Bil Browning of Indiana-based The Bilerico Project’s going out on a limb and makes a case that the Hoosier U.S. Senator is the one, and it will happen on Wednesday:
1. The Olympics start on Friday and run until the Democratic convention starts. He won’t want to compete with the Olympics for press coverage. He’ll announce before the Olympics starts. If he announces on Wednesday morning, he’ll get coverage all day and be on the news cycle until the Opening Ceremonies knock him off the top spot.
2. Barack Obama is coming to the state on Tuesday afternoon for a campaign stop in Elkhart, Indiana. He’ll be attending with Evan Bayh. The press has been told to plan on staying until Wednesday afternoon/evening. Why would he spend so much time in Indiana with nothing on his public calendar?
3. Staying around Indiana allows Obama and Bayh to travel to Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio – all battleground states in this election. When you’ve just announced your VP, those are states you’ll want to visit – especially since Bayh’s reputation will help the most in those states.
4. The website ObamaBayh08.com is taken. For a tiny sliver of time late last week, you could type in the URL and you’d be forwarded to another site. Where do you think it took you? The Democratic Party website.
5. I just got an invite from the Obama campaign to attend an appearance on Wednesday that isn’t on Obama’s official calendar. Why not? The campaign said, “I can’t tell you what the event is about, but we want to make sure you have a ticket so you can cover it for the Bilerico Project. We want Bilerico Project to be there for this one.”
Surf over for the rest. If Bayh is the pick, how do you think this will shake out – plus, minus or just a “do no harm” safe choice?
Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine’s name was floated out there, as was Sam Nunn’s, and both of them were shot down (Kaine’s unpopular in his state, Nunn is horrible on so many issues, particularly LGBT, and represents the past). Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius was floated a heck of a lot, but the wind doesn’t seem to be blowing in her direction. An obvious choice, based on resume, would be Bill Richardson, but he hasn’t been on that high-profile short list talk of late. So why Bayh? On civil rights issues, here’s a first pass:
* Continue affirmative action programs without quotas. (Jan 1998)
* Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)
* Voted NO on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
* Voted YES on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
* Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
* Voted YES on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
* Shift from group preferences to economic empowerment of all. (Aug 2000)
* Rated 60% by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
* Increase subsidies for women-owned non-profit business. (Mar 2004)
* Sponsored bill for special-needs evacuation plans. (Sep 2005)
* Issue a commemorative postage stamp of Rosa Parks. (Dec 2005)
* Rated 89% by the HRC, indicating a pro-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006)
* Rated 100% by the NAACP, indicating a pro-affirmative-action stance. (Dec 2006)
* Rated 33% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-family voting record. (Dec 2003)
NARAL gave Bayh 100% rating in 2007; he voted against Roberts and Alito. More issues here.
He’s definitely not going to compete in the charisma department as you saw above, but obviously that’s not the point. Obama wants to pick someone who’s not going to have a zipper problem, some ethical bomb waiting to go off, and who isn’t going to offend any single constituency to the point of severe rejection.