Indiana Senator Evan Bayh says he can win the 2008 Iowa caucuses, even with Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack in the race. Bayh was in Des Moines today (Monday) speaking to members of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. This is Bayh?s ninth trip to Iowa this year– and he says if he decides to seek the Democratic nomination for president, he will keep coming back, despite Vilsack’s campaign.
“Tom is a formidable candidate in Iowa,” Bayh says, “and the people of Iowa should respect him, as they do.” But he says a year from now when people are deciding who should be Commander-in-Chief and Chief Executive, the choice will be made on the basis of something other than just “home-state favorability.”
Homestate popularity’s important, Bayh acknowledged. “Is it nice to be a celebrity and a front-runner? Of course it is,” he says, “but I suspect a year from now people will be looking for something other than that.” Bayh’s expected to file documents with the Federal Election Committee later this week creating a presidential exploratory committee. He says he’ll make his final decision about the future sometime early next year.
Bayh says he’s done all “the practical things,” but wants some time to contemplate the final decision. “It’s an important one for our country, it’s an important one for the people I love, and I don’t make decisions like that lightly.” Vilsack may have a hometown advantage and others like John Edwards and Hillary Clinton may have better name recognition.
But Bayh says he has a resume different from any of them. He says he’s spent eight years as governor with a successful track record at “doing the kind of things people want Washington to do a better job of.” He says now he has some in-depth experience with national-security matters, “and you’d better be prepared to be a commander-in-chief.” He says it’s some combination of those attributes that people will look for. Bayh says deciding your own fate based on someone else?s decision would be ?foolish.?