Bil Browning

Obama will name Bayh his VP choice on Wednesday

Filed By Bil Browning | August 04, 2008 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Campaign for Change, election 2008, Evan Bayh, Indiana, vice president, vice presidential pick, White House

Updated at the end of the post.

I'm going to put my neck out on theObamaBayh08.jpg line by making a prediction. Barack Obama will announce his vice-presidential choice Wednesday morning. It will be Indiana Senator Evan Bayh.

While Washington Post columnist Chris Cillizza has positioned Bayh at the top of the heap for a few weeks now, after getting tips to Bilerico-Indiana and making some logical conclusions the choice is obvious. Why?

Multiple reasons after the jump - including an inside scoop from an Obama staffer on an upcoming event.

Here's my reasoning:

  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. (screencap from WHOIS below)

  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."

iPhone users: Click to watch

So what do you think? Is my thinking flawed or have I reached the logical conclusion? By the time you add in the case for Evan Bayh - foreign policy experience, former Clinton supporter, popularity in the Midwest, not a media whore, experience as a popular former Governor and his youth and good looks - it seems like a slam dunk to me.

12:20pm Update: While a highly placed Indiana Democrat who requested anonymity has confirmed that my theory is correct, numerous Democrats I've spoken to coming out of this weekend's IDEA convention stated that they were given the indication that no decision would be made this week.

1:40pm Update: Brian Howey has a solid commentary on the Howey Political Report that I wanted to point out. Brian waffles between an announcement this week or the week leading up to the convention. Two other journalists have chimed in to say they've been told to expect the announcement in that last week as well. Am I off on my timing and this is just another test balloon?

From Howey's story:

Bayh will be there to introduce Obama, his spokesman Eric Kleiman confirmed for Howey Politics Indiana this morning. What we don't know is the time. The Obama campaign said doors will open at 7:15 a.m., but there is no starting time established. If it's before 10 a.m,, it's highly unlikely this would be a veep rollout. Anything after 10 a.m. would allow West Coast viewers to watch on the Today Show, Good Morning America or Morning Joe. Most vice presidential rollouts tend to come in the afternoon (i.e. George H.W. Bush announced Dan Quayle's selection at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday during the Republican National Convention in 1988).

We know there is a long press flight layover in South Bend, with the Obama media arriving at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and not leaving until 3:25 p.m. Wednesday. It seems like a long layover, but an explanation could be that Obama will be at his Chicago home for the night. Democratic media consultant Chris Sautter was at Obama's Chicago headquarters and spent time with David Axelrod last weekend. " He seemed to me more a like a guy who was going to finally get some rest over the weekend rather than someone gearing up for a major rollout the next week," said Sautter. "I could be completely wrong, but everyone seemed a little loose for a VP announcement. Larry Grisolano told me he was going away for the weekend. On the other hand, David perked up when I told him that Indiana had the highest jump in unemployment in the month of June. So anything is possible, I guess."
Finally, the event will be held in the Concord HS basketball gym. Veepstakes usually aren't rolled out in a basketball gym. To which we respond: yes, but this is Indiana.

Aug 6 Update: Well, so much for predictions. It's time for me to eat a healthy serving of crow.

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Wilson46201 | August 4, 2008 11:40 AM

OK: when and where is this mysterious leaked unscheduled Obama event at? Indianapolis or up north? is parked by Joe Chan.

OBAMABAYH-2008.COM is privately registered through GoDaddy. So are and is registered to Obama for America - also through GoDaddy.

Domain squatters should be shot. Not killed, mind you, just wounded.

I don't like this at all. I hope he doesn't think picking Bayh will guarantee him Indiana OR Hillary backers.

Squatting Dragon | August 4, 2008 2:40 PM

What businesses or trademark owners owned the rights to any of those name combinations?

>>Domain squatters should be shot. Not killed, mind you, just wounded.

Been there (shot that is). Don't even JOKE about shooting someone.

Your reasoning is good, Mr Browning, but I disagree with your initial premise: While I agree he won't try to compete with the Olympics, i also don't believe he'll feel constrained to announce *before*. If he did, then his announcement is immediately lost in the Olympics attention.

Far better to wait and announce *after* the Olympics.

Don't you think it would be best for him to ride the tide of goodwill the Olympics will inspire, Cathexis? I think I'd rather announce on Wed and ride the wave until Friday when it'll be the top story. If there's anything I'd rather be the #2 story behind, it'd be the Olympics opening ceremonies...

If he waits until closer to the closing ceremonies, he'll be competing with media coverage of "How many medals did the US get?", the back and forth over China's human rights/environmental record, and God knows what else. It'd be better to ride the wave of the Olympics to make the candidate seem even larger - as if they go together.

ABC: Anything is Better than Cheney.

Whoever Obama picks, some constituency will be disappointed. I still think that Ed Rendell would be the best choice. As a NYer, I think the world of Sen. Clinton but I think that Obama needs someone easier to work with.

Speaking of Cheney (and indulging in some OT) if anyone has not seen Front Line: Bush's War on PBS, it is being rebroadcast in several areas. It is an absolute must see.

Wolf Blitzer on CNN is presently discussing the likelihood of the veep being Hillary.

I agree with Bil that before makes more sense--then you have two candidates rather than one that can spend the Olympics news lull fundraising and making local stops.

As a feminist, former Hillary Clinton supporter, I think Bayh would be an excellent choice. He has executive experience as a popular two-term governor, a fiscal conservative who left the state with a budget surplus, and he also has legislative and foreign policy experience from his years in the Senate. He is young enough not to undercut Obama's generational message, and also experienced enough to reassure voters. The sooner he can join the ticket and undercut some of the racist issues the McCain camp is running, the better.

#10: "Been there (shot that is). Don't even JOKE about shooting someone."

How about if I amend and add, "with a BB gun or really cold paintballs"?

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | August 4, 2008 5:50 PM

I continue to have a problem with the distinct possibility, if not probability that should an Obama-Bayh ticket be successful, Indiana Republican governor Mitch Daniels will still be re-elected (despite the national Democratic ticket narrowly carrying Indiana, which I think a distinct possibility) and name a Republican to succeed Bayh. That would work against the desire for reaching 60 Democratic senators.

I guess I should have explained myself better instead of making quips. The issue about the domains should be divorced from this discussion. From all indications, this person owns a bunch of domains related to Obama and Bayh and has since May 07 in the case of It's a common practice among people who register domains in the hopes that a company or campaign will pay out big money for them instead of taking them to WIPO and taking the time to have it re-assigned to them.

Sorry Senator Bayh is like Whose that to the average person a no name Senator daa no offense to him but come on Gov.Richardson is more well known and brings way more to the campaign than somebody who I have to google every time his name is mentioned.

Mitch Roberson | August 4, 2008 6:59 PM

Bayh could very well be a headfake. Pay attention also to Lee Hamilton.

Bayh may be a headfake. Don't forget about Lee Hamilton.

Hmm... DOES get redirected to the DNC website....

I hope it's not true. White and boring can't complete with Hillary. And, for all the naysayers, remember she was within a hair of winning the nomination outright. And, as far as positions, they were identical on virtually every issue. Let's put egos aside, join hands and take back the White House!

What about this?

From the web site of the Virginia Democratic Party:

Michelle Obama in Norfolk
Posted XXXXXX on Wednesday, July 30

Please Join

Michelle Obama


Tim Kaine and Anne Holton

for an evening benefitting the Obama Victory Fund

with a performance by Bruce Hornsby.

Wednesday, August 6th at 6:00 PM

Harrison Opera House
160 East Virginia Beach Boulevard
Norfolk, Virginia 23510

I don't know who it's going to be, but I'm just going to register my distaste for a Bayh ticket right here. Those four words Jed Bartlet wrote his VP on The West Wing? Yeah. It's that.

Alex, you've made me *swoon* alluding to The West Wing! Especially when it is so apt. For the unenlightened, President Bartlett (ah, if only he weren't fictional) wrote that the reason he picked his vice president is, "because I might die".

I very nearly didn't vote for Michael Dukakis because of Bentsen, for all of the difference that made. If Obama did pick someone I couldn't abide, it would be tempting to revisit that position. But I really don't think he'll do that.

On the list of those I couldn't abide is Tim Kaine, who is anti-abortion. If he is picked, the announcement would be in Richmond, not Norfolk. So I don't think the Wednesday event is a hint.

Bil's inside info of an unscheduled Indiana event would seem to indicate that something's afoot. Without it, my sense was that he was going to wait until after the Olympics, which I think is smart.

I wouldn't hate it if it's Bayh, but it just seems like a conventional and uninspired pick. My first choice is Hillary, but apparently she's all but out of it. (Unless it's a massive fake-out. The campaign to get her named has closed down)

My second choice is Jim Webb, which I believe is *brilliant*, if I do say so myself. But he has issued the proverbial Shermanesque statement that he isn't going to do it. So I'm sort of out of inspired choices.

I didn't put the fundraiser info in as a "hint."

But I doubt Obama will announce his VP in Indiana on the night his wife is appearing at a fundraiser in Virginia with Tim Kaine and Kaine's wife.

So, IF Bayh is the VP choice -- it is unlikely to be announced on WED.

That's why I put the fundraiser info on the site.



I hope you're wrong.

#23 Jeffrey: " DOES get redirected to the DNC website...."

Yes, but I could register and then direct it to the DNC. Would that mean that Democrats eat babies for lunch?

PS, is free if anyone wants it.

Just an interesting observation - while does indeed link to the Democratic Party website, neither or do. For what it's worth...

Austin Jacobs | August 5, 2008 3:27 AM

Re: Comment #18
Governor Mitch Daniels is vulnerable in his re-election campaign. Bayh's replacement could be chosen by by a Democratic Governor Jill Long Thompson.

Fruit Rollup | August 5, 2008 7:38 AM

Quick question... why is there a McCain ad in the middle of the column? I know you need advertising to support the site, but really?

O would have liked Bill Richardson, but Obama was going to have to pick a white male just to balance the ticket out.

I didn't see Hillary getting the nod. The anger still hasn't subsided in the African-American community toward Hillary over the race baiting that was done over the last few months of the primary campaign. We also saw it as arrogance that some Hillary supporters were demanding that she be selected as his running mate or else they'd bolt to McCain. That made her unacceptable as a VP pick to many people in the Black community.

There are also still people who won't vote for Hillary Clinton period and that also factored into the debate on whether to put her on the ticket or not. Don't let the primaries fool you. Much of the vote she got was driven by GOP crossover voting and some people's fear of a Black president.

Obama is well awre of the fact he's going to need an energized Black community to help him make McCain's life miserable in the Deep South, Texas and the Midwest.

Or maybe they are just discussing Obama's energy plan and his idea for new vehicles which would be manufactured in Indiana.

Just a thought.

Jim Kersey | August 6, 2008 9:14 PM

I'm from Indiana and I certainly hope he doesn't choose Bayh - BORING!! MILKTOAST!!

Biden runs his mouth too much and all too frequently puts his foot in it

He has such better possibilities. I would suggest:
1. Dodd 2. Richardson 3. Sebelius

I guess sticking your neck out wasn't such a good idea. Amature.

Ah, but I can spell amateur, Chicago. You can catch the link to my post eating crow. I'm not proud of being wrong, but I'm willing to admit it.

Jim Kersey | August 7, 2008 2:33 PM

What the hell is a McCain ad doing on this site?!!

Anybody notice that now sends you to the United Negro College Fund website rather than to the DNC's? That changed since yesterday. Looks like somebody got told to change it.