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Obama touts Bayh but not as VP

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« on: August 06, 2008, 11:10:24 am »

Obama touts Bayh but not as VP

Story Highlights
NEW: Evan Bayh introduces Barack Obama, no mention of VP buzz

Obama, John McCain have been attacking each other on energy this week

Michelle Obama appearing with Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, another VP contender

McCain puts out ad highlighting his "maverick" roots

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(CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama on Wednesday called Sen. Evan Bayh "one of the finest United States senators that we have," but didn't mention what kind of vice president he thinks Bayh could be.


Sen. Barack Obama is pushing his energy plan at an event with Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh.

 1 of 2  The Indiana senator, who introduced Obama, has been at the heart of vice presidential buzz. Political pundits had speculated that Obama might tap him to be No. 2 as early as this week because of their joint appearance.

Bayh, once a two-term governor of Indiana, was a big supporter of Hillary Clinton during the primaries. Advocates of an Obama-Bayh ticket say he'd help unify the party and could shore up some of Obama's weak spots because of his time on the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services Committees.

"Evan Bayh is not the kind of person to make mistakes. He is loyal; he's trustworthy; he's smart; he looks terrific in a photo op," said Stu Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report.

According to CNN's polling, Indiana and its 11 electoral votes are leaning toward Obama, but the senator from Illinois has not locked in the state.

Bayh tried to downplay the idea that Obama would need him in order to come out on top in Indiana, telling CNN that Obama is competitive in Indiana because of "what he stands for, who he is and the desperate need for change and a better direction in Washington."

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius are also considered top contenders for vice president. See who is in the running to be VP

Michelle Obama was teaming up with Kaine for a fundraiser in Norfolk.

Obama focused on his energy plan at the town hall in Elkhart, Indiana.

He and John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, have been trading jabs over each other's energy policies all week.

Their back-and-forths have focused on offshore drilling, which McCain supports and Obama does not -- although he said he would consider it only if it were included in a comprehensive, overarching energy plan.

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Obama said Wednesday that McCain's energy plan "reads like an early Christmas list for oil and gas lobbyists."

Obama has been saying McCain is "in the pocket" of big oil corporations, while McCain had said Obama is "a little confused" about energy.  Watch Obama describe his energy plan

Obama on Wednesday reiterated his call to tap into the strategic oil reserves in order to reduce gas prices.

He also detailed his proposal to eliminate the need for oil from the Middle East and Venezuela within 10 years, and he pushed for a windfall profits tax on big oil corporations that would be used to provide a $1,000 rebate to people struggling with high energy costs.

McCain on Wednesday was expected to call for "an 'all of the above' plan to address our energy crisis with alternative energy, drilling and nuclear power," according to his campaign.

The senator from Arizona started his day in West Virginia, dropping by Marshall University's football team practice.  Watch McCain slam Obama on energy

He was expected to then head to Ohio, a battleground state with 20 electoral votes. McCain will tour a factory in Jackson and wrap up day with an event in Chillicothe and a fundraiser in Dublin.

McCain also has been stressing his "maverick" reputation as he tries to distance himself from the Bush administration. Obama has tried to portray McCain as "more of the same" on everything from energy to the war in Iraq to the economy.

According to CNN's latest poll of polls, Obama holds a 5-point lead over McCain, 48-43 percent.

The poll of polls consists of four surveys: CNN/Opinion Research Corporation (July 27-29), AP-IPSOS (July 31-August 4), USA Today/Gallup (July 25-27), and Gallup tracking (August 2-4).
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