Is It Bayh?
by Todd Beeton, Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:38:20 PM EDT
As many have noted, Barack Obama is set to make a campaign stop in Indiana on Tuesday, which is causing tongues to wag that Obama intends to announce Indiana Senator Evan Bayh as his VP pick on Wednesday. Bil Browning makes a compelling case that this is in fact Obama's plan. The most intriguing argument: check out where ObamaBayh08.com redirects you to.
Before I saw this post I was preparing to write one of my own that stepped back a bit from my pro-Biden prediction from the other day but it wasn't to argue in favor of Bayh. Rather, my thought was that there was one aspect of the "reinforcement" theory of Obama's VP pick that I felt Obama could not stray from; my thought was that there was no way Obama could choose someone who'd voted for the Iraq war, hence disqualifying Biden, and Bayh for that matter. I mean, if Obama's running on judgment, notably his opposition to invading Iraq, then how could he put someone on the ticket who didn't share that judgment? This epiphany led me to consider a new top pick: Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island. He's been somewhat on the radar -- having made Chris Cilizza's top 5 VP pick choices -- especially considering he was among those that joined Senator Obama on his trip abroad. Also, Obama and Reed are reported to have a great rapport, Reed is an Army veteran and has the sort of national security experience Obama might want in a VP and, perhaps most important, he opposed the initial invasion of Iraq. Not only that but a quick glance at his voting record shows someone who has not been cowed by the Bush administration. He voted against the Dick Cheney energy bill, against the bankruptcy bill, against Roberts and Alito, against extending the Bush tax cuts and most recently against the FISA "compromise." I'm sure a deeper look would show that the list of solid big D Democratic positions goes on and on. Now, this is the sort of senator we should be pushing as VP. Reed's not flashy and lacks two things that Bayh has: the potential to swing a red state to blue and the psychological benefit of having been a Clinton supporter. But Reed has that judgment Barack talks so much about.
And by the way, one more clue that Obama is likely to announce this week, both The Politico and William Kristol are reporting essentially the same thing: that the McCain VP pick is most likely going to come not only after Obama announces his pick is but actually after Obama accepts the nomination on Thursday, August 28, all the better to blunt the impact of the Democratic convention. That doesn't give him much of a window though since the Republican convention starts that following Monday. Seems to me the only reason for Obama to wait past this week (and announce during the Olympics) is to gain some advantage by letting McCain go first. Doesn't look like that's going to happen.
Update [2008-8-4 17:3:54 by Todd Beeton]:Whoops, should have done more due diligence on the ObamaBayh08.com thing. Apparently it's just some dude who owns the domain and redirects it to the DNC. Good one.