Bye Bayh Moderation
Evan Bayh is the kind of guy you don’t want to say goodbye too. He is the sort one can reason with, a collaborator, who is aligned with the middle that is surely the constituents in Indiana. Born in 1955, he is alive and well to run as a Presidential candidate in 2012. Given that Hillary Clinton is not doing anything to help her cause, and the prospect that Obama may be a one-termer, Evan's odds are even that he might be saying hello to new found opportunity.
“Evan Bayh won't seek re-election, Senate majority in play?
Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh will not seek re-election this year, he announce Monday, a decision that hands Republicans a prime pickup opportunity in the middle of the country.
"After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so by serving in Congress has waned," Bayh said at a press conference in Indianapolis.
Bayh cited the lack of bipartisan comity as one of the main reasons for the decision. "There is too much partisanship and not enough progress -- too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem-solving," he said. "Even at a time of enormous challenge, the peoples' business is not being done." He specifically cited the recent vote that killed the creation of a debt commission as evidence of the partisan gridlock.
Bayh was first elected to the Senate in 1998 and was re-elected easily in 2004. National Republicans had recruited former Sen. Dan Coats to challenge Bayh in 2010 although polling suggested Bayh began the race with a 20-point edge. He also had $13 million in the bank at the end of the year.
"My decision was not motivated by political concern," Bayh said. "Even in the current challenging environment, I am confident in my prospects for re-election."
Prior to being in the Senate, Bayh served two terms as governor of the Hoosier State. He also served briefly as Secretary of State.
His retirement is a blow for Senate Democrats who now must legitimately worry about the possibility -- although it remains a longshot today -- that they will lose control of the Senate in the fall.
The Cook Political Report, one of the nation's leading handicappers of congressional elections, now carries 10 Democratic-held seats in its most competitive categories -- meaning that if Republicans sweep those races (and lose none of their own vulnerable seats), they will have a 51-seat majority. Cook, incidentally, moved Indiana from a lean Democratic seat to a lean Republican seat in the wake of the Bayh news.
Bayh's universal name recognition and popularity -- not to mention his massive campaign war chest -- made him a favorite in the fall despite the Republican tilt of the state and the increased focus of national GOP strategists on the contest.
Without Bayh, Democrats may look to their congressional delegation where Reps. Baron Hill, Brad Ellsworth andJoe Donnelly are likely to take a look at running.
Because signatures to qualify for the ballot are due Tuesday, no Democrat will formally file -- leaving the seat vacant and allowing the state party apparatus to choose the candidate.
National Republicans had rallied around Coats in recent days and given the logistical hurdles with the rapidly approaching filing deadline are likely to stick to that plan. "I will continue to run just as hard and take nothing for granted," Coats said in a statement. "I am running so the views and interests of Hoosiers are represented in Washington."
Republican Rep. Mike Pence, who briefly considered running for the seat before deciding against it late last month, removed himself from consideration again today. "Congressman Pence believes that Republicans will retake the House in 2010 and he counts it a privilege to be a part of the House Republican leadership during this historic election," said Matt Lloyd, a spokesman for Pence. "Mr. Pence has filed for re-election to the 6th Congressional District of Indiana and will continue serve his constituents and help lead the effort to retake the House of Representatives."
No matter how the two fields shake out, holding the Indiana seat just got much harder for Democrats. Although President Barack Obama won the Hoosier State narrowly in 2008, it is generally regarded by strategists of both parties as swing territory with a slight edge for Republicans. The national playing field's tilt toward Republicans makes the seat all the tougher for Democrats to hold.
Bayh is the fifth Democratic Senator not seeking re-election. He joins Sens. Chris Dodd (Conn.), Byron Dorgan (N.D.), Ted Kaufman (Del.) and Roland Burris (Ill.) on the sidelines. Six Republicans are retiring: Sens. Kit Bond (Mo.), George Lemieux (Fla.), Judd Gregg (N.H.),George Voinovich (Ohio), Sam Brownback (Kans.) and Jim Bunning (Ky.)”
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Arlington, Virginia, United States