Evan Bayh is up to something…maybe. That’s what the good folks at the Center for Public Integrity think, at least. They may just be right.
The CPI reports that Bayh has a whopping $9.8 million in his federal campaign account. It’s more than any other former member of Congress who is sitting on his or her hands this election cycle can claim, and, as the CPI points that money would give Bayh a huge advantage over anyone, incumbent or otherwise, should he run for something in the future.
So what’s Bayh thinking? That’s the $9.8 million question.
His behemoth total in his campaign account can be used for federal or state level runs in the future. That means that good old Evan can run for either Governor or Senator in 2016. Would we finally get that matchup between Coats and Bayh, or is Evan looking at retaking the Governor's mansion for the Democrats? More than likely, he's enjoying lobbying, punditry and all the attention he gets every time elections roll around.
Bayh could also be a viable Vice Presidential candidate for his friend, Hillary Clinton. When Clinton campaigned in the state in 2008, Bayh campaigned with her.
If Mike Pence passes on a run at reelection for a run at another office, Bayh could even be seen as the favorite to win and at least up for a neck and neck run with Pence, who has over $8 million less.
Clearly, Bayh is holding on to his campaign cash for some reason, and I won’t believe that Bayh is done politically until his account is empty, and that money gives him choices.
If Bayh runs, what does John Gregg do? Would he sit back and play for the Lieutenant Governor's spot? That would be an awfully conservative Democratic ticket, but it worked out for Bayh and Frank O'Bannon. That said, as my friend Matt Stone pointed out in a conversation earlier, it's usually not likely that a past party nominee takes the #2 slot on the gubernatorial ticket.
This doesn't even bring in the possibilities of all the other possible candidates for Governor out there. The run up to 2016 will be fun to watch.