Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bayh Sizing Up JLT HQ for New Drapes?

If I were on Jill Long-Thompson’s campaign staff right now, I’d be getting accustomed to playing second-fiddle because every indication is that Senator Evan Bayh will be Barack Obama’s running mate if Bayh survives the intensive VP VP (vetting process).

You ask: “What does a Bayh vice-presidential campaign have to do with JLT?!?”

Just this. Indiana Code 3-13-3-1(b).

“The governor shall immediately fill a vacancy in the United States Senate by appointing a person possessing the qualifications required under Article 1, Section 3, Clause 3 of the Constitution of the United States. The person appointed holds office until the next general election, when the vacancy shall be filled by the election of a Senator in a special election to hold office for the unexpired term.”

In politics, assuming an office, no matter how long you hold it before an election, gives a leg up on retaining it, which is why Andre Carson’s supporters quietly orchestrated his succession before anybody else had a chance to mobilize. See how well it worked?

So, in addition to Hoosier Democrats, who might be interested in having a Democrat get the senate appointment, even if it’s only for three to five months? The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC), which doesn’t want to see a D seat turn R, even for a minute. If Mitch Daniels is re-elected, it’s his appointment. If JLT gets elected, the right is hers.

In addition to DSCC interest, Bayh will make sure every political action in Indiana works for Obama. The very second the Bayh announcement is made, the JLT headquarters will look like a scene from one of those hostage crises movies. You know the one where the feds come in and take over for the local sheriff. JLT’s entire campaign will be commandeered because, quite frankly, even though she’s “out talking” on a run-ragged schedule, nobody I’ve polled can tell you “her message.” This is why, if JLT wants to survive politically, she’ll turn over the megaphone when the DSCC (and Senator Bayh) says she will.

(The first order of business will be getting JLT to stop talking about her principle campaign idea to date – a gas tax suspension - which Obama called “a gimmick” when Hillary Clinton proposed it on the national level).

But this is actually good news for JLT. In exchange for putting her staff (and probably consultants) on a raft and sending them over the waterfall, metaphorically speaking, JLT will get a LOT of D.C. money from sources other than Emily’s List and the SEIU. You think JLT has labor problems? See how long those last once the DSCC’s top brass starts leaning on people.

In truth, Evan Bayh’s succession to VP candidate is a win-win for JLT and her staff. Sure, it will feel like a demotion for some staffers to be moved from “(current title)” to “deputy (current title).” But they shouldn’t be distressed. For playing along without ego, they may find JLT holding a gubernatorial victory and all the employment-related spoils of war at her disposal. How does “Special Assistant to the Governor” sound?



varangianguard said...

You know, if Senator Bayh wasn't closer to "empty suit" than to "statesman", I might feel better about all of you twittering about his presumption of candidacy.

Frankly, I just don't see where Senator Bayh adds any real value to the Obama campaign. Sure, I know the bandied reasoning, but having two senators, two lawyers, and two Midwesterners all in one package just seems counterproductive. I suppose this is why I'm not a political consultant. I certainly would press for a VP candidate who brings something different to the table in terms of background and training. Among other reasons, this is also why I'm against having Senators Clinton or Edwards be on the ballot.
Is this all the Democratic Party has got? Midwestern (or Southern) raised lawyers who all belong (or have belonged) to the Senatorial Best Buds Club?

To paraphrase Wilson, that is kind of pathetic in some politically smarmy kind of way.

Chris Worden said...

No, you don't, VG! You don't get to play the VP Grand Prize Game without putting down your own preference. If you don't have any, let me offer a few names: Joe Biden, HRC, and Bill Richardson. Now, for each one of these candidates, write down the "gaffe remark(s)" made by each during the campaign. Easy, right?

Now tell me the Evan Bayh gaffe remark (and you can use his entire career, if you prefer).

(Jeopardy music plays)

Let me save you the suspense. You can't. Without negating Senator Bayh's bi-partisan cred, his service on Armed Services, or his HRC bona fides, all Obama needs right now is to avoid mistakes. And there is not a more measured (or cautious) public figure in the United States than Evan Bayh. He's the perfect complement to Senator Obama. Also, a lot of political consultants said it was stupid to put two men from adjacent Southern states on the ticket, too. That turned out rather well, though, didn't it? You also overlook that Senator Bayh is a 2-term Governor who once served as head of the Democratic Governor's Association.

Anonymous said...

"Every indication" is Bayh will be VP??? I would say the "only" indications I have seen are within Indiana-from local media and bloggers.... Not to say he won't be The One, definitely not saying I would oppose or prefer it... but there seem to be, let's say, "significant" indications it will be Gov. Kaine of Virginia.

Maybe I'm punchy this morning posting here only to debate your "every indication" statement...but I haven't seen much mention about Bayh in either Chicago or national media in recent days.

Anonymous said...

I am with varangianguard on this one.....Bayh is 1/2 inch deep and the epitome of an empty suit. he has never possessed an original thought. He has no charisma and can't speak publicly. Of course, he has no gaffes..he never says or does anything. I would prefer Kaine, Biden, Sebellius, or Richardson. They have principles and take stands on issues

varangianguard said...

Joe Biden was my candidate from the beginning. Having him as VP would be fine by me, but I really would prefer Governor Sibelius be on the ticket for the fall. She isn't from Washington -and- she isn't a lawyer. Wow. Some variation on the ticket. What a concept!

Senator Bayh couldn't make a gaffe, I agree. That's because there ain't enough goin' on up there to screw anything up. Safe, vanilla, boring and predictable. Not quite my ideal for a VP, much less for someone in direct line to become President.

HRC bona-fides? That is laughable. He can't even pick a winner out of a field of nags. What the hell kind of Hoosier is that? Oh wait. He isn't a Hoosier, really. He's a product of Virginian prep schools. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

What has Senator Bayh done lately? (sound of crickets).

Oh, and Governor Sibelius has also had some success in the Democratic Governors Association.

Happy now?

varangianguard said...

Oh, let me correct myself...

exclusive "District of Columbia" prep school.

Chris Worden said...

VG says:


Duly noted. As an aside, Biden was my pick for president when this thing started, so I wouldn't lose sleep if he got the VP nod.