Friday, July 11, 2014

Can Evan Bayh Make Nice with Democrats?

The Bayh Family
We found out something yesterday.  Evan Bayh can still make headlines.

The former Secretary of State, Governor and U.S. Senator opened up to Brian Howey about his future, and it may include a run for the state's highest executive office again.  Bayh told Howey that he hasn't ruled out another run, but he termed it as "less likely than more likely."

First, he has some fence mending to do.  Some Democrats still believe that Bayh cost the party a Senate seat when he retired from the Senate right before the primary election filing deadline in February of 2010.  It left no time for other Democrats to get enough signatures to appear on the ballot.  Therefore, it became the duty of the Indiana Democratic Party to nominate a candidate.

Congressman Brad Ellsworth was named by the party as its candidate, but he had barely laid any groundwork and lost to Dan Coats in the fall, 55 to 40 percent.  Bayh also has turned to lobbying and consulting as well as being a Fox News pundit.  All those actions and decisions have garnered much criticism from the left.

Given the desire to beat Mike Pence or the next Republican in line for the office, you would figure that many Democrats will forgive Bayh for these things.  Some won't, but Bayh can definitely count on a good number of crossover votes.  If he's wanting to mend those fences, he had better start soon.    

Bayh starts out with a huge campaign account balance.  While he's come off some of the money, there's still over $9 million in there.  At this point, I would agree with Bayh.  It's probably unlikely that he runs, but he will carefully and calculatingly make a decision.  Judging from comments left on the Indy Star's page, he might start out being the frontrunner.  He has his record from his time as Governor to fall back on, and few Indiana Republicans can match his depth of experience.

John Gregg is also considering another run in 2016, but I doubt he will run if Bayh decides to enter the race.

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