Friday, January 05, 2007

Bayh For Governor?

As crazy of an idea it might seem to some, there seems to be growing speculation that Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) might consider a run for governor in 2008 against Gov. Mitch Daniels (R). The Indiana Legislative Insight's Ed Feigenbaum writes, "The big name floating about – just as it was some five years ago when then-Lt. Governor Joe Kernan (D) first decided against a gubernatorial run – is U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh (D) . . . and this time around it’s not necessarily because the Democrats lack bench strength." Feigenbaum cites a recent story by Human Events' John Gizzi suggesting Bayh enjoyed being Indiana governor more than he does being a Senator. "While Gizzi is not exactly part of the Bayh inner circle, his comments comport with what others have also been hearing and sensing," Feigenbaum writes.

The speculation, according to Feigenbaum, has Bayh running for one term in 2008 and then seeking the presidency in 2012 when he would only be 56 years old. If elected governor in 2008, Bayh would also be able to appoint his own replacement in the Senate to serve for 2 years until the 2010 election. The thought of running against Evan Bayh has always scared Indiana Republicans. Former Sen. Dan Coats (R) opted to give up his seat rather than take on Bayh after serving just one full term. Coats was appointed by Gov. Robert Orr to take the place of then-Vice President-elect Dan Quayle. Gov. Mitch Daniels cannot be happy about this latest news.

Feigenbaum sees a 2008 gubernatorial campaign by Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson as problemmatic, noting that Democrats have never elected a candidate from Indianapolis as governor. AI speculated last week that Peterson may reach an understanding with Gov. Daniels, with whom he's had a good working relationship, that he will not run for Governor in 2008 if Republicans go easy on him in this year's election. Of course, Bayh can come in as a knight in shining armor for Democrats in '08 and vanquish Daniels the same way he's done every political opponent he's ever faced off against. Then Bayh can appoint Peterson to his Senate seat, a job Peterson may be more well-suited for than being an executive.

Republicans may want to think twice about rolling over on Peterson's re-election this year. It is notable that with the slating process a little more than a month away, no Republican candidate has officially announced and commenced raising the large sum of money it will take to seriously challenge Peterson. Only City-County Councilor Isaac Randolph (R) has publicly talked about running for the office.


Anonymous said...

If I'm reading this correctly, Bayh would use the Governor's mansion in 2008 (if he would win) as a 4 year campaign HQ for 2012?

*reads state constitution* Oh he can run even after having served twice.

Anyway, he'd better serve himself by staying in the Senate. Modern political reality - a candidate should be from a big electoral vote state. New York, Illinois, Florida, Texas, California, etc. Yeah Clinton was from wee little Arkansas but Hillary was claiming to be from Illinois back then, before she became a resident of the Hamptons.

Unless a candidate is "all that" - which Bayh isn't - a "small state" candidate isn't going to cut it.

Anonymous said...

It would be a big mistake for Bayh, in my opinion, especially if Daniels decided to run for re-election. It would be the first time Bayh ran against a serious office holder since John Mutz. Consequently, Bayh has not had his record seriously challenged, and a serious challenge by someone who actually gets things done in my opinion would bloody him. Even given Bayh's high approval ratings today and Daniels' low approval ratings, my money would be on Daniels, if he chooses to run.

Anonymous said...

If Evan Bayh chooses to run, and I doubt it, it's his to lose. He'd not have ot give up his Senate seat to do so.

He's not been in the majority yet, except for that brief Jeffords fiasco. He might find it more enjoyable.

Fiegenbaum and Howey should get together, though. Their predictions lately have been suspect.

Anonymous said...

Bayh has a compelling personal story which motivates him to want to run for president. His father and namesake was planning to make a serious run for president, when his wife got cancer and died young. "Marvella" is a book she wrote, worth reading.
- robbin stewart.

Anonymous said...

If he wants to be pres, should he stay in the Senate which has historically shown to be a negative hit for anyone wanting to be pres? Nope, go back to Indiana and become governor, get out of Washington. And after the bullying around and lying that Daniels has done to Indiana, Gov. Bayh has better-than-should-be-expected chances.