Erick’s recent post about the left bloggers is true, but Bayh’s hatred of the senate is not his primary reason for leaving. Bayh is very comfortable with a partisan environment and not as moderate as he would like people to think. He has a very liberal voting record for a senator from the red state of Indiana (yes 2008 was an anomaly).
Bayh most likely would like a shot at the presidency in the future as he is only in his 50s. If he stays in the senate with the reduced number of Democrat senators, he will either be exposed to additional liberal votes that are bad for the country and really bad for any presidential prospects, or he will have to vote against his party and hurt his future chances of winning any democratic presidential primary. This is being reinforced by Obama’s continued path to the left, rather than the path to the center that Clinton chose in 1995, and which ultimately saved his presidency. So staying in the senate next year hurts him either way.
Secondly, Bayh has accumulated over 13 million dollars in his campaign war chest. Twelve months ago most of this money was safe as he was going to cruise to reelection. However, with the changing landscape and with a credible opponent taking him on from the Republican side, all that money is in jeopardy. Bayh probably could have and would have won reelection considering all the baggage Coats is bringing into the race, but it would have come at a deep cost. Much of the paybacks…ahem…campaign contributions from wall street, bankers, automotive industry, and everyone else the left is extorting to pass their agenda have already been given. 13 million dollars is a lot of money to replace and that sum is a great down payment on a democratic presidential run.
The prospect of being elected to a senate environment which would hurt him politically and having to waste 13 million dollars to get there is ludicrous and Bayh figured this out. So, he blames the lack of bipartisanship which he rarely actually pursued. He claims the role of the “unaccepted moderate” which Nelson, Pryor and Landrieu honestly can more easily claim. And he walks valiantly into the sunset as a “man of principal” with his millions ready for the right time and place to return and save the Democratic Party from the present demise. Well played Senator Bayh! I am intrigued to see if your plan eventually works.