On Tuesday, April 11, Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana will become the third potential 2008 presidential candidate to visit Harvard University in the past 12 months. Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, another presidential aspirant, spent last week as a visiting fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government. John Edwards, the 2004 Democratic Vice Presidential candidate and probable 2008 contender, visited Harvard last April.
What makes Senator Bayh’s visit different? Unlike Warner and Edwards, Bayh will be addressing students at the Business School. The event takes place at 3:45 p.m. in Aldrich 112 and is open to all Harvard University faculty and students.
Members of the HBS Democrats Club invited Sen. Bayh to visit because he is a rising star in the Democratic Party, having posted an impressive fiscal-policy record as Indiana’s governor. Recent events held by the HBS Democrats Club featuring former National Economic Advisor Gene Sperling and Democratic Party insider Robert Barnett have also focused on economic policymaking and bridging the gap between public and private sectors.
Before entering the Senate in 1998, Bayh served two terms as governor of Indiana. During his tenure he brought tremendous fiscal discipline to the state, creating a $1.6 billion budget surplus without raising taxes and adding 375,000 new jobs.
The Wall Street Journal described Bayh as a “genuinely fiscally conservative Democrat.” Bayh continues to work to strengthen the nation’s economy as a member of the Senate Banking and Housing committees, as well as the Urban Affairs committee, on which he is the ranking member on the Subcommittee on International Trade and Finance. Most recently, Bayh introduced legislation requiring brokerage houses and mutual fund dealers to track and report all relevant capital gains information, making it easier for individual taxpayers to file taxes. This bill, co-sponsored by Senators Barack Obama, Tom Carper, and John Kerry, would help reduce the estimated $17 billon in annual uncollected capital gains taxes.
Bayh is also providing leadership on issues of national security and defense and energy independence as a member of the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services Committees. Within the Democratic Party Bayh has served as the Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council and is working to establish the Third Way, “an organization designed to build consensus around legislation that would otherwise remain bogged down in political turf wars.”
HBS Democrats Co-President Carl Cade said, “The event should provide HBS students with the opportunity not only to learn about Senator Bayh’s impressive record on economic matters, but also, and perhaps most importantly, to get a first look at one of the likely Democratic contenders for the presidency.” He added, “The 2008 Democratic primary is likely to be a full house. We are thrilled to be getting a jump start on learning more about the candidates.”