the press is being told to plan on staying around until Wed afternoon/early evening even though there is nothing on Obama’s announced calendar in Indiana for later in the day on Wednesday. 

Browning also says that he was just invited by an Obama campaign staffer to attend an event on Wednesday that isn’t even on the calendar, and about which the staffer could provide no information other than to say Browning would want to be there to cover it on his blog.

A leak late in the day on Tueday after Obama and and Bayh attend a rally together would be a nice set-up for a Wednesday morning announcement, which would then dominate all the press coverage through the day on Wednesday, and into Thurs. 

But I’m not sure why Bayh is the pick.  Indiana remains pretty much not in play, even though the Obama campaign is spending money there.  Look at the 3 congressional seats the GOP lost in Indiana in 2006 — every pickup by the Dems was with a conservative Dem candidate.  Bush won this state in 2004 by 500,000 votes out of 2.5 million votes cast.  In 2000 he won it by by 250,000 votes out of 2.1 million cast. 

Those are really big numbers to turn around with a liberal candidate at the top of the ticket no matter who the VP selection is.

But it may be that they are looking for the VP pick who plays best with the midwestern voters in Michigan, Ohio, and Penn.  And Bayh was a strong Hillary supporter, so it may be a play for their support as well.

But it does seem to be more safe than inspiring, and I’m not sure its going to be greeted with anything more than a collective shrug of the shoulders.  It certainly leaves the door open to McCain to make a bolder splash when he makes his choice.

26 Responses to “HuffPo Contributor Makes Pretty Good Case That Indiana Sen. Bayh Will Be Named VP Pick by Obama Wednesday”

  1. The polls say that Indiana is in play. Hopefully the polls are wrong. BTW, I believe the ‘announce on Wednesday’ claim about as much as I’ll believe that Zawahiri is dead until I see photos of his maggot-ridden body.

    Icy Truth (ca1185)

  2. There’s no published polling out of Indiana since June.

    And I have the same comment about Indiana as about Virginia.

    Don’t confuse the fact that conservative states ocassionally elect a conservative Democrat with a claim that the state is trending Democratic.

    The fact that Connecticut has elected GOP’ers to the House and Maine has two GOP Senators shouldn’t be confused with Conn. and Maine being states in play this election or elections past.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  3. I’m a Hoosier who studies politics/history in the state for a living. We’re NOT in play—thankfully. Though Bayh is well-respected here, it’s not going to get BHO the state, thus is a poor choice, as usual.

    AJ (99bc15)

  4. First of all, as IT noted, the polls have had Indiana close at the moment and if Obama can get the state within 4 or 5 points on his own, I could see Bayh making a difference. Second, Bayh has a reputation as a moderate, and given Obama’s voting record I think a moderate VP candidate is a must.

    Finally, and while Obama supporters will blanch at the comparison, this really is Obama’s Dick Cheney pick. Bayh has executive experience as former Governor of Indiana and foreign policy experience thanks to his Senate career, and would theoretically give the Obama campaign the gravitas (remember that word?) it needs.

    Sean P (e57269)

  5. Wow, the benefactor of another Indiana political dynasty (the other being the Carson clan). What a change Obama is going for. Indy resident here as well. This news is so excit- ….zzzzzzzzz….

    fngJD (ed5675)

  6. Baracky has been spending money here for a while, with those BS Kansas values ads. I cannot see Bayh putting the state as a whole in play. But here in suburban Indianapolis, you do not get a good pulse of anything but Republican thought.

    JD (5f0e11)

  7. I take that back. The collextive 4 month long news-gasm the news stations would have could push the needle with all of the free media they would get.

    JD (5f0e11)

  8. Bayh would deliver Indiana for BHO, despite the latent racism found largely between Indianapolis and Bloomington/Columbus. The last vestige of the full blown KKK was located there. I went to school at IU and was struck at just how “Southern” Indiana denizens are south of Indy.

    Bayh was among the first to renounce the Democrat Party of his father, Birch, and run as a genuine JFK/pragmatic Dem. Things got done despite the GOP legislature he had to deal with. His record in the Senate, is similarly moderate. By Dem terms, he’s a conservative.

    This is the guy I fear the most as a potential VP.

    If this comes to pass, does McCain go with Romney to offset losing Indiana’s Electors with those from Massachusetts?

    If BHO announces tomorrow/wednesday, it will be the best indicator that his campaign is in trouble and in need of a bigtime boost.

    Ed (59b337)

  9. It’s a false trail just to throw you bloodhound political junkies off the scent. Besides, Evan Bayh is the Democratic version of Dan Quayle, as far as political excitement is concerned.

    Also, the city is spelled ‘Elkhart’, and it is in northern Indiana near the Michigan border.

    JJ (177b25)

  10. Why is it that it is so acceptable to paint Southerners, or rural populations, with such broad brushes, such as what Ed just did?

    JD (5f0e11)

  11. Ed @ post # 8 is a latent idiot, the type of which is found largely in the areas between Indianapolis and Gary/Merrillville. I too went to school at IU and was struck at just how “northern” Indiana denizens are north of Indy.

    Dennis (401b84)

  12. Romney will not deliver Massachusetts; he might deliver Michigan, and he will be strong on economics.

    Icy Truth (3aa3c0)

  13. My experience is my experience. That’s why, JD.

    In many, many, discussions I had with IU faculty, administrators, and local professionals about the cultural divide in the state, not once was I disabused of my belief. There was only affirmation. YMMV.

    Indiana is not the monolithic state politically nor culturally as most outsiders would expect. There is a definite difference from North to South. Some of the heaviest southern dialects/accents I have ever heard came from folks in Monroe county.

    There is a reason that Martinsville was the last home of the longest-active KKK chapter north of the Ohio river. It ain’t because that city/region was “progressive” in their attitudes and thinking.

    Finally, if you knew me, you would know I LOVE the South and its people. I have found them, generally, to be the finest citizens of these United States. My years in Georgia were the happiest/best of my life. If the entire country, particularly SoCal, would adopt the mores of the good people who were my neighbors in Georgia, this country would be much the better for it.

    Ed (59b337)

  14. Ed – If you are comfortable with advancing your anecdotal experiences and overly broad generalities, that is your choice. Ironic that you lived in the Peoples Republic of Monroe County, and did not find anyone to disabuse you of your notions. Speaking in such generalities would not be tolerated were you speaking of blacks or latinos. Why should it be any more tolerable speaking of whites?

    JD (5f0e11)

  15. The Politico provides some support for the notion that Obama may pick his VP first:

    John McCain’s extended circle is divided on whether he should announce his running mate in the days ahead — but the Republican is more likely to wait for Barack Obama to announce his choice first, according to advisers.
    “We’d be stupid to pick before they do,” said one top McCain adviser, speaking about the hush-hush decision on the basis of anonymity. “If they go first, you have more information.”

    This source said McCain should take advantage of the “the luxury of having the option,” because of the Republicans’ later convention date.

    DRJ (9d1be2)

  16. JD – you and every reader of anything I may write is free to interpret anything I write in any manner. Why would I not be comfortable in this?

    If one wishes to argue the sociologic and anthropologic divide(s) in Indiana or anywhere else, one must, ultimately, define the data they have. If a candidate wants to understand where their electoral strengths may lie, they manifestly must categorize the precincts involved. They do. Constantly. They don’t just look at white/black/hispanic/ethnicity, either.

    BHO can count on overwhelming support in St. Joseph and Lake Counties (South Bend and Gary). Why? Urban mix of ethnicities and the usual and customary Democrat dominance of larger towns who must, out of necessity, organize larger governments. Would you say, JD, that organizing bigger governments is a hallmark of the southern self-reliant/independent ethic? With the possible exception of Evansville, is there any big government ethos to be found in a majority?

    The political is not often separated from the cultural.

    I’m glad you discovered the oddity of my faculty and townie discussions as to the cultural divide. If you like, I’ll reply later with some dispositive data I collected while I made a point to speak to the African-American students as to why more of their people refused to venture south to Bloomington for an education despite significant recruitment efforts and disproportionate scholarship opportunities, and the creation of the African-American Studies discipline in the school of Arts & Letters.

    Indiana is a deeply divided state culturally and politically.

    I find it highly ironic that you took unto yourself the judgment of all with this statement…”Speaking in such generalities would not be tolerated were you speaking of blacks or latinos.”

    Between BHO’s “They” and your “would not be tolerated” I do believe the spectrum of INtolerance is well covered.

    Ed (59b337)

  17. Whoever McCain picks should be someone who can take on Obama’s liberal record. It’s easier to pin down Obama’s record than his words because his words are like Jello.

    DRJ (9d1be2)

  18. For you Indiana folk, John Kerry asked Obama what he wants for his birthday, and Obama said he wants Indiana, Colorado and Virginia.

    DRJ (9d1be2)

  19. In April 2007, I predicted an Obama/Bayh ticket for the Dems. My second thought was that Obama would go with Bill Richardson to shore up his own obvious absence of foreign policy experience. But I was underestimating The One’s sublime self-confidence, or at least the size of his ego after months of consistent stroking by the press. Obama’s convinced that he’s the second coming of John Kennedy, and he’s ignorant enough of history to think that Kennedy was a great foreign policy president.

    I’m guessing that Bayh’s about right: a former Clinton supporter with solid domestic credentials from a state that indeed may be in play, someone who won’t be controversial, and someone who will loyally do whatever Obama tells him to.

    Beldar (b07b27)

  20. Bayh grew up in DC when his father was Senator. Many Hoosiers consider him to be a sneaky DC lib.

    Hazy (d671ab)

  21. Beldar,

    That you did and what a good call that could be. When you have a spare moment, will you send me tomorrow’s lottery numbers?

    DRJ (9d1be2)

  22. DRJ – I would like to apologize, in advance, if my state goes to Baracky.

    Kind of off topic, but the squeals of racism from the Left have gone beyond my ability to parody them any longer. Slate’s Noah on how noting that Baracky is skinny is code-word racism. Olberdouche and Herbert calling racism and phallic symbols in ads. The overt abuse of the language required to hold those positions would be jarring to anyone with a brain.

    JD (75f5c3)

  23. At, the prediction market for Bayh as VP has gone from 25% to 40% in the last few days. Market is pretty thin.

    Bayh may help in Virginia – he is UVA Law ’81

    Tom Hynes, UVA Law ’81

    TomHynes (c43c0a)

  24. TomHynes: what was your impression of Bayh when you and he were fellow students?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  25. Those arguing about Indiana should take a look at Joel Garreau’s “Nine Nations of North American.” His northern dividing line between “Dixie” and “The Foundry” runs from Cincinati to Indianapolis to Evansville. This wedge is definitely Dixie. I lived in the area (Bloomington) for many years.

    Al Pratt (2edbbc)

  26. Gotta go with a new handle since there is already another JD from Indy… anywho…

    I live up in the Republican stronghold of Hamilton County, IN., and I hate to say it but I’m seeing a lot of Obama bumper stickers and yard signs. It could just be that liberals are more prone to display yard signs and stand on corners with banners that say “honk for Obama”. Sheesh, yesterday I saw a Kerry/Edwards sticker on a minivan.

    that other JD (ed5675)

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