Is It Bayh?

As many have noted, Barack Obama is set to make a campaign stop in Indiana on Tuesday, which is causing tongues to wag that Obama intends to announce Indiana Senator Evan Bayh as his VP pick on Wednesday. Bil Browning makes a compelling case that this is in fact Obama's plan. The most intriguing argument: check out where ObamaBayh08.com redirects you to.

Before I saw this post I was preparing to write one of my own that stepped back a bit from my pro-Biden prediction from the other day but it wasn't to argue in favor of Bayh. Rather, my thought was that there was one aspect of the "reinforcement" theory of Obama's VP pick that I felt Obama could not stray from; my thought was that there was no way Obama could choose someone who'd voted for the Iraq war, hence disqualifying Biden, and Bayh for that matter. I mean, if Obama's running on judgment, notably his opposition to invading Iraq, then how could he put someone on the ticket who didn't share that judgment? This epiphany led me to consider a new top pick: Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island. He's been somewhat on the radar -- having made Chris Cilizza's top 5 VP pick choices -- especially considering he was among those that joined Senator Obama on his trip abroad. Also, Obama and Reed are reported to have a great rapport, Reed is an Army veteran and has the sort of national security experience Obama might want in a VP and, perhaps most important, he opposed the initial invasion of Iraq. Not only that but a quick glance at his voting record shows someone who has not been cowed by the Bush administration. He voted against the Dick Cheney energy bill, against the bankruptcy bill, against Roberts and Alito, against extending the Bush tax cuts and most recently against the FISA "compromise." I'm sure a deeper look would show that the list of solid big D Democratic positions goes on and on. Now, this is the sort of senator we should be pushing as VP. Reed's not flashy and lacks two things that Bayh has: the potential to swing a red state to blue and the psychological benefit of having been a Clinton supporter. But Reed has that judgment Barack talks so much about.

And by the way, one more clue that Obama is likely to announce this week, both The Politico and William Kristol are reporting essentially the same thing: that the McCain VP pick is most likely going to come not only after Obama announces his pick is but actually after Obama accepts the nomination on Thursday, August 28, all the better to blunt the impact of the Democratic convention. That doesn't give him much of a window though since the Republican convention starts that following Monday. Seems to me the only reason for Obama to wait past this week (and announce during the Olympics) is to gain some advantage by letting McCain go first. Doesn't look like that's going to happen.

Update [2008-8-4 17:3:54 by Todd Beeton]:Whoops, should have done more due diligence on the ObamaBayh08.com thing. Apparently it's just some dude who owns the domain and redirects it to the DNC. Good one.

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Reed: congressional delegation visited troops, Iraq hospital

On Face the Nation, Jack Reed tells the world that Obama and the other Senators did visit troops - while they were traveling as a congressional delegation.

Reed: Senator Hagel, Senator Obama and I visited the combat support hospital at Baghdad to thank those nurses, those doctors, to see patients that were there, to bring a bit of greetings from home and profound thanks. That should be in the ad that Senator McCain is running. I think Senator Obama made a very wise choice. Any suggestion that a visit to a military hospital would be political, he made the wise choice not to go. But when you were in Baghdad we made a point at the end of a very exhausting day to go in and see these magnificent young Americans and those doctors and nurses that give such tremendous care without a lot of fanfare, just to say thanks. He did it-the same thing. We went-we didn't stay in Kabul. We went to Jalalabad to see the soldiers of the 173rd. We stopped in Basra to see our soldiers down there. We went into Anbar province to see soldiers there. That is a completely distorted, and, I think, inappropriate advertisement.

And Hagel agrees that the ad was flat out wrong.

CHUCK HAGEL: Let me add to that. As you know, Bob, the congressional delegation that you referred to ended when we parted in Jordan. At that point, it was a political trip for Senator Obama. I think it would have been inappropriate for him and certainly he would have been criticized by the McCain people and the press and probably should have been if on a political trip in Europe paid for by political funds-not the taxpayers-to go, essentially, then and be accused of using our wounded men and women as props for his campaign. I think the judgment there-and I don't know the facts by the way. I know what you've just read. No one has asked me about it other than what you've just asked about. But I think it would be totally inappropriate for him on a campaign trip to go to a military hospital and use those soldiers as props. So I think he probably, based on what I know, he did the right thing. We saw troops everywhere we went on the congressional delegation. We went out of our way to see those troops. We wanted to see those troops. And that's part of our job to see those troops, by the way, and listen to those troops, Bob. And we did.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you think that ad was appropriate?

CHUCK HAGEL: I do not think it was appropriate.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You do not.

CHUCK HAGEL: I do not.
http://thepage.time.com/transcript-excer pt-from-face-the-nation/

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Jack Reed? Not so much.

Evidently, this morning it was Sen. Reed's turn to audition on Sunday Talk (opposite Holy Joe with Boy George on ABC).

http://youtube.com/watch?v=TF-Fv_1uq-w

IMHO:

Dull as dishwater.

Not physically attractive.

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Filibusters and polar bears: the little hypocrisies of Congressional life

A couple of Kossacks point up (though not intentionally) the advantages to politicians (and their supporters) of a short memory.

One guy rails against GOP obstructionism - balking EFCA (HR 800) by denying cloture and the ethics and 9/11 Commission bills by preventing a UCA on the appointment of conferees.

[The 9/11 Commission, I see - that was HR 1 and S 4; ethics, I don't: S 1 passed the Senate, but (so far as I'm aware) there was never a companion bill in the House (in the 100 Hours, what the House passed was a resolution (H Res 6) making changes to the House Rules). So - how can we be ready for a conference if the House hasn't passed a companion bill to S 1?]

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