Confessions of a Hoosier Democrat

Blogging Indiana Politics and the 2008 Presidential Race.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Noticing a trend...

I've been noticing a trend with people writing about their experiences at a Bayh event. More often than not the writer tells how it was his first experience seeing Senator Bayh in person and how he was pleasantly surprised with the Senator. Most recently it was The Jackal of The Woodbury Democrat:
I wasn’t prepared to be so impressed.

I figured Evan Bayh had something going for him. He had served two terms as governor of Indiana and was easily re-elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004 even though President Bush clobbered Kerry in the state. But I thought a large part of his career might stem solely from being the son of a political icon, Birch Bayh, who served in the U.S. Senate and ran for president in 1976.

But Evan Bayh made the most of his first impression in Sioux City Saturday night, speaking as part of the Woodbury County Democratic Party’s Truman Club.

He played to the crowd, pointing out that he knows things have reached bottom because the other day he saw a “Never Thought I'd Miss Nixon” bumper sticker. He came across as more of a political heavyweight than namesake lightweight as he explained his stance on issues from Medicare to national security to Iraq. And there was no question that he has the charisma for the national stage.
And the best news for Bayh is that he accomplished his mission Saturday. Most people left the gathering impressed. It would not be hard to imagine Bayh on the national ticket.

He's not the first one to say similiar things... Brad Levinson at the AIPAC Dinner:
But I was truly, pleasantly surprised by Evan Bayh. Before I saw him speak, I've gotta say that I thought he wouldn't get anywhere in the primaries. After this, i feel like I've truly got to re-evaluate.
What struck me the most was his polished presence. Eye contact, correct hand gestures, and a really natural feel to his delivery. Even when the stage lights went out and the lighting staff had to put up intense exit lights directly onto him, he didn't flinch. Elizabeth, my girlfriend didn't even notice that technical difficulties had occurred because Bayh didn't hesitate for a second on continuing his speech. He remained completely uninterrupted.
Most importantly -- he stayed. Greeted people as we were all walking out, took pictures, everything. He shook my hand, and I told him that I could very well wear my "Bayh! 2008" after that speech. "Bless your heart," he replied.

CH Truth at Coldheartedtruth:
Yesterday I watched Indiana Senator Evan Bayh on Fox News Sunday. Bayh (who is running for the Democratic nomination) was a breath of fresh air in a party that usually has me choking on their collective fumes. He was just so refreshingly un-shrill about pretty much every subject that Chris Wallace brought up that it made me wonder if he is really a Democrat?

Chris Woods at Polical Forecast:
Oh, and let me pass along this little bit of gossip and say that the House Democrats were very impressed with Sen. Bayh. Though I’m sure they were before his arrival because of his 21st Century Scholars program which they want to emulate in Iowa.

Andre at Georgia Politics Unfiltered:
Finally came the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, where Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) was the keynote speaker. There are several articles in the papers about his speech, last night, and I can honestly say that Sen. Bayh sounded like a man running for President and he impressed me. He gave about a 30 to 45-minute speech without using any notes or a teleprompter. Now I know when we're talking about being President, the ability to give a speech "off the cuff" is meaningless, but I'm going to keep an eye on Sen. Bayh because I could see him with a spot on the national Democratic ticket.

GTTIM at Better Inhale Deeply:
Evan Bayh gave the Keynote Address. Wow! Very impressive. First he spoke highly of Max Cleland, telling how days after "that disgusting and horrible" election battle with Saxby Chamblis, Max asked for permission to come speak with Bayh. Bayh wanted to tell him how sorry he felt for him. Cleland wanted to talk about how Bayh could prevent that from happening to him and any other Democrat in the future.

Bayh discussed running against the GOP by confronting them on national security, the budget and values. He feels we can win by attacking them on these. He sold me, and is my top primary contender right now. He spoke about how Georgia and Indiana are very similar and how he won by a higher percentage in 2004 than Bush did. I think he is nailing it.


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