Sam, Bayh may well be a below average choice and/or candidate. But in terms of how he has done his job(s) over the years -- he's above average. Now, will that necessarily translate into being a good Vice President? Maybe not. But he was an outstanding Governor.
As to Kaine, if he could serve two terms, he might just have "the stuff". He's done some good things and some not-so-good things but he simply hasn't put in enough time in the minor leagues. No need for a call-up this early.
He has done a much more job than his daddy. As Senator, he pushed hard for the Iraq war resolution so that Bush could warmonger. He served as chair of the DLC during perhaps their 4 worst years. I think Bayh is only mentioned to try to make some other horrible choices look good in comparison. Obama needs someone reasonable to liberals; he's thrown us under a bus already enough for the next 8 years.
Preaching to the choir, with me. I like Bayh personally. And he was an effective Governor. But he's far, far too conservative for me. And frankly, Indiana's other Senator has been more critical (though still supportive) of the Iraq debacle. And Lugar is a conservative Republican.
Bayh's problem, like so many other pols, is that they are in states where re-election would be impossible without a substantially conservative voting record. Ben Nelson, Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu and a number of house members might well have more moderate voting records...but they know that would spell defeat.
Yeah, Birch was great. Those were the days.