On the roundtable part of ABC's "This Week" yesterday, three of the four panelists named Evan Bayh when asked to name a vice presidential cdandidate for Barack Obama. Not everyone is thrilled at such as prospect:
Anyone else. Being the governor of Indiana, a do-nothing senator from Indiana and the father of adorable twins does not qualify Bayh to be vice president.
What it does qualify him to be is the next Dan Quayle, which is to say, a vice presidential candidate who will become the laughingstock of the nation and provide material for Letterman, Leno and Conan for years.
Quayle was the wrong man for the wrong job at the wrong time, chosen by another wrong man, George H.W. Bush. Bayh risks becoming the reincarnation of Quayle.
And that would be disastrous for Indiana. It's taken the state 20 years to recover from the bruising that Quayle gave the state's image. By the time he was thrown out of office, Quayle had convinced most of America that Hoosiers were bumbling, semi-literate fools who can barely string a sentence together.
That's a little hard on Bayh. Then again, Quayle didn't quite deserve the reputation he got, either, so it evens out. I've talked with both of them more than once, and they've always seemed to me about the same in intelligence and political acumen. I've heard both of them talk about foreign-policy issues, for example, with a lot more subtlety and nuance than their party platforms would have dictated. But Quayle made a couple of the goofs of the type most politicians make, and got really pounced on by the press, and he never got away from that deer-in-the-headlights look.