Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Exclusive Interview with Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN)

Danielle Solzman: Senator Bayh, thank you for joining the Kentucky Democrat today. How are things in Indiana and Washington?
Evan Bayh: Things in Indiana are going well. I just spent the last month crisscrossing the state with campaigning for our three newly elected Congressmen; Joe Donnelly, Baron Hill, and Brad Ellsworth. Hoosiers everywhere were optimistic that change was on the way and we were going to move past the partisan gridlock and start getting results for middle class Americans.

DS: A lot of pundits were saying that if you were able to help in turning over the 3 seats in IN that it would help your potential candidacy in 2008. Any thoughts on the matter?
EB: Our victories in Indiana offer a great example to the Democratic Party of how to win in Red America. Brad, Joe, and Baron were able to convince independents and moderate republicans to put their trust in the Democratic Party. These are the exact same voters that we will need if we want to keep these majorities and win the White House in 2008.

DS: How does it feel to be in the majority again? Will the Senate and Congress be able to get any work done?
EB: This is a real opportunity to put American back on the path to greatness. I am hopeful that we can all come together to make real progress.

DS: What about putting a check on the Bush administration? Do you forsee any hearings similar to that of Fulbright during the Vietnam Conflict?
EB: It’s clear we need a new direction in Iraq. Our current policy is not working. I am hopeful that the new majority in the senate can provide accountability and that we can come together in a bipartisan manner to bring closure to our presence in Iraq.

DS: You have a blog through the PAC site. Will you be doing a lot of online organizing and outreaching to the blogosphere in the event that you do run in 2008?
EB: Whether or not I decide to run in 2008, I will continue to reach out to the progressive blogosphere. I believe that the blogosphere has played and will continue to play a crucial role in bring more voices and engaged voters into the political process.

DS: Is it safe to say that the voters knew what our message was this time around unlike in 2004?
EB: I do not believe that in 2004 we as a party did a good enough job of working through the political gamesmanship and partisan fighting to truly get our message out to the voters. This time around I believe voters wanted change and the Democratic Party was able to provide that alternative.

DS: You are one of the first politicians to get on Facebook. You've seemed to use it a lot. Any thoughts on how you plan to use it to your advantage between now and the 2008 elections, and how many friends are you up to now?
EB: I am now up to 6,005 friends on Facebook. I have always felt it was important to get young people involved in politics and facebook has proved a successful tool for me.

DS: What advice do you tell young adults or young folks in general when they tell you that they want to enter public service.
EB: I would encourage all young people to get involved in public service in one form or another. I have always felt that every American should have the opportunity to devote some part of their life to public service whether it be AmericCorp, the Peace Corp or as an elected official.

DS: Will you announce live on this blog that you are a candidate for president in 2008?
EB: As you know, I haven’t made a decision yet, but when I do – if you aren’t the first to know, you will be one of the first to know.

DS: I know that you have a hectic schedule and I'll let you get back to work. Keep up the good fight and I hope to be at your candidacy announcement!

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