Skip to comments.Bayh mulling run for IN Governor in 04 (Possible Senate Pickup Alert
Posted on 12/14/2002 8:10:59 PM PST by frmrda
Bayh, a two-term Indiana governor before coming to Congress, said last week that, while it is "unlikely" he will join the 2004 gubernatorial race, he is entertaining suggestions that he do so. "Out of respect to my friends and supporters, I will listen to what they have to say," he said in a statement.
Bayh is widely believed to have at least vague presidential aspirations -- and he knows that precious few senators make it directly to the White House. Complicating his decision is the fear among Democrats that they would have trouble keeping his Senate seat if he steps down.
The gubernatorial picture is muddled because the presumed Democratic front-runner, Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan, recently announced that he won't run. Gov. Frank L. O'Bannon (D) is barred from seeking a third term. On the Republican side, some are urging White House budget director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. to run.
For now, Bayh's comments have essentially frozen the race -- at least for the Democrats. Several are said to be eyeing the contest, including former Democratic National Committee chairman Joe Andrew. But no one is expected to make an announcement before Bayh does.
A spokesman for the senator said he will announce his decision after the holidays.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
The good news for us is that it's a good chance we could pick up this seat in 04.
Big time. Indiana is historically quite Republican IIRC. Hoosiers know something their neighbors to the North and NW need to learn.
There has never been any trend for sitting senators winning the White House. Only two sitting senators have ever been elected president, Warren G. Harding in 1920 and John F. Kennedy in 1960. The only trend among senators is to run for president and lose or get a vice presidential nomination.
Yup, that's why I wouldn't be surprised if the dems keep him under lock and key before they'd let him go.
McIntosh has been running for governor ever since he lost in 2000. With Lt. Governor Kernan stepping aside, his campaign got a boost. I think that if Daniels or Coats do not enter the primary, it's McIntosh's nomination to lose
It's an option, but I think the Republicans should go for a fresh face. There are plenty of viable candidates for the Republicans on the congressional level.
Gregg is retiring at the end of the month. He is going into private practice. He is balding and fairly rotund. He is also unfailingly cheerful, a rarity in democrats.
I know some stuff about how the McIntosh campaign was run and it was dreadful. I saw a lot of stuff as a volunteer that even I, as a rank amateur, thought was really bad.
Also, I found it amazing that the state party was not better coordinated with both the McIntosh and Bush campaigns.
It most certainly would be a demotion. A run for President is the only way I can see Bayh giving up his senate seat.
In a word, "Yeah."
Those of us that are in the loop enough to know what is going on but too far out of the loop to do anything about it have been beating our heads against the wall about this issue for several years. The leadership has got to change, and I think the "coup" that was rumored to have nearly taken place in the Senate on organization day is a pretty good start. I honestly think this is the last go-round for the higher ups, because people are really starting to get antsy, and there are some jobs on the hot seat in the Party.
That was just my brief take on the matter from an outstater.
"I'll tell you the problem with the Indiana Republicans, and I've been saying this for about 5 years now, and the smart ones in this state have been saying it for about 10: they've got nobody on the bench. Republicans have had a strangle hold on Indiana for nearly forever. They have been content with the old ways and new blood and new ideas are discouraged and ridiculed within the Party. Anyone with ideas for change are driven out."
That's not a problem unique to Indiana. I've observed this in a lot of states. Here in Tennessee, we have a serious problem with "establishment" types and the more populist element. The split played a substantial part in costing us the governorship. If we can't get rid of a lot of those establishment types and get an infusion of new blood and ideas, with a unified 'Rat opposition spouting some of those populist tones, the latter will run circles around us.
"I've seen it over and over, like with Marvin Scott 2 years ago against Julia Carson and the Republicans left him hanging out to dry, when he was the best candidate they've ever had (and probably ever will have) to beat her for that district. They were perfectly willing to let their stubbornness cost them a Congressional seat against a woman who has been the thorn in the side of Indiana Republicans ever since she was elected."
It goes further back than that. Mr. Scott should've beaten Andy Jacobs in '94 (I presume his close call against Scott hastened his retirement, lest he find himself in a repeat loss like he did against Bill Hudnut in '72). He's been seriously disrespected by the state GOP then, and ever since, from what I've seen and read, and that's really a shame.
"But who do the Rs have, for anything? They are having to drag out old tired names like McIntosh and Coats for Governor? McIntosh got beat double digits by O'Bannon last election (in one of the worst run campaigns I've seen since, oh, Sue Ann Gilroy ran for Mayor in 99), and he is the hero of the party?"
As for Coats, I was really annoyed to see him flee from a match with Bayh (on par with an ex-GOP Senator from Virginia in the '80s named Paul Trible who, after an upset win in a bad GOP year of '82 (his opponent's campaign manager was none other than James Carville !), he turned chicken in a good GOP year of '88 and quit when ex-Gov. Chuck Robb declared (the latter was still popular then). McIntosh still had to take a bit of a kamikaze run at the then-still-popular O'Bannon in '00 and even if he had run a spectacular campaign, it was unlikely he was going to win (I think Mayor Goldsmith ran an even lousier campaign in '96, but the GOP has had a string of them going back to Mutz in '88), but I do think he has a better shot this time around. The GOP's problem in the Indy Mayoral is twofold; one, they've had held the office for over 30 straight years (largely due to the fairly brilliant UniGov), otherwise the old city would've elected a string of 'Rat Mayors without question; two, Indy is inevitably trending 'Rat because of the outmigration into the suburban counties. Had Gilroy run a spectacular campaign, it was hard to overcome the 'Rats argument for change (at some point, that's going to happen).
"The best young name in the Republican party is Murray Clark, and he's going to fall on his sword if he runs for Governor, which ain't going to be doing him or the party any good."
I'm not familiar with Mr. Clark, so I can't comment. What experience does he have and where does he hail from ?
"The Rs don't have anyone for Mayor, and the election is less than 11 months away! Brose McVeigh is the best candidate I've heard, and he's coming fresh off a beating in his Congressional election. Yeah, what a candidate!"
Let's not be too rough on Mr. McVeigh. After all, that district is still basically a 'Rat one, and the party largely ignored Carson's vulnerability and didn't pour in enough resources (they also seemed to ignore Baron Hill's opponent, who I believe ran a closer race than McVeigh). We really need to focus on taking back the State House and Governorship to redraw the Congressional seats (with some creative tinkering, all but the 1st should be ours, and maybe even that one if we were to risk putting more 'Rats into the 2nd if Chocola successfully converts the seat into a safe GOP one).
"The Rs really screwed the pooch the past 15 years in Indiana, and they are reaping what they've sowed. The run tired candidates with god-awful campaigns and they lose. Big. Unless there is a serious shakeup, expect it to continue."
Yup, some changes do need to be implemented. The only real success stories we've had there in the past decade is on the Congressional side of things (Hill and Carson the only black spots), though a lot of those seats we should've had already due to blunders in the '80s. I'm still thinking McIntosh is a good bet (at the moment) to take back the Governorship, though it's still 23 months until election day, and, as we all know, that's a lifetime in politics.
I was also going to touch on Quayle for a moment for those that were bringing him up. Some of those reading may or may not know of the reasons for his moving to Arizona. Before President Nixon's death in '94, he advised Quayle on a potential future bid for President to NOT get bogged down in running a Gubernatorial campaign in '96 (a mistake Nixon had made in '62, which sidetracked a potential rematch in '64 against JFK that was never going to materialize). But as with all politicians/political situations, what happens to one person may not happen with another. Quayle was also advised moving to a "Sun Belt" state was a good move from which to build a base of support, and it turned out to be a mistake. His leaving Indiana destroyed any hopes he had for the Presidency. Had he run in '96 for Governor, I believe he would've easily prevailed over O'Bannon (unlike Nixon in '62, he didn't have an incumbent to face), and we might've even gotten an added bonus in '98 with Marilyn Quayle taking on Bayh for the Senate contest... Instead, we got Paul Helmke, who seems to think running as a liberal RINO is a good move (and trying to pull a 'McCain in Michigan' stunt in the 3rd earlier this year... unbelievable). A Governor Dan Quayle might've been a serious contender in '00. Now that he's in Arizona, he has ignored that state's political affairs, and had he not done so, we might've even seen him emerge as a potential Governor there this year (and that was a state we lost this year because of a poor campaign run by Matt Salmon). Ah, well... Hopefully one of these days we'll get our respective acts together.
The 'Rats shouldn't even be holding the State House. The GOP got, I believe, a large majority of the overall legislative vote, and only due to grotesque gerrymandering do the 'Rats hold on. Same situation down here in Tennessee where the GOP got 52% of the vote to the 'Rats 45%, and the latter got 55% of the seats. The only place where the gerrymandering blew up in the 'Rats faces was in the Congressional districts, where they had hoped to cut a 6-4 GOP lead down to a 5-4 'Rat majority (by eliminating Brian Kerns's 7th and making Hostettler even more vulnerable in the "Bloody 8th", though when ex-Speaker Gregg declined to run, Hostie could breathe easier). If anything, the gerrymandering exposed weakness in Baron Hill's 9th, and the GOP should excise that liberal from a seat he is ideologically ill-suited for with a strong candidate and $$ in '04.
The Grisly Saga of Pixie Grismore
Was her murder 23 years ago covered up by politics?
Five years ago, on a Windy City evening in the month of August 1996, Indiana's then-Governor Evan Bayh appeared before the delegates gathered in Chicago at the Democratic National Convention to deliver the keynote speech that would finalize the nomination and re-election of William Jefferson Clinton to the presidency of the United States. It was a high point in Bayh's political career, a steppingstone, perhaps, to greater things, and it was surely an event in his life which would have brought special pride to his mother -- had she lived to her son's special evening.
His father, former Sen. Birch Bayh, had survived to share that moment in history with his son, and he must have carried enough parents' real pride to make up for his late wife's absence.
Evan Bayh was elected in 1998 to the U.S. Senate. He was considered as a possible vice presidential candidate for Al Gore in 2000. And since the kind of scandal that has plagued the White House in recent years has never touched the Bayh family, he might make a logical choice. But perhaps not if the people of Indiana -- and the rest of the United States -- begin asking questions about Pixie Grismore.
Mary Beth Grismore was strangled and found in a car trunk in Ohio, May 3, 1978. Most of the people who knew Mary Beth while she was still alive called her Pixie.
Born and raised in Iowa, Pixie was talented and beautiful, once a runner-up in the Miss Iowa contest and a gifted musician. She left her hometown to find employment, married a co-worker and moved to her husband's Indiana home. She brought life to a pair of sons, tried to fit into the rural setting of her new life, grew older and wiser, and finally divorced her Hoosier husband. She fell in love again, and just after Christmas of 1977, she remarried, to an Iowa farmer who lived just a few miles from her old hometown. For a too-short while, she was happy again.
By February of 1978 she was packing her belongings and memories for the move from her Indiana residence to her new home in Iowa and began to say her farewells to the friends and neighbors she'd known and lived among for a decade. On Feb. 21, 1978, she drove her new husband's Ford Thunderbird from her home near Marshall, Indiana, to the nearby city of Terre Haute for a going-away party with two of her friends -- nothing fancy, just a meal at the local lobster joint, a movie and a few hours dancing at some of Terre Haute's nightspots. The trio returned to Marshall just a little before 1:30 a.m., and that was the last time that anyone will admit that Pixie Grismore was ever seen alive.
Later that day her friends came by to help her finish packing for the move to Iowa but found that she wasn't at the rural farmhouse. Neither was the car, though the clothes that she'd worn the previous night and her purse were. Her worried family notified the local sheriff's department and the search for Pixie began. It ended in Whitehall, Ohio -- near the Columbus, Ohio, airport -- on May 3, 1978, when the Whitehall police opened the trunk of a Ford Thunderbird with no license plates that had been left in the parking lot of a local Holiday Inn near the airport that serves Columbus. For almost two months the car sat there until finally, suspicious police opened the trunk. They found a murdered body with a rope around its neck, but 10 weeks of decay and decomposition had so ruined the remains of the former beauty pageant contestant that investigators could not initially even determine if the remains were male or female. Dental records were consulted, and they proved that the body in the car was that of Pixie Grismore. She was 26 years old.
Investigators were eventually led to question Pixie's supervisor at Indiana's Turkey Run State Park, where she had worked as a lifeguard in the summer of 1977. On June 16, they interviewed him again, in Indianapolis -- and this time they read him his rights. Under questioning he admitted to evasion and falsehood in his first meeting with the FBI agents, and this time he told them a new story.
Patrick Ralston admitted that he began a romantic affair with the pretty lifeguard in July of 1977. His wife had just given birth to their baby on June 2 and then underwent surgery in early July, and she had been recovering while staying with her family in Terre Haute. His home was so empty and he was so alone, and he began to spend more time supervising things around the swimming pool where the cute young lifeguard worked. Ralston explained to the investigators that he and his wife drifted farther apart and by November of 1977 he filed for divorce.
On Jan. 15, 1978, Ralston was seriously injured when a frozen water heater exploded at the park. He spent seven days in a Terre Haute hospital and another week recuperating at home. By mid-February he was feeling better but things had changed: His relations with his wife had improved and Pixie surprised almost everyone who thought they knew her by marrying a farmer from the area in Iowa she had once called her home.
On Feb. 16, Ralston telephoned Pixie and suggested they get together one more time for old times' sake. She agreed and they met at the bar of the Cloverdale, Indiana, Holiday Inn. Pixie rented room 215 on the hotel's south side, and while there she called her new husband in Iowa from the hotel room phone.
Up to that point nothing that Pat Ralston had told the FBI particularly removed him from consideration as a suspect, but then he played his ace: While he and Pixie were in the bar, Ralston told the FBI, she told him that she had done something the day before -- Feb. 15 -- that she had always wanted to do. Pixie told Ralston that P.A. Mack, Indiana Sen. Birch Bayh's chief of staff, had arranged for her to meet with the senator at the bar of an Indianapolis motel and that she partied with the senator and his entourage for a while and that she had then gone to the senator's hotel room with him and that she had "slept with him." Pixie said that she had left Bayh's hotel room early on the morning of the 16th, Ralston told the FBI agents.
So the feds checked it out: A registration card for the night of Feb. 15, 1978, indicated that one B.E. Bayh of 2919 Garfield Street NW, Washington, D.C., had indeed stayed in room 579 of the Indianapolis Airport Holiday Inn while he was representing "USS" -- that is, the United States Senate. The room cost $24.
By dragging the senator into the investigation, Ralston virtually guaranteed the end of FBI consideration of his past relationship with the murdered woman. If Ralston had ever been charged with the crime, he would only have had to point out that Sen. Bayh's brief but intimate relationship with Pixie was at least as strong a motive for murder as Ralston's own affair with the dead victim. Since Pixie had been a county coordinator for Sen. Bayh and had been seen in public with him, any such revelation could have left the senator's political future as dead as Pixie Grismore.
It's been said that the only things that can destroy an Indiana politician are to be found in bed with a live boy, or a dead girl. When Pixie's body was found, Bayh was in a political fight to place officials loyal to him in certain key state positions. Though Bayh's own office seemed secure, consolidation of power was a necessary step if Bayh was to reach on for higher glories -- and he had been considered as a presidential candidate before.
But if a story, any story, about an illicit affair with a married woman who was murdered a week later had awakened the public's attention, Bayh's political future could have ended in a heartbeat. Hoosier humor about his cheatin' heart and other parts would have been bad enough, but at the time of the senator's alleged tryst with Pixie Grismore, Bayh's own wife, Marvella, was dying of cancer. Reports that Sen. Bayh had cheated on his dying wife could have reasonably been expected to have had results similar to those that befell Ohio Rep. Wayne Hays two years earlier. Hays suffered the loss of all the political currency that he had gained for his state in his 28 years as a U.S. representative, and also his politically powerful position as the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, when it was reported that he had placed his mistress, Elizabeth Ray, on the federal payroll as a clerk though she could not take dictation, type, or show up for work.
Since there is no statute of limitation for the crime of murder, the investigation of Pixie's homicide is still officially open. Even though then-Sen. Bayh headed the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and was in charge of the oversight committee that supposedly supervises the CIA, NSA and, oh yeah, the FBI, all their investigation couldn't catch the killer -- or killers. But at least the investigators kept Pat Ralston's romantic connection to the victim, and especially her association with former Sen. Bayh, as a closely held secret -- until now.
The secret's been kept, all these years, and the Bayh political dynasty continues -- Birch's son Evan, who was until recently Indiana's governor, and thereby the boss of any Indiana state police agencies still investigating Pixie Grismore's murder, has even been suggested as a future Democratic presidential contender, just like his Dad once was. And Evan gets to hobnob with President Clinton, who needs some good advice on how to handle embarrassing reports about affairs with former girlfriends. As governor, Bayh the Younger got to appoint men like witness P.A. Mack, his father's old fixer-upper, to important positions like trustee of Indiana University. And men like Pat Ralston as head of Indiana's Department of Natural Resources in 1989.
Ralston became the Democratic Party chairman of Indiana's Vigo County -- the Bayh family powerbase -- in January 1995. Ralston, as county party chairman, was instrumental in fund-raising efforts on behalf of newly-elected Indiana Gov. Frank O' Bannon, formerly lieutenant governor for Evan Bayh. O' Bannon, with political considerations involving both his old boss and a key fund-raising party chairman, had been reported to be considering the reappointment of Ralston as DNR director, but that was not to be: On Feb. 21, 1997, 19 years after Pixie Grismore's final party with her friends in Terre Haute, Ralston was instead announced as the new governor's choice to be the director of the Indiana State Emergency Management Agency.
Thank you, I try to keep up with as many states as I can (sorta like Michael Barone). :-)
"To answer your question, Murray Clark is currently a State Senator (District 29 before the redistricting, I don't know what he is now) who was re-elected unopposed in the 2002 election. He comes from a fairly political family; his father was a State Senator and his Uncle was Mayor back in the 50s. He's probably best known outside Indianapolis for being the Lt. Gov candidate with McIntosh in the 2000 election."
Ah, oops, should've known he was McIntosh's running mate. In states where candidates having running mates as opposed to having to run separate races, I tend to not look at them as closely. So his uncle was Alex M. Clark ?
"I honestly think that Clark thinks that if the ticket would have been Clark/McIntosh rather than McIntosh/Clark, he would have won, but I don't know. He certainly couldn't have done a worse job running the campaign, but the Indianapolis stigma is still a problem for him and Kenley anyone else from Indianapolis that wants to run for Gov."
Heh, well how many Congressmen you know of would serve as a running mate to a state legislator ? As I said, I don't think there was anyone that could've beaten O'Bannon in '00 (he seems to project, from what I've seen, a non-threatening Grandfatherly-type image, and not being from the extra-chromosome wing of the 'Rats helps, too). I think it lamentable that Goldsmith was denied the Governorship, but he really should've resigned the office BEFORE running in order to distance himself from any last minute problems (which did in his campaign).
"Anyhow, Clark is a force for change in the party and he certainly has his eyes on bigger things. The rumor that was floating around the Statehouse this fall was that Clark had an extremely strong backing for Senate Pro Tem, and he brokered a deal that in exchange for not running, he got a laundry list of changes around the Senate, including some housekeeping of some of the staff and, perhaps, some of the Senators. There have been some significant staff changes for next session, so there might be some merit to this."
That took some cajones to challenge Garton !
"I think Clark is best suited for a nice run for Mayor, but he's already thrown his hat into the ring for Gov. Oh well."
Is Peterson all that vulnerable ? I haven't been hearing the true horror stories you typically tend to hear from 'Rat run cities. I know we had some bad losses last time out with the Mayorships, from Indy to Fort Wayne. Hey, at least we got that 'Rat bastion of Evansville (of course, that guy's father was the previous GOP mayor and was promptly assassinated -- nice town).