Texas Liberal

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I’m A Liberal Okay With Evan Bayh As Vice President

Some on the left object to the idea of Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana being chosen as running mate for Senator Barack Obama. The claim is that Mr. Bayh is a centrist, or within the context of the Democratic Party, on the right.

Here is an account of votes Evan Bayh has made in the Senate

Here is Senator Bayh’s Senate page.

Here is Mr. Bayh’s official Congressional profile.   

Here is a Chicago Tribune profile of Senator Bayh.

I don’t object to Senator Bayh’s possible selection. I want to win the election. If the Obama campaign makes the call for Mr. Bayh, that’s fine by me.  

Senator Bayh has shown the ability to win in Indiana. Indiana, bordering Mr. Obama’s Illinois, is seen as a swing state in 2008 despite a strong Republican history. If Mr. Bayh can help in Indiana, and maybe in next-door Ohio as well, then he is my man.

And I’m not so certain that Mr. Bayh is as to the right as is being suggested. The following is from his profile in the 2008 Almanac Of American Politics—

“… he joined filibusters to stop the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, the bill to limit medical malpractice lawsuits and several judicial nominees; he joined almost all other Democrats in rejecting individual retirement accounts in Social Security; he took a harder line stance on trade; he voted not just against Samuel Alito but also against John Roberts.

Mr. Bayh will adjust himself to the needs of the moment and the constituency. That’s what they all do within, much of the time at least, the confines of party ID.

One concern about Senator Bayh as VP is that the Republican Governor of Indiana is currently the favorite to win another term. Mr. Bayh as Vice President would cost Democrats a Senate seat. 

A black man named Barack Obama has a lot of work to do in this country to reassure voters that he is not a Black Panther. If Evan Bayh is the course to follow to accomplish this goal—then okay.  In contrast to a victory for John McCain, the difference between what Mr. Bayh would mean for the country rather than a more liberal Vice President is on the margins.

Here is the U.S. Senate’s Vice President web home. It describes the history of the office and has good profiles of each Vice President. It’s the best resource I have seen on the topic.

Below is Schuyler Colfax of Indiana. Mr. Colfax was Speaker of the U.S. House, and Vice President between 1869 and 1873 under U.S. Grant. Regretably, as the profile I link to details, Mr. Colfax had some ethical issues in his political career. 

August 17, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments