Thursday, May 04, 2006

Another busy week for Sen. Evan Bayh

Another busy week for Sen. Evan Bayh

For Howey Political Report May 4, 2006

It's been another busy week for Sen. Evan Bayh. The two-term senator has been in and out of the spotlight in both local and national venues ranging from the Linton Daily Citizen and the University of Virginia's Cavalier Daily to MSNBC and the Drudge Report.

A Drive Across The Street?

On April 28, the 7,500 subscribers to Linton's newspaper were treated to a short item about Bayh in a column by the assignments editor. Nick Schneider commented on a story reported by the Washington Post April 26 which poked fun at a bevy of the nation's Senators who have bemoaned rising oil prices yet were seen using gas-guzzling SUVs to "drive across the street."

"What the senators were driving showed a bit of insincerity and double-standardness that tells me that the problem [of high gas prices] won't be solved any time soon," wrote Schneider, who went on to note that Bayh was seen entering a 14-mpg Dodge Durango V8 presumably for the quick trip back to his office, which is located across the street in the Russell Building. On April 30, after dozens of news outlets across the country reported on the Post story, including the HPR Daily Wire and others in Indiana, the senator's office told the Indianapolis Star that "Sen. Evan Bayh does not get picked up at the Capitol for the drive across the street to his Senate office, as the Post reported...'so he must have been going to a meeting or other event.'"

Sen. Bayh's staff was undoubtedly more pleased with the content of an opinion article entitled "A winning duo for 2008" published in the April 28 issue of The Cavalier Daily. Josh Levy, an opinion columnist for the University of Virginia's student newspaper, looked into a crystal ball to learn who the Democrats will run for president in the 2008 election and saw a ticket headed by Evan Bayh with former Virginia Governor Mark Warner as veep. "Bayh will be able to appeal to many across party lines with his record of reining in government spending," Levy wrote.

'Call Me Cynical'

Yesterday, the MSNBC website ran an article written by Howard Fineman of Newsweek that recounted a recent lunch with political consultant and Democrat James Carville. The name of a certain former Indiana governor came up during the course of the meal.

"I don’t think Mark Warner is catching on out there, but Evan Bayh is raising a surprising amount of money," Carville said. Fineman commented:

"Call me cynical, but this would indicate to me that Carville is more worried about Warner - a former governor of Virginia, with $200 million of his own money - than he is about Sen. Bayh, the carefully decent but determinedly uncharismatic centrist from Indiana."

The Indiana senator's effort to garner name recognition was boosted considerably shortly after noon on Tuesday when the Drudge Report, which claims more than 11 million hits a day, posted a link that read "Dem '08 Hopeful Bayh: Electoral College Should Be Eliminated..." The link, which remained on Drudge for several hours, transported the reader to the pages of the Raleigh, N.C., News & Observer and the gist of an interview with Bayh dated May 1.

Electoral College 'Not Appropriate'

Staff Writer Rob Christensen was assigned to interview Bayh who was in Raleigh last weekend to speak at the state Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner. The interview included questions about Democratic prospects in 2008, the war in Iraq, and jogging with North Carolina favorite son John Edwards. Further into the interview the reporter asked "Why do you think we should abolish the Electoral College?" Bayh's reply:

"I think our president should be chosen by the majority of the American people. That is ordinarily the case. But in 2000, as we all recall, we elected this president with fewer votes than the other candidate got. I just don't think in the modern era that is appropriate."

Taking Care Of Business

Bayh's office distributed four press releases in the last week:

• Bayh Continues Fight to End Patriot Penalty: Senator introduces amendment to expand eligibility for Patriot Penalty relief (April 27)

• Bayh to Introduce Legislation to Fully Fund U.S. Special Operations Command Intelligence Collection Capabilities and Personnel Needs: As part of tough and smart national security plan, Senator says America must maintain intelligence edge (April 28)

• Bayh Offers Senate Resolution to Lower Foreign Trade Barriers on U.S. Goods: Senator says high tariffs create unfair playing field, hurting U.S. workers and manufacturers (May 2)

• Bayh Pushes to Close Tax Gap: Senator says closing tax gap is first step to reducing deficit (Bayh is urging an increase in funding for IRS tax enforcement activities) (May 2)

Just before noon today he was slated to join Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) at a press conference to outline legislation they are introducing, the Enhanced Energy Security Act of 2006, which "aims to reduce U.S. oil demand by increasing fuel efficiency, new technologies and related programs," according to a media advisory.

The senator will be in Indianapolis next weekend to appear at two events that are open to the press May 13.

Earlier in the day he will speak to participants at the first-ever "Camp Bayh," a three-day event at IUPUI to train future political professionals in "the nuts and bolts of organizing campaigns."

Later he will appear at the Indiana J-J dinner to hear Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN) deliver the keynote speech.

Bayh is slated to present the DePauw University commencement address May 21.


Blogger Rob said...

I was at both Camp Bayh and the JJ Dinner... you can see a blow-by-blow of the dinner at the All America PACs website,

1:55 PM  

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