Evan Bayh doesn’t love Congress – just money and power

What do you feed a Blue Dog Democrat?

Evan Bayh learned early that liberalism and ambition don’t always mix in a red state like Indiana.

It was 30 years ago that Bayh, then a 24-year-old law school student, helped run the re-election campaign of his father, Senator Birch Bayh. An unrepentant liberal with national aspirations (he’d run for president in 1976), the elder Bayh was targeted by a then-emerging network of “New Right” activists and fundraisers, who pilloried him as a big spender and slammed his support for abortion rights, gay rights and school busing.

As expedient as it might have been, Birch Bayh refused to back down from his principles in that campaign, an honorable stand that hastened his demise. On Election Day, he was defeated — handily. By Dan Quayle. At 52, his political career was over.

His son, it seems, was taking notes.

Evan Bayh inherited all of his father’s drive for national office but none of his progressive backbone. From his father’s defeat, he seemed to draw a lesson: You can dream big dreams if you’re a Democrat from Indiana — you just can’t be proud to be a Democrat. And that has been the defining principle (to the extent there’s been one) in Evan Bayh’s quarter-century political career, which began with a successful 1986 campaign for secretary of state in Indiana and which now may be ending, with his stunning decision to exit the Senate after two terms…

But now, at the age of 54, Bayh’s national window is closing. Three presidential cycles have come and gone since 1998 and he’s still in the Senate. Youth was always part of his selling point, but in 2016 — the next time the Democratic presidential and vice-presidential nomination are likely to be open — he’ll be 60. He can hear the footsteps behind him. It raised the question: What’s the point of staying in the Senate..?

24 years ago, Evan Bayh set out to prove voters that he wasn’t like his father. As his Senate career ends, we can safely say: Mission accomplished.

RTFA. Lots of detail.

Any bookies out there giving odds on which healthcare corporation, insurance company, Bayh will be fronting for in his inevitable return to Congress as a lobbyist? His wife hustled a couple million$ shilling for Wellpoint.

5 thoughts on “Evan Bayh doesn’t love Congress – just money and power

  1. Cinaedh says:

    Evan Bayh’s political career seems to indicate greatness often skips a generation because honor and integrity often skip a generation.

  2. moss says:

    The reality of Evan Bayh’s collaboration in machine politics is no more evident than his decision to announce his parachute jump deliberately late enough to try to prevent progressive and liberal Indiana Democrats from running candidates in a primary against the backroom boys.

    Unless a candidate has the required petitions filled out and signed by Friday the decision on who gets to run as a Democrat in November elections drops into the lap of the same old useless hacks in charge.

    Of course, Republicans are just as true to form. They’re going to try to prevent any candidate from standing against whoever turns out to be their movie star.

    • Mr. Fusion says:

      That fact has annoyed a lot of Indiana democrats.

      Although, …

      One local favorite is Tim Roemer, a well respected former Congressman from South Bend. He retired about 10 years ago, purportedly to be with his family. Later he served on the 9/11 Commission and today is the Ambassador to India. He would have had to resign his Ambassadorship and raise money to run in the primary. But if he is drafted by the Party, then he can have an open shot.

      It appears the Republican candidate will be the former Senator that Bayh beat the first time.

  3. E Trams says:

    The biggest mistake Obama has made is not to have begin prosecution of George Bush Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for treason. Crooks of every kind now realize that the sky’s the limit.

    Bayh and the other spineless ones are doing us all a favor by leaving. I had no idea he is a Jr. as well.

    Seems to me monarchys have been set up in clear view in these great United States.

    Is everyone looking forward to President Jeb Bush?

    • Mr. Fusion says:

      Evan Bayh won his Senate seat on his record. He was Governor for eight years when the Indiana economy boomed. By 1998, his father was a memory for most Hoosiers.

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