Sunday, December 17, 2006
Perhaps lost over the weekend was the quiet but surprising announcement that Senator Evan Bayh (Ind.) would not seek the Presidency; the announcement came just two weeks after annoucing that he was moving his campaign forward. Moreover, Bayh's first 'official' trip to New Hampshire last week was overshadowed by Senator Barack Obama's appearances there.
Bayh had positioned himself as a centrist, and was former head of the Demoractic Leadership Conference (DLC). Criticism of Bayh's candidacy seemed to focus on his lack of personal charisma, as well as his lack of name recognition in a field increasingly dominated by one name political celebrities (e.g., "Hillary", "Obama.") He had raised over $10M in preparation for the campaign, however.
Regardless of Bayh's standing, he was the only Democrat is the expected field who had shown the ability to repeatedly win in a "red" state, Indiana. (He has been elected there twice as a Senator, and was also elected Governor in 1988 and 1992.) His withdrawal probably helps John Edwards the most, as Edwards can also claim 'red' state credentials (Edwards was elected only once statewide in North Carolina, however.)