Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh will not seek re-election this November, an unexpected decision that hands Republicans an opportunity for a pick-up in a year when Democrats are already defending several open Senate seats.
The two-term senator is known as a moderate Democrat. Former GOP Sen. Dan Coats had been planning to challenge Bayh in November — but a senior Democratic source told Fox News that recent polling showed Bayh way ahead of Coats, and that the retirement must have been a personal decision.
Additional information from the Indy Star:
Sen. Evan Bayh will not run for re-election, a decision that will shock Democrats and Republicans alike in Indiana.
In prepared remarks, Bayh, 54, cited excessive partisanship that makes progress on public policy difficult to achieve as the motivation for his decision.
“After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so in Congress has waned,” he said.
“My decision was not motivated by political concern,” he added. “Even in the current challenging environment, I am confident in my prospects for re-election.”
“But running for the sake of winning an election, just to remain in public office, is not good enough,” Bayh said. “And it has never been what motivates me. At this time I simply believe I can best contribute to society in another way: creating jobs by helping grow a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor.”
“Two weeks ago, the Senate voted down a bipartisan commission to deal with one of the greatest threats facing our nation: our exploding deficits and debt. The measure would have passed, but seven members who had endorsed the idea instead voted ‘no’ for short-term political reasons,” he said. “Just last week, a major piece of legislation to create jobs — the public’s top priority — fell apart amid complaints from both the left and right. All of this and much more has led me to believe that there are better ways to serve my fellow citizens, my beloved state4 and our nation than continued service in Congress.”
As typical of Bayh, he is speaking out both sides of his mouth. He continually claims (via emails) to support fiscal responsibility of government yet votes in favor of the Senate health care bill. Mind you he, along with every Senator who voted in favor of this legislation, knows that maneuvered payment to doctors and hospitals out of the bill; to give the appearance of budget neutrality. It was and is a lie… once these payments are included this legislation sinks the deficit further in to an abyss of red ink.
The commission Bayh is referring to which failed in the Senate, in my view was correct. If Senators do not have the courage to face, debate and vote on challenging or difficult legislation then they need to go. The creation of this commission gave them the easy out, they could finger point to an appointed board and say, “they made us do it.” Are they statesmen or politicians? If the later then here’s the door and good riddance.
While papers want to prop-up Dan Coats, Senator turned lobbyist as the threat against against Bayh.. most Hoosiers know that Coats is nothing but … a power play by Governor Mitch Daniels. Coats lured out of posh lobbyist ties would remain faithful to the Indiana Republican party. In fact I dare anyone to name major legislation Coats authored during his 11 years in the Senate?
My concern now is what direction Bayh will take during his remaining months? Will he again vote in favor of some convoluted reconciled health care bill? Although Hoosiers are formerly against everything that currently is being offered by Congress. Will he support legislation surrounding cap and trade, which will hit a coal state like Indiana hard.
Hopefully a new day is dawning for the country, one where government shrinks and the freedom of the people moves back to the envisioned republic of our forefathers.
Bayh’s Numbers Spell Trouble