August 5, 2008

I call Barack Obama to account for picking another bland, midwestern pretty boy.

(This is assuming the choice is Evan Bayh.)

65 comments:

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Oooh...your slip is showing....or is that your tank? Are you in the tank again??

UWS guy said...

Is it wrong for me to think that Althouse is doing the video blog in a white open shirt with a black bra?

Also, Washington not smiling in in his picture? If you were really hip you would would have said insteado of, "...He's not even smiling, what's he so cranky about."






You should have said, "WHY SO SERIOUS?"

ricpic said...

So old sobersides George is scary -- which is a no no; and young bland Evan is a pretty boy -- which is a no no: what do you want, lady?

Trooper York said...

George wasn't smiling because he was very conscious of his wooden teeth and often covered his mouth when speaking. Also he was in great pain when this portrait was painted as he was suffering from a carbuncle on his posterior. A literal pain in the ass. So it stands to reason that he did not smile.

But as an interesting note, if you look really closely, you can see that he is also wearing a lacy black bra under a white shirt.

George was also a tease.

Ann Althouse said...

UWS guy... you're right... I missed a great pop culture reference. Sorry!

And jeeze, I'm wearing a tank top. It's August. I put a shirt over my shoulders to show less flesh, not to make it look like underwear....

Now concentrate!

The problem is the alpha male politicians urge to couple with a bland midwestern (or North Carolinan) pretty boy!

Randy said...

If he picks Bayh, it will be because the man has an impressive resume not because he is a pretty boy like John Edwards. Edwards had won just one election.You may not have heard of him, but Bayh was an extremely successful two-term governor before becoming senator, cutting taxes while delivering the largest budget surplus in state history. Bayh is a proven vote-getter in a Republican state, having been re-elected governor by the largest margin ever for any candidate there, and garnering a highest percentage of votes any Democrat has ever received in his races for U.S. Senate.

Is he an exciting pick? No. Can he, unlike Joe Biden, keep his mouth shut and not step on the candidate's message? Yes. Will he make a huge difference? Probably not, vice presidential candidates usually don't. However, if Bayh's presence puts normally solid-GOP Indiana's 11 electoral votes into play, and the GOP has to spend significant resources to defend a state they normally take for granted, then it works well for Obama whether or not he wins the state.

Jonathan said...

Yes, Evan Bayh is just like John Edwards, except that Bayh has a respectable public record and Edwards does not. Dan Quayle had a respectable record too. And neither Bayh nor Quayle has yet been caught out in an act of profound dishonesty and hypocrisy as Edwards recently was. But since these guys are prettyboys let's judge them on their looks and ignore the unimportant differences between them.

Bayh would actually be a good choice, given that he is a moderate from a conservative, midwestern state. Hillary Clinton, whatever her appeal to many voters, is impossible as a VP candidate because she is untrustworthy and has strong incentives to undermine Obama's campaign or presidency or both. But she's a woman, so let's evaluate her based on stereotypes, as we did the prettyboys. (Are there any other female VP prospects?)

Maybe you were trying to be ironical, but it seems to me that your comparison of VP candidates fails.

Simon said...

Ann, you said in your post below that you had no opinion on Bayh, but that can't be right in September 2005, you wrote:

"[T]hose 22 Democrats who voted no [on confirming Chief Justice Roberts] ... have openly embraced an ideological view of the Court from which they can never credibly step back. For them, appointing Supreme Court Justices is a processes of trying to lock outcomes in place, and we shouldn't believe them if in the future they try to say otherwise.

. . . .

I hope no one on that list is running for President
."

Of course, Obama was on that list. But what was the name that headed that list? It was Evan Bayh. So if it's Bayh -- and of course it makes perfect sense that it would be, because Obama isn't going to pick Hillary, but he perhaps thinks that picking someone who supported her will placate her supporters -- don't we end up with a ticket with two names from the list of people you indicated would be in trouble with you should they run for President?

Simon said...

Erratum: strike "that can't be right" from my comment above.

Randy said...

Are there any other female VP prospects?

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius.

Simon said...

Jonathan said...
"[N]either Bayh nor Quayle has yet been caught out in an act of profound dishonesty and hypocrisy as Edwards recently was. "

Edwards has been accused by the National Inquirer - when did a hit by the gutter press, the supermarket tabloids, the Jar Jar Binks of media rise to the respectability of "cat[tching]" someone? Has the story been confirmed by a credible source (maybe it has, I don't follow such things), or is this just a case of seeing something unpleasant written on the toilet wall about someone we dislike?

Simon said...

Randy said (quoting Jonathan)...
"'Are there any other female VP prospects?' Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius."

But then you have to explain to the Hillary supporters why picking Sebelius isn't snubbing Clinton, and they aren't going to be bought off (one would hope) with observations about why Hillary is "impossible as a VP candidate" such as those that Jonathan - even if correctly, I think - raised.

Hoosier Daddy said...

However, if Bayh's presence puts normally solid-GOP Indiana's 11 electoral votes into play, and the GOP has to spend significant resources to defend a state they normally take for granted

Don't count on that. Bambi will take the Region and probably the Marion county vote and that's about the best he can hope for. If anything, Evan is a liability for him to pull the true liberal vote in Indiana as most liberals actually despise the man. Go figure.

Simon said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
"Evan is a liability for him to pull the true liberal vote in Indiana as most liberals actually despise the man."

Plus, isn't he kind of the old kind of politics? I thought Obama was supposed to represent a new kind of politics. How do you do that while towing along a career politician, a relic of the era you claim you're trying to relegate to the past?

Roger J. said...

Professor Althouse: we WERE concentrating thank you very much.
Just not at what you were saying.

Randy said...

Don't count on that. Bambi will take the Region and probably the Marion county vote and that's about the best he can hope for. If anything, Evan is a liability for him to pull the true liberal vote in Indiana as most liberals actually despise the man. Go figure.

At the same time, I wonder how often polls in previous elections showed Indiana as a toss-up state, as it is polling at the moment. I'm not predicting it will end up that way, mind you.

Randy said...

But then you have to explain to the Hillary supporters why picking Sebelius isn't snubbing Clinton

I don't have to, but Obama may have to, if he chooses Sebelius, which is looking unlikely, as the contest is shaping to be one centered on the Midwest

Hoosier Daddy said...

Plus, isn't he kind of the old kind of politics? I thought Obama was supposed to represent a new kind of politics. How do you do that while towing along a career politician, a relic of the era you claim you're trying to relegate to the past?

Of course but its all in the packaging Simon. Bayh is six years older than Obambi but looks 10 years younger and that's what counts. Youth equates progressivism which translates to change.

It's actually not so much that Bayh represents the old politics as much as he'll have to do quite a bit of equivocating how he governed Indiana as a fiscal conservative but is going to be the VP for a tax and spend liberal.

Randy said...

If anything, Evan is a liability for him to pull the true liberal vote in Indiana as most liberals actually despise the man.

You think so? Almost all of the partisan Republicans here were not McCain supporters until after it was apparent he would be the winner. Most of them have been exceedingly critical of him over the years. With one or two exceptions, they've gotten over their disappointment and give every indication of turning out to vote for him. I sincerely doubt that any liberal anywhere is going to stay home if Evan Bayh is the vice presidential nominee. The goal is to get Obama, their preferred candidate, elected President of the United States after all.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You think so? Almost all of the partisan Republicans here were not McCain supporters until after it was apparent he would be the winner.

I think its a safe assumption is that most of those partisan Republicans are not so much supporting McCain as voting against Obama.

I sincerely doubt that any liberal anywhere is going to stay home if Evan Bayh is the vice presidential nominee.

I didn't say anywhere, I said Indiana. But again, it certainly does add another chink to his holy armor in that he represents change. Simon is correct that Evan does represent the old school of DC politics although probably not to those outside Indiana.

Outis said...

Barack should indeed choose a Clinto to be his running mate - George Clinton, that is. Actually, forget Obama. GC should be the top of the ticket. Think of how THAT would change the perception of America in the world! (Perhaps we could make Ice Cube the Veep. Imagine him at state funerals!)

Outis said...

But since these guys are prettyboys let's judge them on their looks and ignore the unimportant differences between them.

I don't see why you're blaming Professor Althouse for this - Obama is the one who keeps bringing it up!

Outis said...

As for Washington's funny looks - he was considered kind of funny looking at the time, too. There has been speculation that Washington may have have been an XXY male.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Bayh has been an elected public official for over 30 years and accomplished far more than Quayle and Edwards had (and ever did). He knows how to win elections, too. It's pretty disingenuous that you didn't even acknowledge his long record...you went just with the "pretty boy" stuff to try and prove your point!

Ron said...

George Clinton on the ticket? For the "urban" vote? And Barack Obama too! Whew, that's to make sure it's not about race!

Palladian said...

Aristocrats almost never smile (especially in the broad, modern way) in portraiture before the 20th century. Smiling wasn't an appropriate way of conveying dignity and authority in a portrait. You'll almost never see more than a slight, disdainful smile, and certainly never a smile exposing teeth, in a pre-20th century portrait of an aristocrat. Smiling, toothy or otherwise, was reserved for obsequious or drunk peasants in genre pictures.

Palladian said...

I should amend my comment: the people in the last painting linked are middle class burghers, not peasants. Middle class people sometimes smile in Dutch genre paintings, as the Netherlands was one of the first places that had a middle class, though the smiling is almost always a moralistic inference about their drunkenness and folly.

rishigajria said...

Ms.Althouse, You have the skin tone of a baby :) You're all pink.

EnigmatiCore said...

Evan Bayh has no defining accomplishments and his experience, beyond being elected as a Democrat in a red state, seems light.

And he'd be the more accomplished of the ticket.

blake said...

Jonathan said

...ironical...

Heh.

I think Ann got some California sun.

Buford Gooch said...

Don't forget, Bayh is a legacy politician. His daddy was longtime Indiana politico Birch Bayh.

Robert said...

Can't we all just sing Kum-Bayh-Ya and get along?

dualdiagnosis said...

Hot. Yes.

Very.

NerdyBaldGuy said...

Dang... all I think about when I watch this is "black bra", "shoulder"........ errr... did she say something about George Washington there?

TitusBlueCoats said...

Evan Bayh is not pretty.

His hair is awful and he is totally boring.

Are you wearing a black bra?

What a nasty girl.

I think I saw a little nipple.

TitusBlueCoats said...

"I sincerely doubt that any liberal anywhere is going to stay home if Evan Bayh is the vice presidential nominee.

I didn't say anywhere, I said Indiana"

Indiana has liberals?

TitusBlueCoats said...

"Don't forget, Bayh is a legacy politician. His daddy was longtime Indiana politico Birch Bayh."

That certainly helped W-who we absolutely love.

jackson said...

Picking Bayh would be kind of ironical, seeing as it was Dan Quayle who jackhammered his dad's butt out of the Senate, sending him back to private life after spending some 30 years in Congress.

And if Obama were to pick George Clinton for VP, I'd vote for him. Twice. Wow, I can't believe I just said that. But it's true.

yours/
peter.

Randy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Randy said...

Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., told The Indianapolis Star today that Sen. Barack Obama has not asked him to be his running mate and that he's not expecting Obama to announce his vice presidential pick when Obama is in Indiana Wednesday.

Asked if he will be Obama's vice presidential choice, Bayh said; "I have no idea. You'd have to ask him."

Bayh will be introducing Obama at Wednesday's town hall meeting in Elkhart, but said he knows of no plans for a private meeting with Obama...

If someone posted this already I missed it.

Bayh said that while he has "no idea" what Obama's timeline is for announcing his running mate, "I'm absolutely confident there will be no announcement tomorrow. I guess the best way to put it is, if there's an announcement tomorrow, I'd be as surprised as anybody else."

Will said...

Very insightful vlog post, Ms. Althouse. I quite agree.

As usual, I was distracted by the Peta ad in the corner (is that really Pam Anderson's boob? or just a big, shiny beachball?) But - I know you have to pay for all that bandwidth somehow...

smitty1e said...

Ann:
I like the video blog, and I think you will grow even more formidable in this format.
But seriously. We Desperately Need To Emphasize Policy and De-emphasize Appearance In This Country.
Bald, heavy, coke-bottle-glasses-wearing, slightly un-telegenic people have ideas, too. This emphasis on the superficial represents a missed opportunity on your part, in my opinion.
As long as politicians maintain the Fernando "It is better to look good than to feel good, dahling" attitude, we can expect More Of Same Compost from them, and it would be to your credit not to play into that hand.
Cheers,
Chris

somefeller said...

Amusing vlog, but I think Randy's 10:16am comment gets it right. Bayh has a long history of success in public office, and the fact that he isn't the most exciting guy in the world is exactly what Obama needs. Obama is the show horse, and he needs a work horse on the ticket. Bayh will do that, and the fact that he exudes such bland midwestern normalcy helps Obama.

Awhile back, I was at an event where Bayh was speaking, and in conversation a friend of his asked about his kids, and he said his son's team just won the state hockey championship (or some big hockey tournament like that). At the time I thought, "good, the Democrats need leaders who have sons who play hockey and win the state championship, and who can talk about that". I would have felt even better if the sport in question was football instead of hockey, but that's probably just my Texas upbringing talking.

In any case, Althouse's aesthetic preferences notwithstanding, he's a good choice. And I'm very dubious of the arguments that he'd keep Indiana liberals at home. He's won big in that state for quite some time, and I don't think he did that without Indiana liberals voting for him. If he can deliver Indiana to the Democrats or at least make the GOP spend millions there they'd otherwise spend elsewhere, his spot on the ticket would be more than justified. Unless Indiana liberals are twelve kinds of self-destructive, it's hard to imagine them staying at home with Obama on the top of the ticket if Bayh is the VP candidate.

Laura said...

Put some vinegar on that sunburn, it's amazing how it helps, especially on fair skinned fair maidens discussing what is fair.

Ms. Favetta Taco said...

What is that status of the pantsuit?

Is it sitting on the runway, somewhere? Is it going around in circles on a conveyor ?

A place like that, you'd think they'd be able to do alterations on the spot.

You'd think they'd have a seamstress/wardrobe mistress on the premises.

Ms. Favetta Taco said...

A place like that....you'd think they'd know....

It's....Lurlene ! said...

I love how exhibitionists always use the season as an excuse to force their flesh on others.

Nothing we love better than being forced to confront some stranger's unmentionables, and all because ....it's August !

Theo Boehm said...

Maxine's back. Where's the Constable?

Sir Archy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sir Archy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sir Archy said...

To Professor Althouse.

Dear Madam,

As the Ghost of a Gentleman, dead these 250 Years and more, I have heard many a Publick Discourse; yet I may tell you, Madam, that you have become for me (tho' long dead) a favourite Rhetor.  Who else may please the Eye, as well as the Mind, with such short & perspicacious Performances as to which we may be witness here?

That your Deshabille drop't as your Ardour rose, was a Novelty of Rhetorick, which I confess I had not seen.  Your Garment, drap'd as 'twas about your Shoulders, would have answer'd for a Minute-Glass, nearly fall'n away ere you were done.  I must tell you I had wish't a few more Moments of Speach to have had the Action compleat; but, even as the best Gestures of of an able Advocate may miscarry in the Moment, so this Conceit advanc'd enough, at least, to charm the Eye, whilst your Wit nourish'd the Intellect.

That an able Orator should use a Bank-Note as a Figure of Speach is another Novelty, not altogether unexpect'd upon this Topick.  I should take Exception, however, to your Depiction of Gen. Washington as odd, or, perhaps frightening.  'Tis true, he would cut a strange enough Figure in this Modern Age; yet, to my Eye, he seems a Man, young enough to be the Son I ne'er had, grown old in another Age.  His Picture fills me with melancholy Regret, that I had not such an Heir.  To me, his Cloaths and Garniture shew him to have carry'd the rakish Dress of the young Dogs of my last Years into a kind of quicksilver'd Sobriety, all black Broadcloth and white Linen, eschewing the foppish & irrational Ornament of my Age.

In short, Madam, I see Gen. Washington as the young & handsome Man he once was, drest in a novel & striking Fashion that I envy and could have hardly known in Life; whilst you see him as an antient & ugly old Figure from a distant Century, whom you can scarce bear to look upon.  Such are the Differences of View, engender'd by Degrees, as one grows less entail'd with the MinutiƦ of Life upon entering the ghosty State.

I cannot but agree that Mrs. Clinton would have made a better Choice than Mr. Bayh; but, as the Living are entail'd with their Cares, so Mrs. Clinton is entail'd with her Husband.  Who else better to 'personate the Cares of Life for Mr. Obama than Mr. Clinton?  A very few Years of both Mr. & Mrs. Clinton, and Mr. Obama should be ready to enter either Bedlam or the Spirit World.   Should not Mr. Obama then have his Bore, and abjure the Bother?

Mr. Palladian is entirely correct in saying that a smiling Portrait would have been compleatly unknown & unthinkable to any but a Madman paint'd by a Lunatick, or, a drunk'n Dutchman.  With the Fashion for smiling Portraits in this Modern Age, you may make of that what you will.  There were, as Mr. Palladian points out, some slight Exceptions to indicate the Happiness, or, Satisfaction of the Portrait's Subject.  None may be more galling in its Air of smug Satisfaction than this well-known Picture of Sir Robert Walpole, the First to ascend to the Style of Prime Minister of Great Britain.  Sir Robert was as corrupt as he was corpulant, as Ev'ryone knew.  Look, then, upon this smiling Portrait of the one whose first & well-known Principle was, Ev'ry Man hath his Price, and say to us that the dignified & sober Countenance upon Gen. Washington were too grave.

Gen. Washington twice nam'd his Estate after the honest & popular Admiral Vernon, brought low in the end by Sir Robert; the Admiral being the one Man Sir Robert had known who did not, indeed, have a Price.

I fear I have stray'd again too far from the original Topick, and must beg your Pardon.  I do not make an hypocritickal Claim when I assure you that there is no Price to be paid that would cause me to forbear to say,

I am,

Madam,

Your most humble & obt. Servant,

Sir Archy

Miss Elmira Gulch said...

Maxine makes an otherwise tedious experience a little more interesting.

Without Maxine, the Althouse blog would be mired in bourgeois mediocrity, and pathological ordinariness.

If it takes Maxine's unique flavor of crude distortion, gratuitous exaggeration, and wreckless caricature....to liven things up around here......so be it !

Simon said...

It's....Lurlene ! said...
"I love how exhibitionists always use the season as an excuse to force their flesh on others."

In this case it's hard to see how the end result is objectionable regardless of the motive.

"Nothing we love better than being forced to confront some stranger's unmentionables...."

Gee, there must be more to this video than meets the eye if that's what you see!

john marzan said...

i think mccain would be wise to pick condi. but for barack, it should be bill richardson.

Sir Archy said...

N.B.—I should have said above, Mrs. Clinton would have been a better Choice....

Mrs. Clinton has not now the Chance to make such a Choice.

vbspurs said...

I'm sorry, but I couldn't get past 0:03 without screaming SUNBLOCK!

Holy geez, and I thought I looked like a tomato when I tanned.

Cheers,
Victoria

save_the_rustbelt said...

Bayh is a substantive guy (for a Democrat) but doesn't Obama need a bland white guy with foreign policy experience rather than a bland white guy with domestic experience?

Just wondering.

And guys, quit slobbering. Prof. Althouse is a woman of substance who just happens to be incredibly attractive. Get over it. (and thanks to her for getting rid of that horrid blue/green photo).

Zekarias said...

Why did some concerned about Althouse doing the video blog in a white open shirt with a black bra?

I thinkthey do like it. I admit I do.

Robert said...

There have been some comments here about Bayh's record. I have been an Indiana resident for all of Mr. Bayh's political career. Please tell me what he has done. I admit he is not a big spender, for a Democrat. From my point of view his real political strength is his ability to never, ever, make a public comment which might cost him a vote.

montana urban legend said...

Whatever. A single-precedent is one thing. A double-precedent is something else entirely.

To deny that would be to deny that there are voters who prefer not to vote for a black male and voters who prefer not to vote for a woman on the basis of those considerations alone.

Seems like there's no shortage of people willing to give Obama advice on why he should come that much closer to losing on their behalf.

Of course, if a female candidate, by virtue of her gender alone, adds more votes to the ticket than she loses, then the point is moot. But I really think that this idea that people would vote for Hillary just because of her gender or for Obama just because he's black is overstated. Those considerations will win some points with some voters but lose as many or more with others, especially if they are not a good candidate on top of that - which Hillary Clinton was not, all her Tracy Flick style of "hard work" notwithstanding.

VP nominations are about not much other than balancing out the ticket, i.e. balancing out the presidential nominee's negatives with attributes that offset that. And the choice of Quayle as VP obviously worked for GHWB in 1988. Your commenters' regular servings of boilerplate prove just how "different" and "scary" people either naturally find Obama to be or want to typecast him as. He needs someone who comes across as bland and not precedent-setting to accompany and complement his candidacy.

losergrrl said...

For the love of God, MUL, learn to write better English!

Shorter MUL: Should not Mr. Obama then have his Bore, and abjure the Bother?

Even Sir Archy's 18th century prose is infinitely more succinct and to the point than yours.

Sir Archy's off his form with this as well, so I'm not sparing him. He needs to steal more from Addison if he expects us to be amused.

But, please, MUL, your prose is so turgid as to be unreadable, aside from what you may have to say. I think others have assumed you were a troll, because you seem to be annoying on purpose.

I agree with Trooper York that you are not. But you really do need to write shorter sentences, AND to say things with them that are not obvious and ordinary.

montana urban legend said...

Shut up, losergrrrrrrrrl.

Take your whiny lit crit, style section bullshit to someone who cares. I have never seen you make a substantive criticism or comment whatsoever. Some here may share your love of purple prose. Others understand that good ideas may be worth expressing, despite being "obvious and ordinary" to people too snotty to fully grasp their meaning, let alone admit their relevance. Among those others would include Trooper York. Perhaps you could ask him for advice on interpreting still other things that you continue to dreadfully misread.

And what's your obsession with the word "turgid"? Someone really needs to get laid. Take off the handcuffs every now and then - (the knitting needles are another story) - and let nature take its course. Fully. Do that before you turn your extended adolescence into an eternity of mistaking your lowbrow opinions for something of actual value and your penchant for dressing things up in sophistication for substance.

"(W)rite shorter sentences"! Say more interesting things with them! What is this? The engineering portion of your brain going to war with the part that claims to love opera?

losergrrl said...

I suggest that YOU shut up, at least until you learn to write.

It's odd, but the writing on your blog is not as bad as the crap you inflict on Althouse readers.

No wonder some think you're a troll. Your intent may not be to troll, but does it matter if the effect is the same?

You know, Rossini famously said he could set a laundry list. It seems you have adopted the same policy in your comments, which are about as interesting.

"(W)rite shorter sentences"! Say more interesting things with them! What is this?

It's very good advice, actually.

montana urban legend said...

More assertions, more opinions, more demands, no substance.

That's a few syllables short of a haiku, if I count correctly.

Is that why you like handcuffs?

Screw off, get your own blog, and release your obvious tension elsewhere. And do find someone to help you address your frigid sense of discomfort with turgid things.

blake said...

"(W)rite shorter sentences"! Say more interesting things with them! What is this?

It's very good advice, actually.


For most of us, I dare say. %-)