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Winners and losers from Evan Bayh's retirement

Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh's retirement decision produced a number of winners and losers in the political world. AP Photo/A.J. Mast

Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh's decision not to run for re-election is a massive shock to the political system, the full ramifications of which won't be fully known for weeks or months.

But, Bayh's retirement did produce its fair share of immediate winners and losers -- those whose fortunes rose or fell when the Indiana Democrat decided to call it a career (at least in the Senate) yesterday.

Here's our look at some of the biggest winners and losers from Bayh's announcement. Have some of your own? The comments section awaits.


Brad Ellsworth: Ellsworth, elected in 2006 to a southern Indiana district, has been seen as a star since the start. Handsome -- some people referred to him as the "John Edwards of Indiana" (before any mention of the former North Carolina Senator became derogatory by default -- and with the sort of resume (he served as Vanderburgh County sheriff before being elected to Congress) that any politician would envy. Until Bayh's retirement, however, Ellsworth appears to be blocked out a bit in his political rise. Rep. Baron Hill (D) had already staked out ground at the front of the line in the 2012 governor's race and neither Bayh nor Sen. Dick Lugar (R), who is up in 2012, had given any indication they were thinking about stepping aside. Now, however, Ellsworth appears to be at the front of the line -- at least today -- to be the replacement candidate for Bayh, meaning he would become the party's nominee for Senate without having to even run a primary.

Mitch Daniels: The governor of Indiana continues to insist he has no plans to run for president even while doing many of the things that a candidate interested in a national bid would do. Delivering a Senate seat pickup in his home state would be a nice feather in the "Daniels for President" cap and he now has a far easier path to achieving that goal.

Political Junkies: The rapid rise in retirements -- five in the past week alone -- adds to the volatility and excitement in what was already shaping up to be one of the most fascinating midterm elections in modern memory. As the Cook Report's Jennifer Duffy points out, the 11 retirements in the Senate is the most since the 1996 election; and, on the House side, the fact that 32 members have announced their retirements with only a handful of state filing deadlines having passed suggests the ultimate number could be between 40 and 50. And, we didn't even mention the fact that there are 37 governor's race on the ballot this fall. Can you say embarrassment of riches?


Democratic Morale: In the month (or so) since Sen. Scott Brown's (R) special election victory in Massachusetts, Democratic strategists had argued that the party -- and the president -- had found their footing a bit, pointing to the aggressive approach by Obama in a tete a tete with House Republicans as evidence of their morale makeover. Bayh's decision saps that optimism badly. "It is like getting
turned down repeatedly for dates," explained one Democratic consultant of the series of retirement decisions in the party in recent months."In the end you start worrying whether there is something wrong with you." The unanswerable question for Democrats is whether Bayh's decision -- coming on the heels of the retirement of North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan -- makes other vulnerable Senators or House members reconsider their plans.White House: The White House's hopes of building momentum in advance of next week's bipartisan health care summit were quashed with Bayh's indictment of the political atmosphere in Washington. Bayh's decision is also likely to dominate a significant chunk of the political coverage in the coming days, making it harder for other events -- like the President's energy event today in Maryland today -- to break through. For a White House that has struggled badly with staying on message, the Bayh news is a further complication.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: The DSCC already had its fair share of problems from retirements but Bayh's decision has a number of negative implications for the committee. First, it takes what would have been a competitive seat where Democrats were favored and turns it into a competitive seat where Republicans are favored. (Political handicapper Charlie Cook moved the race from leaning Democratic to leaning Republican in the immediate aftermath of Bayh's announcement.) Second, even if Democrats are able to ultimately win the seat, it is going to cost them millions of dollars -- millions they almost certainly hadn't planned to spend given Bayh's massive $13 million warchest. Third, the DSCC now has to fend off a series of stories -- like our piece this morning -- that raise the possibility that the Senate is in play, a distraction the committee doesn't need at the moment.

Centrists: The Senate is rapidly becoming more and more like the House with the vast majority of members in each party occupying the ends rather than the center of the political spectrum. Bayh is at least the fourth centrist -- Dorgan, Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich and Florida Republican Sen. Mel Martinez are the others -- to walk away this cycle. The simple message to moderates aspiring to the Senate? There's nothing here for you. You need not apply. And, that's bad news for the country at large.

Mike Pence: The House Conference Chairman was national Republicans first choice to take on Bayh but took a pass on the race late last month due, at least in part, to the difficulties of a race against the well-liked and well-funded Bayh. In hindsight, if Pence had decided to make the leap, he would be the clear favorite to win the Indiana Senate seat today. Of course, Pence has his eye on a bigger prize -- the presidency -- but the idea of a one-on-one race with Ellsworth or any other Democrat in an election where the national playing field is tilted toward Republicans would have been very appealing to him. We won't know until 2012 whether Pence's gamble paid off but today it looks very much like a missed opportunity for the ambitious Hoosier Republican.

Political Legacies: The retirements of Bayh and Sen. Chris Dodd mean that two of the five Senators whose fathers also served in the world's greatest deliberative body are stepping aside. (The other three: Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Bob Bennett of Utah.) Couple that with the retirement of Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) and it appears as though the days of political dynasties may be coming to an end.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 16, 2010; 1:39 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: The danger of political prognostication


Chris, I wonder if you'd consider another view instead of the conventional wisdom of "moderates getting squeezed by partisanship" -- that of corporatist politicians bailing before the populist backlash inevitably hurts their cashing-in opportunities after they leave elective office. Bayh was bought and paid for by big monied interests, and that's a bad place to be in 2010.

Posted by: benniecsmith | February 17, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I have another winner you left out, CC. John Cornyn and NRSC are big winners here. Here is what Cornyn has on his plate as chair of the NRSC. Cornyn has recruited great candidates to defend Missouri, Ohio, Kansas, Florida and Kentucky. In New Hampshire he has recruited a great candidate in Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, although 2 others are primaring her. I think with Senator Gregg's endorsement and her tough record on crime and her fiscal conservative credentials she will win the primary and GE, however.

Cornyn has already recruited great candidate that can pick up 10 states for Republicans in 2010 as well in the following states: Illinois, Arkansas, Colorodo, North Dakota, Delaware, Indiana, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California and Nevada. With Bayh and Dorgan retiring and Beau Biden deciding against running in Delaware, Cornyn has the case to make for a Senate majority to 4 candidate's he's trying to recruit. In Washington state, Cornyn is trying to get Dino Rossi whom leads Patty Murray in a hypothetical poll 48%-46%. Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin, who leads Senator Feingold in a hypothetical 47%-43%. In New York, Cornyn needs to recruit former Governor George Pataki against Gillibrand and Financial talk show host Larry Kutlow against Chuck Shumer. A real shot at a majority in the Senate will entice these people to run alot more than a minority statues, which strenthens Cornyn's hand in recruiting and putting 12 or 13 senate seats in play rather than 9 or 10. Therefore, John Cornyn and the NRSC is a big winner in the retirement of Bayh. A big loser is Sen. Bob Menendez and the NDSC. Menendez may be the 2006 version of Liddy Dole.

Posted by: reason5 | February 17, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I like Bayh, but I never believed a word he said.. including this last fiasco.

Posted by: newbeeboy | February 17, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

It was all too predictable that in response to Bayh's critique of partisan dysfunction, the dysfunctional partisan elements would now be returning fire. MSDNC has had hand-wringing whine sessions after hand-wringing whine sessions about Bayh, because they know that Bayh wasn't only going after fringe elements in the Senate, but the media groupies who cheer them on.

The problem for the left is that this really represents a serious rift. Bayh is essentially saying that Democratic partisanship is every bit as serious, corrosive, petty, and corrupt as Republican partisanship. He is essentially saying that Reid, Pelosi, Olbermann, Maddow, etc are hurting the country with their antics and should be publicly shamed for it. In response, Olbermann and Maddow (and probably Reid and Pelosi privately) are saying moderates like Bayh are the problem because he is too often an impediment to forcing a liberal agenda onto the country. It's astonishing that such a deep public division exists WITHIN the Democratic party. So who's right? The problem for Olbermann and Maddow is that in this country right now, I think Bayh wins this debate in a lot more places than he doesn't. The problem for Dems is that Bayh doesn't represent where the party's headed; he represents where the party has moved on from.

Posted by: mbcnewspaper | February 17, 2010 6:25 AM | Report abuse

The Congress is a dysfunctional organization that needs reform. The Congress is quick to ask for sacrifices from the electorate, but they refuse to make sacrifices in their personal and public lives. Reform starts at the top, and these items represent a good start for reform:
1. Abide by the Constitution
2. Quit lying (no one believes anything that a politician says, and there is good empirical evidence for not believing)
3. Keep one set of books with all expenditures on budget; use sound business practices and principles of management when obligating tax dollars
4. Quit stealing from the taxpayer; eliminate earmarks and manage public money in the same way people manage their private checking accounts.

Of course, more is needed, but these four items would be a simple step to at least obtaining credibility. Right now, the Congress does not deserve any respect. They have spent us to the brink of failure as a country, and now they are quitting like rats jumping off a sinking ship. It is absolutely disgusting.

Posted by: Prof-Dr-G | February 17, 2010 4:11 AM | Report abuse


What are you talking about?

It is difficult to see if you are being sarcastic or not

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 17, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: seemstome | February 16, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Bayh and Palin in 2012 !!!!!! Wooeee!!!!
What a Team!! Bayh threw his hat in the ring.
He's a runnin. He will be the president of Wellpoint Insurance inc. AND the USA.

Posted by: seemstome | February 16, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse


Would you rather have the democrats lose complete control of Congress OR would you rather see Obama resign ?

Which would you prefer?


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 16, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

First,last and always ... Obama is the loser.

Posted by: cpameetingbook | February 16, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

There are only two winners here. Evan Bayh by displaying the courage to tell his colleagues that he wants no part of their gameplaying any longer. And, the american people because one of the 100 members of the "world's greatest deliberative body," pulled the curtain on the facade. Bayh's main message was, "... You have no idea how really bad it is trying to serve the people of the United States and Indiana with a political hack like Reid running the Senate."

Posted by: 15of18 | February 16, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Now that we see that Obama has the reverse-Midas touch - everything he touches turns into a disaster.


Today, Obama endorsed nuclear power plants.



Posted by: 37thand0street | February 16, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Bayh was a corporate political sponsor for health care businesses. He had no desire to represent the people. Hoosiers would not have elected him even if he spent his huge campaign bankroll. I along with others will be volunteering to help elect a new senator from Indiana who will work on issues that are critical for jobs, education, and health care. Bayh's swan song for leaving the race was a deception. He blames the Senate processes and refused to accept responsility for contributing to the Senate's failures. He walks away as a very lucrative man. Bayh is immature and a self-centered manipulator as others have said. Indiana can move forward on a solid foundation because Republicans and Democrats will bring forward candidates more effective than Bayh. Bayh was among the worst Senators in Washington, D.C. Hopefully the real winner will be the voters in Indiana who can elect someone to represent them and not the lobbyist.

Posted by: scottdnvll | February 16, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 16, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Another political move. Like Palin, he figured there are enough fools on main street to fat his pocket.

Posted by: revruc1 | February 16, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

What happens to the 13 million dollar war chest Bayh has stashed? Think he'll give any of it to the DNC? Probably not. He'll need it himself in 2012.

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 16, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Will it be Hillary and Bayh in 2012 or will it be Bayh and Hillary?

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 16, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we have enough people who know whats going on...

Posted by: alice00tdsnet | February 16, 2010 6:24 PM

You're right! Just look at the person in the White House.

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 16, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Not much of a centrist. "his rating with Citizens Against Government Waste is 25%, and 19% with the National Taxpayers Union. Bayh’s lifetime pro-family score with Campaign for Working Families is just 18%. That’s pathetic for someone who purportedly represents the “moderate center” of American politics. Here’s a sample of Bayh’s voting record:

FOR socialized medicine.
FOR hate crimes legislation.
FOR Obama’s pork-barrel spending stimulus bill.
FOR taxpayer-funding of groups that promote abortion.
FOR card-check legislation.
AGAINST English as our national language.
AGAINST efforts to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
AGAINST the confirmation of Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito.
AGAINST domestic oil exploration.

Only in a party dominated by liberals like Barney Frank, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi could a record like that be considered “moderate.”"

Posted by: rick2461 | February 16, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse


The purpose of the filibuster rules is clear - it forces compromise. It is good for the country.

All these people who say they do not like the filibuster - they not understand how the government is supposed to work.

The country is better off with the filibuster - and I said this numerous times in the debate over nuclear option, so I have been consistent on this issue.


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 16, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Mr Cillizza writes, "The White House's hopes of building momentum in advance of next week's bipartisan health care summit..."

The way things are going, there may not be any democrats left to attend the "bipartisan" health care summit.

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 16, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse


They are all Cooks ? What do you mean by that?


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 16, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we have enough people who know whats going on. In the last eight years we hav e took a a tremendous shot from our leaders.

Posted by: alice00tdsnet | February 16, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The retirement of many centrist Senators does not inevitably mean a harshly divided Senate which blocks virtually every initiative that doesn't suit either party. The real implication of Senator Bayh's retirement is for prominent candidates with substantial governmental or executive experience to collectively form an independent party that serves the interests of the American people. Americans would support such candidates in droves via internet and public funding if they would actually articulate their policies and legislative intent. Even David Brooks, the prominent Republican columnist of the NY Times, finally realized that the 2-party is nothing but froth-in-the-mouth gridlock, and is not representative government any longer, just two money collection machines that run on propaganda.

Posted by: ChrisHahin | February 16, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse


Book of Romans.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 16, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I really have a hard time considering the U. S. Senate as "world's greatest deliberative body". By and large, I think the members of that body are vain and selfish and certainly are not concerned with the good of the country! If they were, they would unanimously vote for congressional term limits. Power corrupts ...

Posted by: rtatlow | February 16, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The only way the centrists can save themselves - and save the democratic party - is to get Obama to resign before he does any more damage to the democratic party. The damage is extensive.

The democrats really do not realize what their position is.

The democratic agenda has completely imploded - it is gone - the American public has rejected it.

So where do the democrats go ???

If the democrats get rid of Obama, and go into the fall election as a re-vamped party, they have a chance. Otherwise, the anti-Obama forces will be energized and ready to pounce on ALL the democrats.




Posted by: 37thand0street | February 16, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Good point on the centrists - the centrists in both parties are under fire.

The parties are out of control.

However, the counter-weight in the Senate is that they do not have gerrymandered districts like in the House. The gerrymandered districts contributes to the polarization.

Obama went out to fool everyone - he kept on saying he was a centrist - a uniter.

Then Obama went all left-wing on everyone - with such little track record behind him prior to being President, I don't see how Obama gets himself out of this image problem - Obama has exposed himself as a fraud.

The democrats in the left-wing - they are all out saying Obama is not far enough to the left - unbelievable and unhelpful.

Bayh got out - The one thing that Bayh didn't have to hear is "Obama is not far enough to the left."

This part of it is ALL Obama's fault - Obama really blew it - all Obama had to do is do exactly what he said during his campaign - and he didn't.

Obama is inexperienced - what a disaster.

It would be much better for the democrats if it was Obama going back to Hyde Park instead of Bayh leaving.

Why should the democrats take the hit for Obama???

All the leadership positions, all the committee chairmanships, and all the staff positions are now on the line because of Obama - the democrats can either get Obama to resign or risk many many people.

What would you do?


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 16, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Chris, please do us all a favor and not refer to Sen. Mel Martinez as a centrist.

Posted by: cags777 | February 16, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

You forgot the biggest short and long term loser, Evan "Take My Toys and Go Home", "Here Kitty Kitty", "I'm So Pretty", "Aint Never Gonna Be President", "Bye Bye" Bayh.

K street here he comes!

Posted by: lithium452 | February 16, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I disagree about Byah - I don't really think he's been on board with trying to fix Congress, he's been a major part of it. After all, he speaks of government and how screwed up it is (like we haven't noticed) and then quits. Personally, I think he wants to disassociate himself from this administration so that when he attempts to run for President he will not be associated with the "screwed up" congress. Like he wasn't a part of it. Really.

Posted by: julieforBarack | February 16, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The public tunes in and out - the key is to look great when the public is tuned in - whatever happens when the public is tuned out means much less.

Obama really blew it in the past few weeks.

Over the past few weeks in the wake of the Massachusetts election, the public was tuned into Obama - they wanted to see Obama truly be bi-partisan - truly reflect the public mood on health care - and truly show that he is LISTENING.


THIS WILL BE A HARVARD CASE STUDY ON WHAT NOT-TO-DO. Obama wanted to make history on health care, and he has.

The democrats all over Congress and the staffs are shaking their heads.

This Bayh thing may have been coming all along - or it could be sudden - my guess is that Obama's response over the past few weeks pushed Bayh and made all the difference.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 16, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse


Many pols have used presidential primaries as springboards for their future.

I hope I don't fit into your categorization, at you have written;"What kind of far-right lunatic would think Evan Bayh would ever stand a chance in a Democratic Presidential Primary, especially vs. a sitting President?"

Posted by: billysings | February 16, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Sooner or Later, someone is going to re-analyze the 2008 election - and the analysis will go something like this - "X" amount of Obama's win was due to the extra money he had for commercials -

and "X" amount was due to Obama himself.

One can not complete toss aside the impact of the financial advantage - and to attempt to run a bunch of 30 second commericals - and then translate that into a mandate is a serious mistake.

Well take a look at the democrats

The democrats have been parading around Washington like the country has fundamentally changed in their direction - that is simply not the case at all.

Anything different is a delusion.

OK, the democrats maximized the dislike of Bush - but Bush is now gone.

The democrats also maximized their political benefits of opposition to the war in Iraq - to the point of demanding that we lose the war - and after many democrats had voted FOR the war.

But OK, that issue is now off the table as well.

OK then they came up with the rather bogus "vote for racial harmony" schtick - OK they apparently maximized that.

The point is NONE of these issues reflects a fundamental change in the country -

If you look at these issues, they really have little to do with actual domestic policy at all -

The liberal democrats appear to not even see that the moderates in their own party are not with them - so how can they judge the mood of the country.

It's a disaster - Obama has left his party with no agenda - he has blown all his political capital - Obama has backed himself into a corner - it is a complete disaster.


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 16, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

At least Mr. Bayh knows when to walk away from a burning building before he gets burned.

Congress is broken and Mr. Bayh cannot fix it by himself. To have the guts to see it and to say it out loud makes him a hero.

He's too much of a Human Being for what we call our Government.

The very best to you in your future pursuits and may they be more fruitful than our present Congress could ever be.

Posted by: medallynch | February 16, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

What kind of far-right lunatic would think Evan Bayh would ever stand a chance in a Democratic Presidential Primary, especially vs. a sitting President?

Bayh was one of three finalists on the short list for VP in 2008 with Joe Biden and Tim Kaine but Obama chose Biden.

As David Plouffe's book "Audacity to Win" noted, Bayh was viewed within the Obama campaign as the "safe" choice with the least upside, but also least downside of the three finalists. Bayh is Boring. He will never be elected President. He will probably be elected Governor of Indiana again in 2012.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | February 16, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I think Evan Bayh is cowardly. He dabbled in presidential politics but gave up almost immediately without any sort of fight. Now that he might possibly have a real contest on his hands - despite his lead in the polls - he retreats and doesn't fight. If he is disgusted with the Senatorial system then he should stay and try to fix it - not cut and run. I think if he had any hopes of ever running nationally he just closed that door for good. And someone suggested he might be put on the Supreme Court - not likely by the current president. I am a loyal Democrat who is disgusted by Senator Bayh's cowardly behavior.

Posted by: uofmdgrad | February 16, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Three cheers for Senator Bayh. Time to finally say out loud that the House and Senate are filled with incumbents who have overstayed their time! It lies with the voters to now send the message by voting NO to any incumbent, let's send them all back to their districts while we carefully vote for new congressmen and senators who may not so entrenched in the Washington beltway that they forgot WE THE PEOPLE.

Posted by: scottsandy02 | February 16, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

This is dumb. Who would vote for Bayh against Obama? He's too far right for 90% of dems and R's won't vote for him because he isn't a radical right loony.

All the people that post this nonsense are Rs.

Posted by: drindl | February 16, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else think the comment section to this post is the universe indicating its agreement with Chris's point about centrists?

Seriously, I'm expecting a rim shot to ring out across the world at any minute now.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | February 16, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

jeffreid1 - ABSOLUTELY WRONG - You get a ten-minute major for nonsense posting...

Posted by: orgbluspider | February 16, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse


Why don't you ever place Obama in the lists of your winners and losers?

It appears that you purposely leave out an analysis of the impact on the administration.

I don't believe this is the first time.


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 16, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama is going to get primaried - if one thinks about it - candidates really have to start getting ready this year - and have their fundraising full-blown all of next year.

Bayh can not afford to have a loss in Indiana - especially one that is Obama's fault.

Well, we will have to see how this plays out.

I was going to say the electorate is polarized - but that is not really true.

It is the political people who are polarized - and those in BOTH parties want to get rid of the people in their moderate wings - how can this be a good thing ?


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 16, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

So, JakeD2, where in the Bible does it say that "War and capital punishment ARE among the government's legitimate duties" but taking care of sick people is not?

Please feel free to be a conservative, but do not blaspheme the name of my Lord with your politics!

Posted by: orgbluspider | February 16, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

He's resigning to run against Obama in the 2012 democratic primaries.

Posted by: tctexas | February 16, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse


No comment about it in the mainstream media, but President Obama's embrace of nuclear power -- calling it a "green" technology despite unsolved problems with the disposal of dangerous nuclear waste -- may be the last straw for already disillusioned liberals and progressives who made possible the Obama presidency.

It's especially disappointing to those of us who realize that the military has developed new forms of "directed energy" weaponry based on science that some scientists believe could produce limitless amounts of cheap energy. But the civilian leadership either has been kept in the dark about this potential -- or purposely misled so that these technologies can be restricted to weapons of war and mass destruction instead of the betterment of mankind.

Example of the destructive application of one of these technologies -- being used to conduct a literal purge of American society: OR ("stories" list)

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 16, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Another reason for these retirements-

You retire, you keep your health insurance for LIFE!!!!

Of course, at taxpayer expense....

You get voted out, you get nothing.

Posted by: jeffreid1 | February 16, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised that no one here seems to hear Senator Bayh's resignation words as the perfect prologue to a presidential run.

Posted by: billysings | February 16, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

callling bayh a centralist is like calling yogi the bear fierce.

a total joke

Posted by: newagent99 | February 16, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

callling bayh a centralist is like calling yogi the bear fierce.

a total joke

Posted by: newagent99 | February 16, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: natriley3 | February 16, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I bet JakeD2's church takes a full tax they can spout more hate. When did the church get involved in universal health care? Better yet when did your church stop caring? If that is spirituality then we are simply doomed as a nation. I have a suggestion--go find the kingdom now Jake.

Posted by: tutnyc | February 16, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Bayh wins because he gets to walk away with his millions and likely a cushy job with Pharma or another lobbying firm.

Posted by: jbowen431 | February 16, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey JakeD2, what kind of Christian are you that you are happy that universal healthcare will die now? What "kingdom" does that get you to? You are no better than the a brain washed fanatic. Maybe Evan can take you with him. What a disgusting comment.

Posted by: tutnyc | February 16, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Who leaves a Senate race when he's 20 points ahead? Only someone who cares deeply for his country, who understands that Congress has become thoroughly stymied, and who seeks to register a vote against its ongoing dysfunction. I just wonder what his next move will be. He's 54, smart, and accomplished. Supreme Court justice?

Posted by: JulieinBoise | February 16, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Our political system is broken and it has been broken for some time. The question that needs to be asked is when will we fix it or will it destroy us. Least anyone doubt the validity of this line of reasoning I offer the following. Let me see. Anyone who reads a newspaper knows that we need to reform our immigration system. Are we getting any action in this area? No. Anyone who reads a newspaper knows that unemployment is at an historically high level and has been so for more than a year. Are we getting any action is this area? No. Do we need banking reform? Yes. Are we getting it? No. As a consequence, the real loser is not one politican or another, but hard working Americans everywhere.

Posted by: jeffreed | February 16, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse


War and capital punishment ARE among the government's legitimate duties. Not sure where you are having trouble understanding that is different from Obamacare.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 16, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

By the way ... Ezra Klein is full of crap .

Posted by: lagnafrah | February 16, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Bayh was not moderate, he was corporate. Do you people really not know the difference?

It's interesting how so many Rs say they're against congress being bought by corporate interests, and then they turn around and vote for the most corrupt corporate-owned one they can find.

Posted by: drindl | February 16, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Mike Pence for President ??

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Q. Who is he?

A. A delusional member of the House of Representatives.

There are plenty on both sides of the isle.

Posted by: Digital_Voter | February 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Senator Bayh's comments about his retirement ought to be a "warning shot" across the bow of both the Democratic and Republican parties: clean up the American political system, or the whole nation see to your demize.
Stop the nit-picking political arguing and rangling; start doing what you were electd to do in congress, or turn in your paycheck, and hit the road.
This nation is not healthy politically, physically, nor emotionally and spiritually, because 535 people on capitol hill cannot efficiently nor adequately tend to the public care of us citizens.
It's time for both chambers of congress to take stock of itself, beginning with it's leadership of both parties, and start being true statesmen, not politicians.
Good for Senator Bayh to issue a commentary on congress' report card...

Posted by: LLindgren1 | February 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Contrary to the arguments that democratic party is inclusive of all ideas, it is clear from Bayh's decision (and others like him) that democratic party has no space for moderates. Moderates are criticized by opinionators at MSNBC, HuffingtonPost and DailyKos for not being far left. The Republican moderates get criticized by the right wing talk radio and there will be no center in politics. That is too bad.

Posted by: philly3 | February 16, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse


Wow Jennifer.

Do you hate puppies too ???


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 16, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Last night Keith Olberman commented that one of the reasons Evan Bayh quit the Senate race was that Bayh was sick of being criticized by liberal Democrat bloggers.

Well here's another shot at you Senator Bayh.

You are a blue dog, weasel DINO who fraudulently induced working class Democrats in your home state to vote for you, and then you stabbed them in the back, time and time again by supporting big business and the Republican agenda.

You are not a Democrat. You are self centered manipulator. The Democratic Party, the Senate and the people of your home state are well rid of you.

When a Republican Senator is elected, at least voters know what to expect. When Depublican DINOs like you are elected Senator Bayh, the result is the election of a politician no one can trust.

You shame Birch Bayh's legacy Senator Evan Bayh. Good riddance to you.

Posted by: Jennifer555 | February 16, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Yeah JakeD2, unless it involves abortion, in which case "devout Christians" (code for right wingers using God as an argument for polcies that can't be defended using logic) are happy to let the government knock down doors and arrest women and doctors.

Those same "devout Christians" also love it when the government is the "solution" to dealing with Middle Eastern infidels.

Posted by: SWB2 | February 16, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17; Luke 20:20-26.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 16, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Cillizza forgot to mention the biggest winners of all- the American citizen and the Constitution of the United States.

Posted by: zippy007 | February 16, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Devout Christians realize that our kingdom is not of this world and that the government is not the solution to the world's ills.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 16, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Winner - Evan Bayh - I realize that being a Senator can be pretty lucrative, but man, it must be the most mindnumbing job in the world.

Loser - aspiring politicians. By the same token, Bayh will probably discourage at least some people from choosing that route. The Senate has become so dysfunctional, that people who are looking to get into politics for patriotic reasons will be less inclined to do so. Things that should be passed without much difficulty are being held up for political reasons. The Senate health care bill should be a slam dunk. It's deficit friendly, cost reducing, no expansion in government distribution of healthcare, but yet not a single Republican will vote for it. That's indicative of a problem with the system. If a devout Christian wants to improve the lot of the poor or the sick, you think he's going to want to get into elected office to sit on his ass for the rest of his life? I doubt it. And that's bad for the country.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Obamacare is also a loser as this should be the final nail in that coffin (thank God).

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 16, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

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