Politics & Policy

Bye Bye Bayh

Is partial-birth-abortion-banning Bayh an acceptable Gore veep?

What if Al Gore chooses a running mate who voted to ban partial-birth abortions? “It would certainly not be received well — that’s an understatement,” Patricia Ireland of the National Organization for Women told NR on Tuesday. “It would cause a great deal of concern about his commitment to abortion rights. Among our activists, there would be a decided lack of interest in campaigning for him and getting out the vote.”

A look at last fall’s Senate roll call vote on partial-birth abortion shows that most of the senators mentioned as potential Gore running mates opposed the bill banning the procedure: Dick Durbin of Illinois, John Edwards of North Carolina, Dianne Feinstein of California, Bob Graham of Florida, and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

There’s one prominent name missing from that list: Evan Bayh of Indiana, the DLC-style moderate from a heartland state. He was one of 63 senators who voted on October 21 to ban partial-birth abortions. (The bill, which recently cleared the House, failed to obtain the two-thirds majority needed in the Senate to override a Clinton veto.)

For more than a week, and despite many phone calls, the National Abortion Rights Action League has refused to answer NR’s question: Is the partial-birth-abortion-banning Bayh an acceptable running mate for Gore?

But NOW’s Ireland is not so coy: “I don’t think if Gore were to make that kind of choice he would have supporters on either side of the abortion debate, pro-choice or pro-life,” she says. “I don’t think Bayh brings much to the ticket. It’s a bad idea.”

A27

“Some of the nation’s top state environmental regulators plan to meet in Detroit soon to discuss how the Environmental Protection Agency might be reshaped if George W. Bush wins the presidency,” reports David Mastio in today’s Detroit News. The meeting, arranged by Michigan environmental chief Russ Harding, will occur on April 27.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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