Guest / Limited Access /

If Barack Obama announces Evan Bayh as his running mate this week, it may be because the two are opposites in several respects.

Obama is short on experience in the U.S. Senate and in politics in general.

Bayh is long on political experience, having been in the Senate since 1999. He was a two-term governor of Indiana before that, and was elected secretary of state of Indiana at the age of 30.

Obama delivers speeches with soaring oratory and thrills his listeners, even some of those who disagree with him when they read the speeches later. As a public speaker, Bayh is pretty boring in comparison.

As part of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, with its tendency to see the evil in America instead of in her enemies, Obama is perceived as soft on national defense. Bayh is part of the moderate wing of the party, which desires to restore its strong national defense consensus that dominated the party from World War II until the Vietnam War.

Bayh could also be selected for how he conducts himself publicly, with no scandals attached to his 22 years in public life. He is polite and well-mannered. By church affiliation he is Episcopalian. At another time in history he would have been called a gentleman.

Of the leading contenders for the vice presidency, Bayh might give the Democrats credibility with some evangelical voters.

For a Democrat, he has made some unusual gestures in the direction of being a cultural conservative. He's been an articulate spokesman for fatherhood, even writing a book on the subject. As Indiana's governor from 1989 to 1997, he promoted the fatherhood movement and organized a major conference on the issue at a time when it was gaining steam around the country.

He also didn't serve liquor at the governor's mansion, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedWhy Torture Is a Complete Failure
Why Torture Is a Complete Failure
Former war crimes prosecutor: Legally, morally, and practically, ‘enhanced interrogation’ does not work.
TrendingChristianity Today's 2015 Book Awards
Christianity Today's 2015 Book Awards
Our picks for the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.
Editor's PickJesus and 'Jingle Bell Rock'
Jesus and 'Jingle Bell Rock'
I’ve learned that there’s no dividing line between ‘American Christmas’ and ‘Christian Christmas.’
Comments
Christianity Today
Will It Be Bayh?
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

August 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.