Officially, Barack Obama will deliver an energy-policy speech Wednesday to citizens in Elkhart, Ind. But the focus of the political chattering class will be on the man sitting shotgun at the event: Evan Bayh, the Indiana senator thought to be on the likely Democratic presidential nominee's short list of vice-presidential candidates.Evan Bayh is considered to be fiscally conservative (as governor of Indiana he went 8 years without raising taxes), is generally pro-choice, still supports the Iraq War (tho he's been fairly critical throughout), is strong on education, healthcare and race relations. Bayh supported Hillary Clinton in the Democrat primary campaign which could help Barack win over Billary loyalists. And he's popular in the midwest states, which of course, is a plus for any presidential candidate. All in all, this would be a good pick by Obama. Bayh's already said he'd accept the VP spot if asked.
The scion of a prominent Hoosier political family and a former two-term Democratic governor of a deep-red state, Sen. Bayh is viewed by many as an ideal complement to the Illinois senator, who has a charismatic stage presence but a short political résumé for a presidential candidate.
Understated in demeanor and rarely demonstrating a passion for showboat political issues, Sen. Bayh may lack flash. But he sits on the powerful Senate armed-services and intelligence committees, enjoys an easy rapport with Midwestern crossover conservatives and displays a fund-raising knack extending beyond his home constituency.