Out On A Limb

The media and blogosphere are already clogging up with speculation over John Kerry’s veep pick, so why not join in?

Traditionally, a VP is chosen to “balance” the nominee ideologically (for example, “conservative” Texan Lloyd Bentsen/LBJ balancing Massachusetts liberal Mike Dukakis/JFK, or moderate George H.W. Bush balancing conservative Ronald Reagan), and/or to bring in a state that’s electorally important. In addition, getting a governor or former governor would be a plus to further ‘balance out’ Kerry’s Senate career.

Put all that together, and this one is a slam-dunk for Kerry: Evan Bayh, from Indiana. No one else need apply.


29 Responses to “Out On A Limb”

  1. protein wisdom Says:

    Them Indiana boys on them Indiana nights

    Steve Green goes out on a limb, naming Evan Bayh the “slam-dunk” pick as Monsieur Kerry’s vice presidential running mate. I disagree. I think M. Kerry surprises everyone and goes with a wheel of brie and a nice Chilean Caliterra…

  2. Mike M Says:

    Let’s see, Kerry is a liberal, uncharasmatic, creepy, greying, male, millionaire Senator from the east coast.

    He needs a moderate, friendly, blonde woman of more modest means from the South or West coast who is politically savvy but not a career politician.

    Answer? Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue.

    Anyone from the Kerry campaign can feel free to email me when they feel the need to put me on the payroll…yes, you’re welcome in advance.

  3. Robert Schwartz Says:

    Mike: A move like that would certainly corner the vote of dirty old men such I.

  4. erp Says:

    Mike, you’re right that Kerry needs to balance his ticket, so how about a black radical loud mouth from the west, Maxine Waters. He’ll get the the black vote and the soccer moms in one swell swoop.

    That is if he’s the nominee, but he hasn’t a snow ball’s chance in hell of being the Democrat presidential candidate so this is an exercise in the ridiculous.

  5. Will Collier Says:

    Uh huh huh… you said “Dhue”… heh heh heh…

  6. Beth Says:

    I think I heard that their internal polls show that picking Bayh gives them Ohio and Indiana.

  7. Jim In Va Says:

    Won’t be Bayh; the left wing of the party won’t stand for it.
    How about a moderate Southern woman-say Mary Landrieu? She makes more sense as a Veep than Ferraro.

  8. AWW Says:

    Bayh is senator currently which is how he will be perceived. He is more moderate than Kerry but that isn’t saying much. And several pundits have said Bayh wins in conservative Indiana due to name factor and that this probably wouldn’t help Kerry win Indiana. And don’t forget how VPs are expected to tow the President’s line (see Lieberman in 2000)
    Focusing on a particular state makes sense if the election is going to be tight. But all of this reminds me of 1996 when people concocted scenarios where Dole would squeek out a win against Clinton. Clinton won fairly easily.
    Bayh might be the best choice among a weak Dem VP field but the bottom line is that if 7 months from now the economy has improved and Iraq is doing better the Dem VP choice probably won’t make the difference.

  9. Mike M Says:

    Kerry’s dreaming if he thinks Bayh gives him Ohio. I’ve never heard of the guy, and to my knowledge I’ve never seen him written about or discussed in Ohio policital debate or newspapers. A former governor from a neighboring state won’t even register on most Ohioan’s radar screens.

    Ohio’s vote will come down to the economy and taxes, as well as the job approval ratings of the Republican governor and legislature.

  10. AWW Says:

    I’m no expert but here’s my take:
    Edwards – more likeable than Kerry but inexperienced and may not bring any southern states with him
    Bayh – see above
    Gephardt – may help in the Midwest but longtime liberal DC wouldn’t add to much to the ticket
    Richardson – may help with Hispanic vote but has some baggage from serving in Clinton administration
    Hillary – may energize Dems but may energize GOP even more, would overshadow Kerry
    Rubin – may help with business groups but wouldn’t bring any states, has Clinton issues, and no foreign policy experience.
    All others would be long-shots/desperation moves (i.e. Feinstein)

  11. Sam Barnes Says:

    I think it’s fairly unlikely that a sitting Senator in a state with a Republican Governor will be chosen, unless that Senator was planning to retire at the end of this year anyway.

  12. michele Says:

    I’ve been touting Bayh as the VP choice even before we knew who the nominee was.

    My only familiarity with Bayh is that he and my boss often correspond through mail (snail mail!) and my boss – a very conservative Dem, believe it or not – thinks Bayh is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Ok, so my boss has been touting Bayh all along. I’m just tagging along.

  13. jtj Says:


    Man, I’d love to see the closed-door, internal bloodletting that would result if Kerry even were CLOSE to tabbing Mr. Plaintiff’s Lawyer for his ticket.

    Let’s see . . .

    Washington insiders/donors would be for it.

    Bill/Hillary/DLC/slush fund operators would be against it.

    The DNC would simultaneously be both for and against it (kind of like their presumptive nominee on, er, well, every major issue!).

    The electorate won’t care.

    The national liberal media will be for . . . well, they don’t care. Anything that would help beat Bush. What that is? Hell, they don’t know.

    A live action train wreck in slow motion!!!

    P.S. – Also, let’s not get too carried away with how “important” the veep slot might be. Dan Quayle, anyone?

    P.P.S. – The last time the Democrats nominated a Northeasterner he lost 40 out of 50 states; and that was against a weak campaigner who was derided by almost a third of his own party. This “razor thin” election the media is touting will turn out to be the most nail biting “razor thin” election since the California Recall. The likely headlines the day before: “Kerry closes Gap. Election Seen as a Toss Up.”

    The day after: “Bush Sails to Re-Election. Democrats in Disarray.”

  14. Christopher Johnson Says:

    Won’t be Gephardt. He could probably have guaranteed Missouri 8 or 10 years ago but he can’t now. He can win his district(sometimes a whole lot closer than he’s comfortable with) but I think he knows that’s about all he’s ever going to win here. Why do you think he never made a Senate run?

  15. mark Says:

    The problem with Bayh is as Jim said. The conventional wisdom is party activists will not accept him because of his more conservative views – especially on abortion (he supported the ban on partial-birth abortion).

    But, that said, dems want to win more than anything else, so I can totally see activists relenting and accepting Bayh – as long as it gets them closer to a winning ticket.

  16. old maltese Says:

    Read the bumper sticker out loud:


  17. ic Says:

    Not Bayh. He is too good looking, and will overshadow ‘do you know who I’m’ Kerry. Kerry can’t stand that, he believes he can win by himself. He needs somebody worse looking than he is. He doesn’t have much choice, does he?

  18. ben Says:

    Bill Nelson. It’s all about Florida, folks. I’d say Bob Graham, but he’s got a weak ticker and is too anti-war.

  19. Cybrludite Says:

    ic, yeah but Hillary would still overshadow him…

  20. AWW Says:

    Ben – brothersjudd notes a Miami Herald polls which shows Bush with a huge lead over Kerry with hispancs and Cubans in Florida which hints that Florida won’t be the battleground it was in 2000, especially after the GOP routed the Dems in Florida in 2002. I expect the Dems to look to the midwest states more than Florida.
    That said I agree with jtj – the race probably won’t be as close as the media thinks it will be.

  21. protein wisdom Says:

    Them Indiana boys on them Indiana nights

    Steve Green goes out on a limb, naming Evan Bayh the “slam-dunk” pick as Monsieur Kerry’s vice presidential running mate. I disagree. I think come convention time M. Kerry will surprise everyone and go with a wheel of brie. And…

  22. protein wisdom Says:

    Them Indiana boys on them Indiana nights

    Steve Green goes out on a limb, naming Evan Bayh the “slam-dunk” pick as Monsieur Kerry’s vice presidential running mate. I disagree. I think come convention time M. Kerry will surprise everyone and go with a wheel of brie. And…

  23. D. Woolwine Says:

    Look for something unusual like Sen. Feingold or the Iowa Governor.

  24. Macker Says:

    I hear rumors here about Janet Napolitano, the Governor of Arizona….

  25. AWW Says:

    Any woman other than Hillary would be put into the Geraldine Ferraro category.

  26. M. Scott Eiland Says:

    Bayh seems to be viewed with thinly veiled hostility by a substantial number of lefties I’ve seen in blog comments. I’m assuming it’s because he can utter the name “Bush” without foaming at the mouth, and talk about Democratic policies without sounding like a mediocre student in Marxist Studies. Poor guy doesn’t have a chance.

  27. Crank Says:

    Apropos of Scott Eiland’s comment, Bayh ripped Dean when he was the frontrunner, so the denizens of Kosville view him as a DINO.

  28. Lionel Levine Says:

    I posted Friday about Bayh’s vote for the second Bush tax cut, which may disqualify him for VP in Kerry’s eyes since Kerry has made repealing (most of) the Bush tax cuts a central theme of his campaign.

  29. Spencer Says:

    I have Kerry/Bayh ’04 campaign buttons for sale at $5 a piece or 3 for $12. E-mail kerrybayh2004@yahoo.com for more information.

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