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Good-bye, Bayh

The brain drain of the Senate continues with the announcement that Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) will not seek reelection this year. According to prepared remarks that he'll deliver this afternoon, it wasn't his ballot prospects that drove him from the race. That's what pushed Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) from their reelection bids. Bayh will cite the intense partisanship that has gripped Capitol Hill for his decision to leave the seat he's held for 12 years.

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. 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 state and our nation than continued service in Congress.

Bayh is a popular Democrat in a red state who has never lost an election. He's a devout Blue Dog with seniority and stature within his party and within the Capitol. Bayh's departure should be a shock to Democrats and Republicans alike because it could mean that the collegiality that was once the hallmark of the Senate is dead.

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 15, 2010; 11:33 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Next: Dick Cheney and Joe Biden converge


Evan Bayh a healthy 54 year old senator quit because he was going to lose the election. There is no other reason.

Yes WaPo hacks will try to gild the lily as best they can.

The phony Daily Kos poll that say "Bayh leads by 20" are the same shameless stooges that caleld the Brown-Coakley senate race in Massachusett "a tie".

Posted by: screwjob11 | February 15, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

First time "brain drain" and "Evan Bayh" have ever been seen together.

Posted by: BeavisfromMontana | February 15, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"brain drain" and then reference three Democratic senators. How did this get past the editors? And you wonder why there is a perceived bias to the Washington Post.

Posted by: Windknot1 | February 15, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"Evan Bayh a healthy 54 year old senator quit because he was going to lose the election. There is no other reason."

Right numbnutz. He's never lost an election, but he was going to lose to retread lobbyist hack and North Carolina fan Dan Coats. Sure.

Why did your teabagger queen Sarah Palin quit? Ever hear of $$? And how do you know how healthy Bayh is? You don't know jack, retard.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | February 15, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Clinton /Bayh 2012 There is no way Obama can get reelected ...the luster is gone....the koolaid has run dry. Thank God.

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | February 15, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The best way for Evan Bayh to use his new free time (and $13 million war chest) on behalf of the nation ? help organize a long overdue and sorely needed third party - we need a political revolution in this country if we are ever to give the voters a real choice when they go to the ballot box and break up the cabal of a two party system and its stranglehold over our country. Just as we needed a new party to resolve the logjam over slavery (ie the Republican party) its time that the country be given a choice of leadership that is not beholden to trial lawyers/teachers unions OR Exxon/Citicorp on the other hand

Posted by: jdwhite | February 15, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan - Bayh's reasoning for leaving and your conclusion from his exit (collegiality is gone)is faulty for one simple reason that you fail to mention- for the last year the Democrats have controlled the House and had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. They didn't need 1 GOP vote in either chamber to get anything done. Please tell me how that squares with his claim of "partisan gridlock" or a loss of collegiality?

Posted by: erformc | February 15, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I think President Obama had better watch out for a 2012 challenge from Senator Bayh.....

Posted by: billstewartc21 | February 15, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

maybe susan bayh has found her husband a nice job with wellpoint, or another of the four healthcare companies on which she serves as a director (earning $650k last year).

good riddance to a preening, self-regarding careerist. go make your money evan... it's not as if you have anything else to offer.

Posted by: stoat1 | February 15, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Brain drain?

I don't think so.

Posted by: tom_walker | February 15, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I do not believe the average IQ of the Congress is all that high. If it is high, they are seriously misusing their intelligence.

Does doing what is best for me a sign of high intelligence?

Posted by: Maddogg | February 15, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Brain Drain? As in the brains of made of what is found in a kitchen drain? Bathroom drain?


Posted by: Cornell1984 | February 15, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Ha de ha....if Evan Barf is regarded as "brains" in the US, it's pretty easy to see why the US has a $12.3 TRILLION debt !!!

Posted by: Trojan14 | February 15, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

If nothing elese, Obama has, as did Bush, bring down his own party. Only good thing he has done. I like Bayh, altho I haven't and will not vote for any Dummycrat. Bayh seems to have the same demeanor as Scott Brown: What is good for his state is foremost and not what is good for his party.

Posted by: marine2211 | February 15, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

If those Senators' departures constitute a brain-drain then the country's in worse shape than we thought.

Posted by: DagnyT | February 15, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid's terrible display on Friday, as he ripped up a bi-partisan piece of legislation, was the last straw! The Democrats doodoo is now ten feet deep in the Capital!!

This maneuver also kills any hope for Obama's lame Healthcare Summit next week.

The Democrats have committed suicide!

Posted by: jjcrocket2 | February 15, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"Bayh's departure should be a shock to Democrats and Republicans alike because it could mean that the collegiality that was once the hallmark of the Senate is dead."

LOL. That was satirical, right?
Next thing you'll be telling us buggy whip manufacturers are facing a downturn in their industry.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | February 15, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

So, "it could mean that the collegiality that was once the hallmark of the Senate is dead."

There's serious discussion of forcing through a 2000+ page monstrosity by reconciliation, and NOW you think that collegiality is dead?

Posted by: haraldwho | February 15, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Cool. Bye-ah, Bye-ah! He's a DINO, and he screwed over the Dems and this is obviously his pay back for not getting picked to be Veep. So, let's hope all the Blue Dogs haul, then we can spend money electing true progressives who will actually do something and not help the Republicans obstruct everything. See, the Dems never had a 60 seat majority, because of people like Byah, so if the Congress isn't working, he needs to take a good hard look in the mirror. Good riddance.

Posted by: jacquie1 | February 15, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I've never been a big fan, but I don't believe Bayh was particularly worried about getting re-elected here in Indiana. Even many Republicans dislike the presumed opponent, Mr. Coats.

More than likely, he is just tired of having to so carefully walk the political tightrope between His beliefs and those of the majority of Our state.

Who knows--maybe he even developed a conscience?

Posted by: dmedman50 | February 15, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

It's funny how some of the commenters seem to complain of bias on a section of the Post called "PostPartisan."

Posted by: BobbyGuy | February 15, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't we just ask for the "SEVEN DWARF MINDS," to join Senator Evan Bayh????
Why would they do such a mean childish thing? The sworn promises they made when they were elected, were no more committed to the people, than Sarah Palin's was to the Alaskans.
If we're going to "start all over again" on anything, shouldn't it be to get rid of these schemers? ...."How that workin' for ya?"

Posted by: Busybee109 | February 15, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I love to read the moronic posts on here saying it's Obama's fault and he's creating this acrimony in Congress and destroying this country. Wow, all that after 12 months (and a couple of years in the U.S. Senate). He's a force (probably second to only Jesus). It's funny how trying to solve the long-term problems in this country (like Dems do when elected) gets you so much criticism, when there's another party that sweeps all problems under the rug (see paying for the Iraqi/Afghan wars and tax cuts to the top 2% earners in this country) or creates problems that aren't even problems (see the Iraqi/Afghan wars and tax cuts to the top 2% earners in this country). These idiots calling for Obama's head would rather see Sarah Palin in the office. Why? Because "you betcha" would surely have a better plan for all the foreign and domestic issues our country needs to deal with today simultaneously (that means at the same time conservatives). And you know what "their" (conservatives) plan is? CHANGE NOTHING....oh, and pray more! So Evan Bayh wants to compromise with that? Evan, Senator, Bubby, how? How do you compromise with the Devil?

Posted by: sachancp | February 15, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I am a Conservative that thinks Bayh is a good man that is sick & tired of Obama's agenda of spending, spending & spending more. Bayh seems to be a man of integrity being in a party that has no integrity, no belief in the Constitution & has no intention of helping the American people they just want them to be indebted to the government & wants to lead us into a socialist country just like Congressman Waters said & then tried to take back. What is going to happen is we will either be a Banana Republic or a Third World Country & Obama & his family will move to a European Country after he destroys America.

Posted by: egw7777 | February 15, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

The mindless comments to this article emphasize the lessening of respect for members of Congress lately - whether Democrats, Republicans or Independents. Perhaps it's the kind of leadership we have right now but also the furor created by organized emailings as well as the concentration of money in the hands of a few rich radio, TV and publishers. Bankers don't help either.

It tragic when experienced legislators decide it isn't worth it to work in Washington.

Posted by: loyalsyst | February 15, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow! These comments show the level of rudeness has risen.

I think the American people are the ones who are enjoying these fights between the left and the right. Though, you might say that the crazy talking heads on the 24 hour news are creating a crisis that would have not existed. Fighting makes better headlines than peace.

Everyone keeps blaming the government. First they say the government should be taking care of everything. And they blame the government for the weather.

I wouldn't want to be a politician right now. I'd be blamed for everything.

Posted by: kflet3 | February 15, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

All these high paid political pundits and hacks can't figure this one out? Bayh is quitting because he can't afford to lose. Even if it has a slight chance of occurring. He loses and his political career is over. He retires and lives to run for president another day. His motives are completely transparent.

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | February 15, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Senator Bayh is quitting because he is tired. Our Representatives no longer represent "we the people". Guess the only representation we will get is the representation we can afford. $$$$Chaching.

Posted by: fabricmaven1 | February 15, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Bayh is a man of integrity! Guess that speaks volumes for those who remain!! The rest had better enjoy their Kool Aid for the remainder of this year, for this time next year the majority will be in the process of getting fitted for HEARING AIDS -- due to not listening to their constituents --
Then blame others for the sad situation they put themselves in!
Hope Bayh runs for president in 2012!

Posted by: wheeljc | February 15, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats in both red and blue states are begining to see Brown...

Posted by: sophic | February 15, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats in both red and blue states are begining to see Brown...

Posted by: sophic | February 15, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Is it a brain drain? What exactly has Bayh contributed to the health care debate? Resolving the economic crisis? Reducing the deficit? He sailed in on his Dad's coattails without much of a policy agenda in mind, and now the going has gotten tough. An influx of new thinkers on both sides of the aisle could really help this do nothing Senate.

Posted by: fmjk | February 15, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

You really have to be a masochist to participate in the US political system. It's going to take a strong external push to restore this country to some measure of sanity.

Posted by: mnjam | February 15, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"Bayh's departure should be a shock to Democrats and Republicans alike .." Yes, but one is the shock of being gelded while the other is the shock/thrill of winning the lottery.

Posted by: grohlik | February 15, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Way overreaction.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | February 15, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Personally I wonder if Senator Bayh is simply burned out. He's basically a moderate, and American politics is not kind to moderates. It often seems to me that our country's culture (politics, media, etc.) really caters to extremism, both to the right and to the left. Most of the comments on this article are extreme and pretty knee-jerk in nature. It's disturbing to me that this close-minded and unreasonable mentality is what people take with them into the voting booth. By the way, I'm also intrigued by the idea of a strong third party that could really enrich the political debate in America.

Posted by: nmal21 | February 15, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Brain drain? For a year the Dems had the oval office, a large majority in the House and a Super Majority in the Senate and arevstill too dumb to pass a bill. So how is losing a Dem a "brain drain"?

Posted by: JCM-51 | February 15, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats in both red and blue states are begining to see Brown...

Posted by: sophic | February 15, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: JCM-51 | February 15, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, Senator Bayh spent how long building a $13 million war chest for this coming election....and all of a sudden decided things have just become 'too partisan' in the Senate? Just in the past week? And the name "Dan Coats" entering the race in the past week had nothing to do with his decision?

Sure it didn't....I can't wait to see what he does to escape all the 'partisan wrangling' in Washington. Surely he wouldn't become a highly paid lobbyist or anything, since that is so 'partisan'.

Posted by: dbw1 | February 15, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Senator Bayh is right; he can better serve outside of Congress. It is very restrictive. As a private citizen he can get his points across in many ways as Sarah Palin is demonstrating since leaving her office as governor of Alaska.

He is upset about the power to pass President Obama's jobs bills etc, not realizing it would continue the destructive employment lifestyle that is polluting our air, land, water and food making us a diseased planet of diseased animals and people. The better solution instead of a jobs program or Health Insurance or Health Care Reform for President Obama is to back us out of the employment lifestyle that creates all world problems and turn us toward a garden paradise lifestyle that solves them quickly, easily and inexpensively. It is the only sustainable lifestyle. I hope Senator Bayh will re-evaluate his position on these issues.

Posted by: MarieDevine | February 15, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

The Blue Dogs dont "lead" they just moderate. Now maybe a leader will take the job.

Posted by: paulnolan97 | February 15, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Any collegiality that existed in EITHER chamber was flogged to death when the republicans impeached Clinton; the republicans followed up on that flogging by spitting on the grave of that collegiality during the Bush years.
The republican party; the party of no, no way, my way or the highway, the party of go fyourself.

Posted by: jeffc6578 | February 15, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

By Bayh! Good riddance! McCain is next!

Posted by: tjhall1 | February 15, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

It's a corrupt and irreparably broken system and the only intelligent thing any of its participants could do at this point is abandon it.

Posted by: patrick3 | February 15, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

goodbye bayh.

personally, i harbor the fantasy of good bye to all 99 other senators.

i am one of the(should be)feared independent voters.

most independents are tilted a bit to the left politically and a bit to the right economically.

meaning:help our poor, sick and hungry but dont break the bank in the attempt; renew our commitment to the "pursuit of happiness "for all citizens.

these are middle class values with neither republican nor democratic party ideologies.

whoever can, in fact, represent these values and come together to make it happen,would have the independent vote necessary to win any congressional/presidential run.

clearly the independent voters believed president obama could lead the is my personal analysis that his failures are due to democratic party political baggage,unavoidable by(he should have known),surrounding himself with party regulars.

solution:a threat to start a third party,neither of left nor right,fostering middle class,independent voters vision of a better america for all. the fat cats on both sides might mend their ways,under such threat,and look beyond"whats in it for me".

since such fantasy is probably unrealizable,president obama still has 3 years to undo first year failures.

altho without the post election momentum now,he can go back to the

young man riding in from the west style.
instead of relying on the old hacks like pelosi/reid to do business in the usual way,obama should be out front on every issue he thinks important,setting the goals and tone .he may not convince republican intransigence,but we independents will respond if the message resonates,and we all vote on election day.

further,he should expand his contact with the electorate beyond town halls, which lack credibility.use really spontaneous venues such as diners,alderman meetings,small town assemblies,parking lots,sidewalks. the only concerns should be physical safety and having people openly voice their concerns where it might really matter.

failing these solutions,i quote another commentator:
a plague on both their houses(donkey and elephant);
what fools these mortals be.

Posted by: md36131 | February 15, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

The brain drain will only match what has already happened on the Republican side-:)

Posted by: patrick8 | February 15, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

All the teabagger blog rats are in on this thread. You can tell by their inane, angry comments. That and their yellow eyes.

Posted by: dudh | February 15, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

It feels good to see Sen. Evan Bayh leave the senate and Washington behind. We won't miss him and maybe this will be the beginning of the end of family political dynasty's.

I can't really blame him for leaving now though. I wouldn't want to be identified as having served with Reid, Kennedy, and Obama.

One writer mentioned McCain leaving the race. I doubt it. He is too stupid to realize that his time is over and he needs to go to pasture. Too bad Arizona does not have many good choices to replace him. Maybe the democrats can find a decent pol to run, or even a third party man.

Posted by: surfer-joe | February 15, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

do you think it's time to change the name of this column?

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 15, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

"Evan Bayh a healthy 54 year old senator quit because he was going to lose the election. There is no other reason."

Right numbnutz. He's never lost an election, but he was going to lose to retread lobbyist hack and North Carolina fan Dan Coats. Sure.

Why did your teabagger queen Sarah Palin quit? Ever hear of $$? And how do you know how healthy Bayh is? You don't know jack, retard.

Posted by: koolka

Bayh is healthy. And will e the next POTUS in 2012.

Someone isn't healthy, Mentally unhealthy. That is you.

Posted by: bnw173 | February 15, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

if the representatives of which ever party are not willing or able to actually represent the people who elected them instead of some fake party or club or allegiance which is some how supposed to override business interest which has possibly illegally bought them then i think yes they should step aside or if they are afraid to actually stand up for what is right.. and to search for and actually learn the truth and fix things.... again maybe the time has come to recognize there might be some so called blue dogs who were after all lap dogs with a different puppet role to play out... or perhaps a great deal of the people in politics at this moment are or are acting like dogs. i do realize there are honest and hard working people, there is great difference between what an individual does in thier private life and what a representative in .."public" office i think. If the representatives does not know that or what is actually is in the bill and how it got there, perhaps they are representing another and either fooling themselves or trying to fool us...

Posted by: artistkvip1 | February 15, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Hillary....your running mate is calling. This is the best news I have heard all day. Dump Obama, and let's recalibrate the Dem party in 2012 with the most brilliant woman around and her thoughtful running mate.

Bye, bye, Barry.

Posted by: Voted4Hill | February 15, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Good move Evan! See you in the White House in Seven Years............ in the meantime..........President Obama: Keep COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES from occuring and closing Small Businesses.....use 10% of the $787 Billion "JOBS" Bill our children will pay for; to AVOID 1930'S style, full-blown DEPRESSION !

Posted by: MSFT-PELOSI | February 15, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Brain drain? Only in a city that takes itself way too serious would a headline like that not bring howls of derisive laughter.

Posted by: slim2 | February 15, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the Senate's track record, as a whole, I am not at all sure that the loss of most Dem Senators, or most Rep Senators could be categorized as a 'brain drain', in any sense. A drain of partisan influence, the privileges of seniority, etc., yes... but a 'brain drain'? That seems a stretch.

Posted by: wgard | February 16, 2010 2:54 AM | Report abuse

The Democratic Party is dead.

The New Democratic Socialist Party is headed off a cliff.

The Republican Party will regain both the Senate and the House in 2010 and the White House in 2012.

Posted by: Indpnt1 | February 16, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

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