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Profile 08: Evan Bayh

There are a couple of front-runners for the 2008 Presidential Election on the Democrat side. This “series” is meant to show where these potential candidates stand on the issues. The first Democrat I will preview is Evan Bayh.

Evan Bayh, Senator Indiana, former Governor.
Brief Bio: Born December 26, 1955, Evan Bayh has been involved in politics since 1984 when he was part of the Wayne Townsend Gubanatorial Campaign. He was Indiana Secretary of State from 1986-1988, Indiana Governor from 1988-1996, and Indiana’s Junior Senator from 1998-present (he won reelection in 2004 by 25 percentage points). Bayh received degrees from the University of Indiana and the University of Virginia and is currently married with two children. He currently sits on six Senate committees and is an active participant in the Senate. Beloved by the people of Indiana, Bayh is viewed as a Moderate and won all but six counties in the 2004 Senate Election.

Votes in the Senate:
Continue affirmative action programs without quotas. (Jan 1998)
Rated 50% by NARAL, indicating a mixed voting record on abortion. (Dec 2003)
Expand embryonic stem cell research. (Jun 2004)
Balance debt reduction, tax relief, & policy investment. (Jan 2001)
Voted YES on restricting rules on personal bankruptcy. (Jul 2001)
Broaden use of death penalty. (Jan 1998)
More funding and stricter sentencing for hate crimes. (Apr 2001)
Voted NO on increasing penalties for drug offenses. (Nov 1999)
Undecided on School Prayer Amendment. (Jan 1998)
Voted YES on funding smaller classes instead of private tutors. (May 2001)
Firmly opposed to Bush’s voucher proposal. (Jan 2001)
(Not really a “vote” but Rated 91% by the NEA, indicating pro-public education votes. [Dec 2003])
Voted NO on drilling ANWR on national security grounds. (Apr 2002)
Voted YES on Bush Administration Energy Policy. (Jul 2003)
Voted YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe. (May 2002)
Progressive Internationalism: globalize with US pre-eminence. (Aug 2000)
Free & fair trade is key to economic growth . (Jan 2001)
Voted YES on banning “soft money” contributions and restricting issue ads. (Mar 2002)
Voted YES on $40 billion per year for limited Medicare prescription drug benefit. (Jun 2003)
Private self-managed accounts OK. (Jan 1998)
Voted NO on using the Social Security Surplus to fund tax reductions. (Jul 1999)
Voted YES on $86.5 billion for military operations in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Oct 2003)
Iraq was not reconstituting its nuclear program. (Jul 2004)
Iraq was not developing its biological weapons program. (Jul 2004)
Iraq was not developing its chemical weapons program. (Jul 2004)
Iraq was developing missiles, but not to reach the US. (Jul 2004)
Fully fund AmeriCorps. (Jun 2003)

Advantages and Disadvantages: Appeals to moderates, electable, “charming.” Bayh will definitely win Indiana and its 11 EVs, and will also give the Republicans a run for their money in Ohio, Iowa and Kentucky. If the Democrats run Bayh, a life-long Midwesterner, they will likely cement their base in the Upper Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan). Bayh is well spoken and has a tremendous TV prescence. But he is viewed by many Democrats as being “too Republican,” although the ACU rates him as a very liberal senator (only 30 out of 100 on the “Conservative Scale”). But many Democrats and Republicans are alike are impressed with his reign as Governor of Indiana, balancing the budget, leaving the state with a surplus and making it a great place to live.

My Verdict: Ehhh, I’m not sold on Bayh. Although he is very electable, that’s not what the Democrats need. Hey, John Kerry was the most electable and look at where that got us in 2004. What we need now is a person with a great, strong and unwavering message. I don’t know if Bayh can bring that to the table, but he has four years to prove to me and America that he is presidential.

January 16, 2005 Posted by | The Progressive Movement | 4 Comments