The Fix looks at possible '08 contender Evan Bayh.
Never a charismatic politician, Bayh is hoping that voters see that serious times call for serious politicians -- a philosophy of bridge-building over bomb-throwing. "Leading this country has to be about something other than ideological division," Bayh said. "It's got to be about how we move this country forward in practical terms, not looking at issues as left or right or even center but instead do they make sense, will they matter in peoples' lives?"
That's not to say, Bayh argues, that he is simply "Republican lite" as his critics on the party's ideological left have dubbed him. "I've got a long record of standing for progressive things that help to empower people to meet the challenges they confront," said Bayh -- rattling off a list of examples from improving schools to expanding health care to balancing the budget.
I just can't get excited about Bayh... nor can anyone else, I think. If there is a groundwell of support for a red-state governor turned presidential candidate, that position is already filled by Mark Warner. He's certainly got most of the blogosphere (and in turn, many Democratic activists) excited about his forthcoming run.
And Warner has something that Bayh doesn't have within the rank and file Democrats, he's got the perception of a fighter who stands for what he belives in, even if they don't comport with the liberal base. Bayh, to anyone that actually knows who he is, is something of an equivocator. He may have some of the same qualities of Warner, but he is damaged goods to the base.
If anyone is going to get liberals like me to abandon our hope of a Russ Feingold presidency, it is going to be the good governor of Virginia, not Evan Bayh.