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Why Bayh?

Barack Obama may be poised to choose Evan Bayh of Indiana as his running mate. Bilerico has some reasons why:

1. The Olympics start on Friday and run until the Democratic convention starts. He won’t want to compete with the Olympics for press coverage. He’ll announce before the Olympics starts. If he announces on Wednesday morning, he’ll get coverage all day and be on the news cycle until the Opening Ceremonies knock him off the top spot.

2. Barack Obama is coming to the state on Tuesday afternoon for a campaign stop in Elkhart, Indiana. He’ll be attending with Evan Bayh. The press has been told to plan on staying until Wednesday afternoon/evening. Why would he spend so much time in Indiana with nothing on his public calendar?

3. Staying around Indiana allows Obama and Bayh to travel to Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio – all important states in this election. When you’ve just announced your VP, those are states you’ll want to visit – especially since Bayh’s reputation will help the most in those states.

4. The website is taken. For a tiny sliver of time late last week, you could type in the URL and you’d be forwarded to another site. Where do you think it took you? The Democratic Party website….

5. I just got an invite from the Obama campaign to attend an appearance on Wednesday that isn’t on Obama’s official calendar. Why not? The campaign said, "I can’t tell you what the event is about, but we want to make sure you have a ticket so you can cover it for the Bilerico Project. We want Bilerico Project to be there for this one."

Why shouldn’t Barack Obama pick Evan Bayh as his running mate? According to Dylan Matthews at Tapped, there are lots of reasons not to pick Evan Bayh. Here they are:

Bayh is well to the right of both Obama and the party at large. He not only voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq in 2002, he was an honorary co-chairman of the Committee to Liberate Iraq, along with Joe Lieberman and John McCain. If those associates weren’t bad enough, the group’s non-Senatorial members included Bill Kristol, James Woolsey, and McCain foreign policy guru Randy Scheunemann. Even in this Congress, Bayh voted for the relatively weak Levin amendment calling for redeployment but against the more hard-hitting Feingold amendment, which Obama and Clinton both supported.

Going through the rest of his voting record, it’s clear that Bayh sticks out like a sore thumb in the Democratic caucus. He has a 50% NARAL rating, he voted for a flag-burning amendment and bankruptcy reform, he’s "undecided" on a school prayer amendment, he supports John McCain’s proposal to boot Russia from the G8, and he supported the Kyl-Lieberman amendment that Obama made a key part of his critique of Clinton.

That’s not change America needs, that’s a legacy Senator going along with the Washington thinking and failed establishment policies. The Democratic party selected Barack Obama as our nominee for the express purpose of moving our party, and our country, away from these failed policies.

Don’t choose a fellow whose career is defined by these policies, Senator Obama. It’s the most important decision you will make before your Inauguration. And you can do better, sir. As you must.

 Update (h/t commenter TexBetsy): Per Jeralyn, Evan Bayh’s staff has cancelled a planned Tuesday night baseball game:

Bayh’s team was scheduled to play "the One-Hitters", which is the team of Students for a Sensible Drug Policy. Team captain and SSDP executive director Kris Krane and SSDP’s Government Relations Director Tom Angell think something is up and there could be a big announcement Wednesday by Obama and Bayh.

Note: WaterTiger’s travelling, so Teddy has stepped up to bat for tonight, but the tiger will be back. (Ian)

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