A Lenexa, Kansas printing company has started producing Obama-Bayh bumper stickers, according to a Kansas City television news report. KMBC-9 has three sources and an example of the bumper sticker for its proof that Barack Obama has selected Evan Bayh as his running mate:
After weeks of speculation and days of intense rumors, the answer to who Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama would name as his running mate may have come down to a bumper sticker printed in Lenexa.
KMBC’s Micheal Mahoney reported that the company, which specializes in political literature, has been printing Obama-Bayh material. That’s Bayh as in U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana. Word leaked out about the material as it was being printed up by Gill Studios of Lenexa. The Obama campaign had said it would make the announcement by text message on Friday.
Gill Studios, would not confirm information about the material. They would not deny it either. The company president would not comment when asked by Mahoney about the reports. But at least three sources close to the plant’s operations reported the Obama-Bayh material was being produced.
If this pans out, then why delay the announcement? Bayh isn’t the most exciting candidate, but he’s not as problematic as some, either.
Continuing: If this is true — and we’re still waiting for the magic text message — then this will be a let-down on a couple of fronts for Democrats. First, Bayh isn’t exactly beloved by the netroots. His selection over choices like Kathleen Sebelius and especially Hillary Clinton will be seen as wan and unimaginative, more stolid than solid. Next, the Joe Biden boomlet really appeared to have legs, and a Biden selection supposedly would have sent a signal that Obama had picked an attack dog. Bayh’s more of a lapdog.
Gill Studios, KMBC reports in its video, isn’t just a small-time operation. They do $60 million in political business for both parties and is one of the top printing concerns in the nation for this specialty. They wouldn’t gear up to print Obama-Bayh material unless someone was serious about needing a lot of them — and there hasn’t exactly been a grassroots movement to get Bayh added to the ticket.
Still, this will make Obama competitive in Indiana, assuming that this is true.
Update (AP): I’m suspicious of the fact that the bumper sticker doesn’t have the recognizable, familiar Obama campaign font and logo. Also, don’t campaigns usually print up paraphernalia in advance for a variety of VP candidates?
On the other hand, as of a few minutes ago, ObamaBayh.com was redirecting to this nonexistent placeholder page at Obama’s website with “Meet Evan” in the URL. I’m assuming the proprietor simply took the URL for the Obama bio page at the campaign site and pointed it to what they assumed would be the page for Bayh, but who knows? Anyway, ObamaBayh.com now has a new page up and it looks shoddy enough to make me think it’s not connected to the campaign. For what it’s worth, the registration for both the main Obama campaign site and the ObamaBayh site both were done through GoDaddy, with OB registered via anonymous proxy. Hmmm.
Update II (Ed): Here’s a post I wrote on Bayh a few days ago that will become more important if this pans out. I think we can see the end of the “rich”, “out of touch”, and “corporate lackey” themes at Team Obama.
Update III: As of 6:55 ET, no confirmation or denial, or Magic Text Message. This could be just some people at Gill poking fun at the process, but that seems rather unlikely. They’ll want Obama’s business this cycle, and making fun of him won’t help. The other suggestion in the comments, that Team Obama may be having several different iterations printed, doesn’t make a lot of sense either but could be possible. It’s expensive to do print runs, and for what? To play games with people? If they have money for that, they can stop fundraising tomorrow.
Mostly, I’m not sold on this whole buildup with Evan Bayh as the payoff. That practically defines anticlimax.
Update IV: KMBC has an update on their story with a quote from the print company’s president:
“We’re very disappointed that you would spread this rumor,” Gill Studios President Tom Carrico said.
“You didn’t print it here?” Mahoney asked.
“I didn’t say that. But I’m very disappointed that you would come out and interview us and ask for confirmation and we said we would not confirm,” Carrico said.
“Or deny,” Mahoney said.
“That’s correct,” Carrico said.
On the record as refusing to deny the report … FWIW.
Update V: Team Obama claims they have these kinds of materials being printed for a number of potential veepmates. Your Democratic donations at work! The announcement, they say, will come tomorrow morning.
Update (AP): If they really do hold it until the last possible minute, then needless to say, it’s not Bayh. The letdown would simply be too great. It’s either Biden or Hillary. Ambinder says there are reports of a charter jet on its way to Delaware from Chicago…
Why not string it out to the max and have both Hillary and Biden attend the event in Springfield? That’ll really send the press over the edge.
Update (AP): Another Biden hint. Staffers cutting their vacations short?
Update (AP): Andrea Mitchell told Matthews on Hardball about an hour ago that she had it on “very good authority” that Bayh and Kaine have already been told it’s not them and that, barring some rabbit-out-of-the-hat Hillary pick, it’s probably Biden.
Is that really happening? After a week of excruciating suspense, the big revelation is Joe Hairplugs?
Update (AP): The veep stakeout pays off. Activity at Plugs HQ!
Update (AP): Grain of salt since they’re a right-wing mag, but the Standard says a Democratic source tells them it’s Biden.
Update (AP): NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE:
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama has ruled out Senator Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential running mate, a senior Democratic official told CNN on Friday night.