Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Evan Bayh bites the Big One

What a loser!
Yesterday, out of the blue, Democratic Senator Evan Bayh, from Indiana announced that he will not seek reelection this year. Quoth he:  "I love working for the people of Indiana. I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress."

Sniff.  Poor guy.

But the announcement is a big shocker, certainly.  Bayh was heavily favored to whack his Republican challengers, even in Indiana which, apart from the anomaly of the 2008 presidential election, is generally considered a red state.  Bayh had a 13 million dollar war chest, the power of incumbency, and good approval ratings.

Speculation about his motives has the punditry all atwitter.  Some, like my conservative friend, Kate, over at blatheringsblog, have suggested that Bayh's move may have come about because of some issues around the  high-priced lobbying career of the Senator's wife, Susan.  Others have keyed off Senator Bayh's use of the word "executive" in one of his recent remarks.  Specifically, he said, "I'm an executive at heart."  This has led to speculation that the Senator may be eying his old job as governor of Indiana.  Or, perhaps even, planning a run for president, planning a primary challenge against President Obama!

Time will tell.  But my own postulate is that Senator Bayh got frozen out of the political leadership in the Senate.  Recall that Bayh made a bid to elbow his way into the Senate leadership by announcing a coalition of "moderate" Democrats back in March of last year.  Well, we haven't heard much about that so-called Moderate Dems Working Group since that time, even with all the wrangling that has occurred during the health care debate.  That, to me, means that Bayh failed in his bid to become a power player in the Senate.

If current trends hold, the Democrats will probably lose that Senate seat.  Bayh made his announcement with only two days to go before the filing deadline for candidates, leaving Indiana Democrats scrambling.  Interesting timing that seems to point to petulance on a scale heretofore reserved for Stinky Joe Lieberman

Republicans should certainly be happy about this development.  And, of course, they'll over-play it.  That's what they do.  Democrats will undoubtedly add this to their long list of reasons they can't do anything.

Meanwhile, the country continues its general drift toward the sh*tter.  Thanks very much, to all of you:  Democrats and Republicans alike!

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