The Republicrat junior Senator from Indiana, who refused to take a stand on any issue aside from tax cuts, announced yesterday (here) that he will not be seeking reelection for a third term. His departure raises several questions: (1) What is the real reason he decided not to run - did internal polling suggest a first electoral loss was in his near future? (2) Did he really believe that the biggest problem with the Bush tax cuts was that they were not broad and deep enough? (3) What can he possibly point to as an actual achievement of his 12 years in the Senate?
Today, the blogosphere is filled with appreciations (if that is the right word) of Senator Bayh's career. I have not seen one that is flattering. Matthew Yglesias (here) finds that Evan Bayh's Senate career compares very poorly with that of his father, Birch Bayh. Yglesias also suggests that Evan Bayh may be most remembered for his "die-hard commitment to the children of multi-millionaires." Ezra Klein writes in the Washington Post (here) that Bayh is retiring to "spend more time scolding his family for moving too far to the left." Over at The Reality-Based Community (here), Jonathan Zasslof refers to Even Bayh as "an empty suit," who combined an "extraordinary unctiousness and vapidity." I'm afraid Zasslof may be confusing Bayh with John Kerry, but the description is nonetheless apt.