Will Obama be texting Evan Bayh soon?
If it feels a little late in the game without any picks for vice president, that's because compared to recent history it is.
Four years ago, John Kerry selected John Edwards to be his wingman on July 6. Eight years ago, Vice President Cheney selected himself to be President Bush's number two on July 25. While on August 7 of the same year, Al Gore asked the now-Independent Joe Lieberman to serve as his vice presidential candidate.
Twelve years ago yesterday, Bob Dole selected Jack Kemp. It was on July 9, 1992 when Bill Clinton picked Al Gore. Some 20 years ago, George H.W. Bush announced that Dan Quayle would serve as his running mate on the second day of the convention - on August 16, 1988. More than a month earlier, Michael Dukakis - on July 13 - added Lloyd Bentsen to the ticket.
So, it is a little late. But the conventions are a bit late too. Although the Republican convention did overlap into early September in 2004.
Candidates are still being vetted. Strategies are still being set. Worriers are losing sleep that a John Edwards/Dan Quayle underneath-the-radar candidate could emerge as the selection. Die-hards are still demanding their ideological purist be selected. And of course, pundits are still punditing.
And it gives bloggers the great opportunity to blab mindlessly about the prospects.
On the Obama side we're hearing a lot about Indiana Senator Evan Bayh. But those further to the left than the center-left aren't happy about that selection. "Too moderate," they say.
The anti-Bayh rumbling is getting pretty hard to ignore.
Enter a late-in-the-day New York Times article entitled, "Liberal Bloggers Want to Say Bye, Bye, Bayh." Great headline. Catchy, not to mention accurate.
The group "100,000 Strong Against Evan Bayh for VP" has been launched on Facebook. While not a mathematician it does appear that the group has only about 1,300 members. Maybe we should call in the National Park Service to help us out here.
Regardless of the alleged 98,700 person discrepancy, we get the point. They don't like Evan Bayh. Why? According to the site:
Bayh is "...a career legacy politician who fell hook, line, and sinker for the administration's case for a disastrous war and dragged much of our party with him, would undermine both."
OpenLeft, a blog site which is open about, well, being on the left, is not open to a Obama-Bayh ticket:
And as VP, if Bayh's going to help Obama govern, that's discouraging. And if Bayh ever has to step in as President, God help us.
Regardless of Bayh's merits as a running mate and potential vice-president, his selection would carry with it one immutable and giant negative: the inauguration of Vice-President Bayh would very likely create a new Republican senator. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is a Bush loyalist who has a substantial, 10-15 point lead over Democrat Jill Long Thompson in his bid for reelection. As much as we'd like to hope for the best, it's improbable that Long Thompson is going to defeat Daniels.
Who doesn't have a problem with him? A guest columnist in a newspaper that is probably not read by any of the above. Craig Shirley over at The Washington Times thinks Bayh is a pretty good choice for Obama:
Regardless, make sure to have your blackberry, iPhone or whatever you talk into ready. According to a second email from the Obama campaign, that text is coming soon.