Indiana Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) recently announced on This Week with George Stephanopoulos that he plans to form a presidential exploratory committee which enables him to raise money to run for president. Bayh is a moderate Democrat who has been elected five times in a red state. In his most recent election in 2004, Bayh picked up more votes than President George W. Bush did.
The reasons I am for Bayh as opposed to someone like former North Carolina Senator John Edwards or current Illinois Senator Barack Obama come down to a key factor: executive experience. Every president that has been elected since 1964 have been either a governor or vice president at one time or another. In 1960, Kennedy was one of the rare exceptions.
While Evan Bayh was was a successful governor and left office with an approval rating of at least 70% or higher.
When it comes to economic growth, while serving as Governor of Indiana, Bayh signed into law the largest single tax cut in state history, had the largest budget surplus in state history, and helped bring in 375,000 new jobs.
As to his education policy, as Governor, he insituted the 21st Century scholars program and Indiana went from 40th to 17th as a result of the initiative.
As a governor and senator, Senator Bayh has been a strong supporter of social security.
Bayh is pro-choice and is of the "safe, legal, and rare" ideology just like former President Bill Clinton.
If he gets through the primaries, Senator Bayh has the best chance to get the Democrats back to the White House. He's a strong centrist, which may be a hurdle when it comes to the nomination but voters who don't like Sen. Clinton will likely vote for him. The moderate vote is key to winning back the White House and until he pulled out, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner would have been his toughest competition.
Bayh recieves a lot of flack in the blogosphere for "not doing enough" for the party, but hrough his All America PAC, Sen. Bayh donated $25,000 to the Indiana Democratic House Caucus.
Of the potential Democratic candidates for president in 2008, Bayh is likely to be one of the most moderate and most viable candidates.