Slouching From Bayh – Result of the Anti-Draft
The nascent anti-draft to stop Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.), first reported here at TWI, has now swelled to include a Twitter outreach, an earned media radio campaign, coverage in leading newspapers and a growing Facebook group (which I joined). In a few days, the group upended the national discussion of Bayh as a leading VP option for Sen. Barack Obama.
It’s hard to measure such a shift, of course, but it is visible at the InTrade prediction markets, where Bayh’s VP chances dropped six points. (For comparison, Sen. Joe Biden (Del.) gained a point and former Gen. Wes Clark, who has not been widely mentioned on Obama’s short-list, bounced 9 points.) The Washington Post also reports that the Bayh’s buzz is fading, and the anti-draft “may” be the reason:
[T]he left’s Bayh fixation may be having an impact. The Bayh buzz has died down a bit. The new media darling appears to be Biden.
On Sunday, Steve Clemons struck a similar note:
[S]ources close to Obama report to me that after the “surge of concern” on the Net about Evan Bayh, he has not been selected as Obama’s VP running mate.
Clemons set off the Bayh debate with a report last week that Bayh’s chances had risen to 50 percent. Meanwhile, Max Bernstein, a 28-year-old musician who jumpstarted the effort, told TWI that he is “confident” that Obama’s aides are aware of the anti-draft. The lack of any coordinated pushback from the Obama camp further dampens Bayh’s buzz, since some read it as a sign he is not in serious consideration. The Democratic National Convention also announced Bayh as a speaker, which some interpret as an indication that he is not the running mate, since time is already set aside for a prime time VP speech. Times can change, however, so who knows.
Bernstein also says that, regardless of the given candidates, this VP debate is better conducted in public, since the campaigns are assessing potential voter reactions. “In private, you’ll get people making claims to having their finger on the pulse of the people,” he said, “why not just go straight to the people?” This time, (some of) the people went straight to the campaign, and they got their message out quickly.