Bayh Watch

Interesting story on MSN about Sen. Evan Bayh’s forays into Iowa as precursor to a potential run for president. Choice words on the senator’s biggest challenge:

At a living room event in Sioux City on Saturday night, former Woodbury County chairman Al Sturgeon told Bayh that rank-and-file Democrats still feel “outrage over this incredible debacle in Iraq.”

Calling it “the biggest political and military blunder of my lifetime,” Sturgeon said to Bayh, “I’d like you to explain your vote on the war and why you gave the president a blank check to get us into this disaster.”

Bayh calmly answered that “I wouldn’t cast the same vote today as I did then.” He noted that “the French believed that (there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq), the Germans believed that, the Russians believed that, everybody believed he [Saddam Hussein] had weapons of mass destruction.”

Bayh said if the Iraqi factions “get their political act together — and we will know this in the next six to eight weeks… if they can form a government… then there’s something to work with there.” If not, then “we’re out.”

Afterward Sturgeon said, “It was an honest answer and I did appreciate the candidness. It’s not a good answer, because there aren’t any good answers.”

No question, I like Bayh and would love to see him run and succeed. He was my Governor growing up, and his cross-over appeal cannot be overstated. In a very red state, he enjoys enormous respect and popularity. If Democratic primary voters hang him simply because he voted for the war, they’ll be missing the boat on a strong national candidate.

A first-hand account of one blogger’s encounter with the Senator can be found here.

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