Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bayh's Withdrawal: A Conjecture

The news stories I have seen on Indiana senator Evan Bayh's decision not to run for reelection have mostly focused on the decision, not the timing, although they usually mention that, by leaving it to the last minute, he made it almost impossible for anyone to collect the signatures required to enter the primary. Nobody seems to be asking why he did it that way.

One interesting possibility occurs to me. Perhaps he believed that an earlier announcement would result in a bruising primary fight and the probable winner would be a candidate unlikely to win the election—roughly speaking, what happened to the Republicans not long ago in a New York congressional district. Resigning only a few days before the deadline for the primary throws the choice to the state democratic committee—which can, and perhaps will, pick the strongest candidate.

I should add that I know very little about Indiana state politics, so this is only a conjecture. Perhaps some better informed reader can tell me if it is a plausible one.


Miko said...

This supposes that he knew he wasn't running again early enough to have considered such options. If, on the other hand, he was fully intending to run until recent events made it clear that the Democrats are going to do extremely poorly in 2010, he could have just made a last minute choice to bow out voluntarily with his ego intact.

Francis said...

Mr. Friedman,

Another commenter has the same theory at the Weekly Standard:


Anonymous said...

He had many issues, down in polls, wife gets big bucks, more than a million a year as corporate director for companies that he helped.
The Indiana papers finally spread that fact.
In my book-good riddance.
He as a just another crook.


Gazete Oku said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dlr said...

Yeah, I think you are right about his wanting to throw the nomination into the hands of the Democratic Committee. I just don't ascribe noble motives to explain his doing so. I would say he wants the Democratic Committee to pick the candidate because he wants the candidate to be grateful to the political insiders, and to reflect their values, rather than to reflect the values of the voters of his state. A truly contemptible decision - anti democratic by design .