Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Well Put

A little credit is due Bob Schieffer, host of CBS' Face The Nation. Typically, the talking heads ask a potential vice presidential selection whether he/she is going to be selected or has spoken to the presumptive presidential nominee about joining him on the ticket. And the answer, predictably and inevitably, is noncommittal.

Schieffer, however, took a different tack when on Sunday's (8/17/08) Face The Nation he interviewed Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, reportedly on John McCain's very short list, and Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, reportedly on Barack Obama's very short list. He asked the two, appearing jointly,

Gentlemen, what we've sort of been doing here as a matter of routine with potential running mates is if either of you has been told that you're going to be the nominee, we would certainly like to hear that from you this morning. Or if either of you have said that you've asked that your name be taken out of consideration, I'd like to hear from either of you on that. If not, I won't put you through this dance of how pleased you are to be talked about and all of that, but you can't say. Does anybody have announcement here?

The answer(s)?

Governor TIM PAWLENTY (Republican, Minnesota): I think the senator does.
Senator EVAN BAYH (Democrat, Indiana): Well, we may make news this morning, Bob, but it's not going to be that. So I hate to disappoint you, but nothing to report today.

This is a different and mature inquiry and one to which the response was at least a little bit revealing. There is no way to confirm that Bayh wasn't lying, but his response probably accurately suggested that neither has been told either that he will be selected or that he is out of the running. It seems to have confirmed the common wisdom that as of that (Sunday) morning, both were being seriously considered for the second spot. And the "we may make news this morning.... but not that nothing to report today" was actually a fairly clever and succinct way of making the point.

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