The man is a haircut posing as a senator. I don’t know how he’s done it thus far, but his success doesn’t speak well for the people of Indiana (hello Dan Quayle). Here are the reasons Barack Obama should NOT pick Evan Bayh as his VP.
No Foreign Policy Credentials. This now seems less imperative than it did before Obama’s successful oversea trip, but it is still an important consideration. Watching Bayh question David Petraeus in April, I was left with two distinct impressions. The first was that Bayh posed needlessly hostile questions to a man who outclasses Bayh just by breathing. The second was that Bayh was out of his depth in military matters. His questions were not insightful or probing, nor did he seem genuinely interested in the answers. It was as though he was putting on a performance. I swear I think I saw him run his fingers through his hair.
He Supported Hillary Clinton. Obama seems very capable of forgiving and forgetting, but Evan Bayh did bet on the wrong horse. It makes for easy work when Republicans can make commercials depicting your own VP being critical of you.
Indiana Borders on Illinois. I know I dismissed this issue when discussing Feingold for VP (after Webb dropped out, Feingold became my pick), but you have to be an outstanding VP candidate to dismiss regional proximity altogether. The Chicago media market penetrates well into Indiana and Obama is ahead already there according to RCP by a half a percentage point. There is a good chance that he’ll win the state anyway.
He Voted For Iraq. Unlike Feingold, Bayh voted for the Iraq war. This, obviously, conflicts with Barack Obama’s principled opposition to the war, and makes him a difficult fit on the ticket. If, as Obama has said, he really wants an independent Washington outsider, Bayh would not be your choice. His father, Birch Bayh, was a senator from Indiana for almost 20 years.
He’ll Lose in 2016. I’m guessing that feasibility as a successor has something to do with Bayh’s name cropping up all the time. As far as I can tell, the only reason for this is because he’s tall and good-looking. The problem with this is Americans only like tall and good-looking (in politicians) when it’s coupled with intelligence and masculine charisma. Kennedy, Clinton, Obama – they all have/had it. John Edwards, Dan Quayle, Evan Bayh – not so much. Like Edwards, Bayh is cloying and false; like Quayle, he is not the sharpest tool in the shed.
The bottom line here is that Evan Bayh is a John Edwards/Dan Quayle pick that brings nothing to the ticket except someone who the ladies find attractive. America does not need an all GQ ticket. Though it may not hurt Obama this time around, Bayh could be a serious problem in 2012. These next four years are going to be tough. And no one likes the pretty boy who’s had it easy his whole life when they can’t afford milk and bread.
The right choice is Feingold. And if not Feingold, then Biden. And if not Biden, than anybody but Bayh.