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Sen. Evan Bayh Won't Seek Re-election

Indiana Senator Evan Bayh is announcing today he will not seek re-election.

The party faces several other retirements -- Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., both have said they will not seek reelection -- and challenges ahead in trying to hold on to those seats, among a range of others.

Republicans need 10 seats to re-take the Senate. Will they get them?

Republicans are favored to win in North Dakota. They may also be able to capture Vice President Joe Biden's old Senate seat in Delaware.

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Report: Obama Aides Heading to Indianapolis

Update: Via radio: The Obama campaign says no events are planned in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Adding another layer to the Veepstakes, the Nashville Post reports today that signs are pointing to Evan Bayh as Sen. Barack Obama's veep choice:

NashvillePost.com has learned that senior campaign officials from the Barack Obama Presidential campaign are being dispatched from various locations around the country and are converging in Indianapolis for a “major event” to take place on Saturday.

...Sources in Denver, the site of next week's Democratic National Convention, say that individuals responsible for Obama's major public appearances have been pulled out of the city and are heading east towards Indiana.

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The Pros and Cons of Sen. Evan Bayh

The New York Times examines the pros and cons of Indiana Senator Evan Bayh as Sen. Barack Obama's vice presidential candidate.

Shorter version: The cons are that his early pro-war position stands in stark contrast to Obama's repeated emphasis on his own early opposition to the war in Iraq and Bayh is bland and unlikely to excite voters.

The pros are he has economic experience and his youthful appearance bolsters Obama's message of "generational change."

If not Bayh, then who? Sebelius or Kaine or someone the media has overlooked or counted out?

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Another Sign Obama Will Choose Bayh?

It doesn't look like Sen. Barack Obama will name his running mate after all this week. It's hard to imagine him naming someone on Wednesday when he's leaving for vacation in Hawaii on Friday. But to add to the Evan Bayh speculation, there's this, from his birthday party-fundraiser in Boston Monday night:

Introducing Obama, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry said: "I asked Barack Obama what he wanted for his birthday. He said, 'Indiana, Colorado and Virginia,' " said Kerry, referring to three potential swing states Obama hopes to win in the Nov. 4 election.

Since both Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and Sen. Ken Salazar have said they haven't been asked for documentation, that says to me Obama will pick either Kaine or Bayh. It would be crazy to pick Kaine who is personally anti-choice and has backed abortion restrictions. Between the Hillary supporters he's alienated and others who won't vote for a wishy-washy on abortion candidate, Kaine's negative impact on the ticket is obvious. That leaves Evan Bayh.

I suspect he will drop hints at his joint appearance with Bayh today in Indiana. Then his campaign can do a final round of polling before he makes a final decision.

One question: What if his final polling results indicate it has to be Hillary? [More...]

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Evan Bayh 's Record on Crime

In an earlier post about the rumor that Sen. Barack Obama will pick Evan Bayh as his running mate, I said I didn't have a problem with it. I may or may not be rethinking this. Bayh is not entirely consistent on crime issues, although he seems to have improved a bit in recent years (except for FISA and since I opposed any remake of FISA, even one without telecom immunity, I'm leaving that alone for the moment):

In 1996, Sen. Bayh spoke at the Democratic National Convention when Bill Clinton was nominated for a second term. We all know how bad Clinton was for Defendants' rights. (To his credit, he's come around quite a bit since being President -- maybe Bayh has too.) Anyway, Here's what Bayh said at the convention in 1996:

But a shadow threatens to spread over this new opportunity: Crime and violence. They prey upon our children and on our parents. Violence must be stopped. Violent criminals must be severely punished. And under President Clinton, they are.

Thanks to him, dangerous repeat offenders are going to jail for life - with no chance for parole. He is putting 100,000 more police on our streets. And that adds up. For each crime that's prevented - a victim is spared.

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