Daschle out, Bayh in

Indiana Senator Evan Bayh said today on ABC’s This Week with George that he will be forming an "exploratory committee" this week and will likely formally enter the race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination this spring.  Bayh, by the way, will be in Des Moines on Monday to speak at a Des Moines Chamber of Commerce luncheon. 

Former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle, the former Leader of Demcorats in the U.S. Senate, told a pack of reporters in South Dakota on Saturday that he would not run.  (Story in Argus-Leader) The interesting quotes in the story come not from Daschle, but from Daschle aide Steve Hildebrand — the guy who handed me an "Obama in 08" pin in Iowa City on Sunday, November 5, 2006.  Hildebrand and a bunch of other Daschle-ites have signed on with Obama’s sort-of/kind-of/probably presidential campaign.  Daschle himself had given conflicting messages.  He told Iowa reproters in the summer of 2005 that he was not interested in running for president (it’s probably one of the reasons Governor Vilsack let Daschle be the keynote speaker at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson/Jackson Day dinner in 2005), then Daschle changed his mind later and said he was contemplating a run for the White House.  Now, he says he’s not going to run and all signals point to that being Daschle’s final answer.

On Saturday night, Senator Tom Harkin seemed to be giving a signal of sorts to all the senators who are thinking of running for president (Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, Evan Bayh, John Kerry, Joe Biden — and that’s just Harkin’s fellow Democrats, not including former Senator John Edwards).  During remarks at the Vilsack for president "gala" in Des Moines, Harkin appeared to discount the chance that the next president will come from the U.S. Senate. "You know, the people of this country elect governors to be president, not senators. When you think about it, it’s governors that become President of the United States," Harkin said. "Now, senators are o.k….as long as we remember our place."

Harkin ran for president in 1992 and won the Iowa Caucuses, but faltered in New Hampshire and soon dropped out of the race. He is now backing Vilsack’s bid for the White House. "There’s a lot of people out there who you may have read a lot about and they’re up in the polls and all that kind of stuff…In the end of 1991, not too many people had ever heard of Bill Clinton, but there were all these people running — you know Bob Kerrey and Jerry Brown and, oh gosh, Paul Tsongas and, oh, some guy from Iowa," Harkin said, as the crowd laughed. "But I used to sit there and listen. We’d be on the stage together. Finally, I said something to Bob Kerrey once, I said: ‘Bob, you know something? (Clinton) talks differently than we do’ and you know, over the years, I’ve seen that governors have a way of talking as a chief executive that we, as legislators, don’t."


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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Bayh is (was) a Governor