I do however, find it ironic that six years after the fact, that someone suddenly put a bug in the US Senate Sergeant At Arms ear - during the midst of a heated Indiana US Senate race. [Ahem].
Who does the pot stirring benefit, at my expense?
It's totally irresponsible and reckless - if you ask me.
Bayh's 2010 issue challenges are back in '16
Aug 23, 2016
For a former senator and governor who used to win campaigns in landslide fashion, Evan Bayh has gotten a wake-up call at how peculiar the 2016 cycle is shaping up.
Bayh re-entered Indiana politics in July just as suddenly as he left it in 2010. In a stunning switcheroo, the nominee Hoosier Democrats chose in last May’s primary, Baron Hill, quit and Bayh with his $10 million war chest that he’s sat on for six years was back!
It was the bookend to his February 2010 bombshell just before filing deadline that he wouldn’t seek a third term. Was it the emerging Tea Party movement that would help end fellow Sen. Dick Lugar’s political career two years later? Was it the fact that the Bayhs found themselves much wealthier at this point than when he entered the Senate in 1999, the family income increasing by 350 percent? Was it that the media attention would be afixed to Susan Bayh, who ended up on a number of corporate boards where she raked in millions of dollars?
Whatever the reason, Bayh’s decision forever changed Hoosier politics. It would ignite the “Bayh dominoes” with U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth, State Rep. Trent Van Haaften and State Sen. Bob Dieg all hurriedly filing for different races they were destined to lose. It set off a chain of events which would root the Democratic Party out of its river county warrens, with no congressional seats and only a couple of Indiana House seats left below U.S. 50 by 2014.
Many traditionally Democratic county seats and city halls went Republican. And Bayh sat on close to $10 million for six years, money which might have helped put John Gregg over the top in his 2012 gubernatorial race against Mike Pence, where he came up less than 3 percent short.
Bayh’s decision transformed the Indiana Democratic Party to Lake, St. Joseph and Marion counties, and a handful of university and college cities and towns.
Bayh’s 2010 decision had actually been in the works for months. Seated in the Oval Office before the president in early September 2009 sat the senator. “Are you 100 percent sure?” President Obama asked when the retirement notion came up. “I’m 98 percent sure,” Bayh responded to his one-time Senate colleague. This would be his secret for another five months and it set up the dynamic that would allow former Republican Sen. Dan Coats to move back to Indiana (our retiring U.S. Senators usually stay in Washington) nine months later and win the seat.
Little wonder that Rep. Ellsworth, who was quickly slotted for the Senate nomination, would stand with DNC Chairman Tim Kaine at the Indiana Democratic Editorial Association convention just prior to Labor Day 2010 at French Lick, quipping, “I would like to thank Evan Bayh — I think — for this opportunity.”
Bayhs rapid return this year lent credibility to Joe Scarborough’s “Morning Joe” speculative story that Bill Clinton and Donald Trump had conspired in 2015, that Trump’s presidential run was really a corporate branding lark, and that the Trump dog had caught the car. One could easily imagine the Clintonian presidential whispers into the senator’s ear: “Come back, Evan. Hillary will be president. She needs a Democratic Senate. Indiana could put us over the top. Win the seat, help pull my good ol’ boy buddy John Gregg into the governor’s office, and that cabinet post you always wanted could come in a couple of years.”
But his comeback might not be so easy. CNN reported this past week that he used his multi-million dollar Georgetown house as his official address when he donated to Hillary Clinton last year. There was his $53,000 Indianapolis condo, where he is registered to vote and listed on his Indiana driver’s license, that at least lends him more cover than Sen. Lugar had when a similar issue overran him in the winter of 2012. Buzzfeed reported that Bayh moved his personal foundation from Indianapolis to K Street in Washington. Huffington Post and the Indy Star reported that Bayh raked in $4 million over the past five years, exploiting his old Senate connections for board of director slots at five corporations.
Bayh attempted to swat the residency issue away, telling WIBC he’s “deeply connected to Indiana — always have been, always will be.” Bayh insisted he has returned to Indiana often, for a former senator has to “keep one foot back in Indiana.”
A recent Monmouth University Poll in Indiana had Bayh leading Republican Todd Young 48-41 percent, a far cry from internal Democratic polls earlier this summer showing him ahead by close to 20 points.
Four years after $50 million spilled into the U.S. Senate campaigns of Lugar, Richard Mourdock and Joe Donnelly, the same might happen with Young and Bayh. Since Bayh entered the race in late July, $8 million has been spent on this race, about $4 million by and on behalf of both Bayh and Young, according to Trevor Foughty, Young’s campaign manager.
Yes, Evan, the more things change, the more things stay the same. You’re in for a wild ride. Welcome home.
2016 INDIANA SENATE ELECTION
Updated August 18, 2016
- Sure enough, Evan Bayh has made this race much more favorable for Democrats. A month after joining the race, Bayh is in the lead by seven points according to a Monmouth University poll, the first survey testing the Young-Bayh matchup. With five projected takeovers in ther corner as of mid-August, the Democrats can regain control of the chamber with a Hillary Clinton victory at the top of the ballot.
Updated July 13, 2016 - Democrats scored a pretty sizable coup with this week's announcement that former Senator and Governor Evan Bayh will replace their primary winner and nominee Baron Hill on the ballot in November. It isn't that Hill was a weak nominee; it's just that Bayh is probably the strongest Democrat in the state.
Time will tell what impact the candidate switcharoo has on this race, but it certainly gives Democrats a tick up in their quest to regain the Senator majority in 2016. With Bayh on the ballot, I'm compelled to change the preliminary projection to a more competitive Weak GOP Hold.
Posted May 17, 2016 - The open seat senate race in Indiana will feature a rematch - of sorts. Republican Todd Young and Democrat Baron Hill are the nominees, but this isn't the first time they've matched up. Back in 2010, when Baron Hill was in the U.S. House representing Indiana CD-9, it was Young who unseated him to claim one of 65 GOP takeovers that year. This year, they meet on a grander stage.
Republican Dan Coats, first elected the same year Hill and Young battled for the 9th, has decided one term is enough. He is not seeking re-election. Given Indiana's conservative lean, this should be a rather easy hold for the red team. However, the top of the ticket features Donald Trump, and that presents a rather large unknown. Still, while the race may be closer than it otherwise would be, Young should be able to keep the seat in Republican hands.
United States Senate election in Indiana, 2016
The 2016 United States Senate election in Indiana will take place on November 8, 2016, to elect a member of the United States Senate to represent the State of Indiana, concurrently with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as other elections to the United States Senate in other states and elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections.
Incumbent Republican Senator Dan Coats, who has served in the Senate since 2011, and previously served from 1989 to 1999, had stated that he planned to run for re-election, but in March 2014 his Chief of Staff said that Coats "has decided not to decide whether to run again until after the  midterm elections". On March 24, 2015, Coats announced that he would not run for re-election. The primaries were held on May 3, and were won by former U.S. Representative Baron Hill and U.S. Representative Todd Young. However, on July 11, 2016, Hill withdrew, and former U.S. Senator Evan Bayh entered the race to regain the seat he held from 1999–2011 and that his father, Birch Bayh, held from 1963–1981. The Indiana Democratic Party chose Bayh as Hill's replacement on July 22.