In most of the big legislative battles of the past two years, Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) ended up getting exactly what he wanted: a watered-down stimulus package, a public option-free health care reform package and a halt to both EFCA and a cap-and-trade bill. Unfortunately, he didn't necessarily feel like he was being treated like the special beam of starlight he thought he was -- so rather than run for re-election, he decided to abandon his seat, vowing, "If I could create one job in the private sector by helping to grow a business, that would be one more than Congress has created in the last six months." (On that regard, he should probably re-check the scoreboard.)
At any rate, Bayh's Democratic colleagues have a new reason to celebrate him today. Per Politico:
Retiring Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh is sitting on a mountain of campaign cash that could help advance his political career, even as Democratic leaders urge senators to dig deep into their pockets right now to help save their threatened congressional majority.
Bayh's latest Federal Election Commission report shows that he still has $10.3 million in his campaign account - a staggering amount for a lame duck senator -- but he has yet to transfer any of that money to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Bayh has by far the most cash-on-hand of any retiring senator who is not seeking elective office this cycle, intensifying expectations that he is saving the cash for a future statewide or national run.
But Democrats battling to save their Senate majority seem eager to get as much of Bayh's money as they can right now.
So he's not going to be creating that private sector job after all, instead opting for another political campaign? Maybe Bayh's simply falling back on those well-worn instincts that have always compelled him to make sure large sums of money ended up in the hands of the already-wealthy. At any rate, that's your Evan Bayh -- team player, right to what I imagine was an especially bitter end.