February 15th, 2010
06:24 PM ET
13 years ago

Too tough to be a centrist?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/15/art.bayh.file.gi.jpg caption="Senator Evan Bayh announced Monday that he would not seek another term."]Washington (CNN) - Facing a backlash from the liberal wing of their party, Sen. Evan Bayh and other centrist Democrats are examining their re-election options and deciding to simply walk away, political analysts note.

"Because Democrats are scared, some people are saying 'it's not worth it ... there's not a place for my voice,' " said political analyst Jennifer Donahue. "It's looking like an exodus - between him and Sen. Chris Dodd and open seats that look like they could easily be Republican pickups."

But it not's just centrist Democrats feeling the heat from the edges of their party - former GOP Rep. J.D. Hayworth announced on Monday that he would take on Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party's last presidential candidate, in his home state of Arizona.

Bayh, an Indiana Democrat, announced Monday that he will not seek re-election in November. Bayh is the third Democratic senator to announce he is retiring. Dodd of Connecticut and Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota previously said they would not seek re-election.

"Congress is not operating as it should," Bayh said at a news conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, adding there's too much partisanship and "the people's business is not getting done."

Full story

Filed under: 2010 • Evan Bayh
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Mitchell from MS

    Another rat jumping ship before it sinks..........lol.

    February 15, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  2. Bambi go Boom

    What a coward! Maybe he and Sarah Palin should get together!

    February 15, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  3. Darko

    I really don't think you should put Bayh and Dodd in the same sentence.

    One is being kicked out for presiding over fannie and freddie, and getting kcikbacks for it. He also has a snow balls chance in hell of getting re-elected.

    Bayh has just had enough of DC, the obama administration and his own party's leadership.

    February 15, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. mjm

    Whether you are a conservative democrat like JFK and Clinton, or a conservative Republican like Reagan, this is a center right country and it always will be. We differ on social issues, slightly, but we see eye to eye on fiscal responsibility.

    Liberals, like Obama, have to go.

    February 15, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. malclave

    The Democrat Congress is interested in "the people's business" in the same way that many nations calling themselves "People's Republics" are.

    February 15, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  6. Tom, Flastaff AZ

    Bayh has been a Senatorial wimp. When I think of lack of backbone, he comes to mind. My party–the Democratic party–may miss his vote, but the rank and file will not miss him. Maybe he can return to Indiana and manage a grocery store.

    February 15, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. JD

    Evan Byah on retirement:
    "Congress is not operating as it should," Bayh said at a news conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, adding there's too much partisanship and "the people's business is not getting done."

    Then by all means, Senator, the correct decision is to give up and NOT try to fix it – coward! Indiana apparently deserves better.

    February 15, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. OldUncleTom

    It is not Congress, it is the Senate. As both parties move to the edges of their respective political philosophies, we get closer to gridlock.

    Some may applaud this condition, but if my house is on fire, I don't want the Fire Department stuck in traffic, or broken down by the roadside.

    Fix the Senate. Repeal XVII, then scrap seniority and the filibuster.

    February 15, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  9. JR

    Cashing in. Maybe he'll do a book tour with a bus that has his picture on it that will pick him up at the airport when his chartered jet arrives.

    February 15, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. ib

    It's sad that the democrats have come to this. I am a conservative and I will vote for anyone from either party that is not far left or far right but it is becoming harder and harder to find these people.

    February 15, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. Billy

    Pansy. "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen." goes an old farmers' saying. Too bad Bayh can't take the heat. Now the Repubs may take control and they'll continue W's trashing of America.

    February 15, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. From a Chicago Independent 26 year old white male

    REVOLUTION REVOLUTION REVOLUTION.....taxation without representation!!!! I feel that nobody is being well represented anymore by repubs and demos. This has become to much of a "i wanna job get paid well and people like me cause I can say things they wanna hear" then a "this is what i need to do for my people state cause this is what they want even if it's not exactly what I want and it's not exactly going to help me get re-elected or further my political asperations." When will we all realize that once our leaders know that they can adjust their own pay and scratch each others backs and turn politics into a game to see how long they can stay in power cause there is no term limits, then we will never be a successful country and right now it kind of feels like we have royalty instead of leaders. War is the only way this will ever change and till then we will never truely be a republic cause right now no one is being listen too.

    February 15, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. stevegee

    The American people are fed up with the Federal Government and have moved to the right in their philosophy. It's back to basics - more power for individual freedom and liberty. The days of big government are over!

    February 15, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. Terry from West Texas

    "Centrists" and "moderates" are doing a lot of damage to the political system. They have somehow acquired the idea that if you split the difference and do every job half-way, that somehow wisdom emerges. Maybe that comes from the silly story in the BIble about Solomon threatening to cut a child in half.

    Moderates figure that if a house is on fire, you should put out half the fire. It a person has an infection, give him half as many antibiotics as he would need to cure his condition. If it costs too much to train pilots, moderates figure that we'll cut the budget in half and train them to take off but not to land. On a thousand mile journey, the moderate gets tired and wants to turn back after going the first 500 miles.

    If you split the difference between Conservatism and Liberalism, you have a disaster. Conservatives do not want to solve any problems at all. Liberals want to solve all the problems we can. If you split the difference between solving problems and not solving problems, you end up not solving problems.

    February 15, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The country will continue to lose bright educated young people like Bayh as long as those old farts are still in Washington.

    February 15, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  16. Hows that nonunion made Toyota workin for ya?

    He got his Wellpoint Healthcare bag money and is heading for retirement or a lobbyist job for them.His wife already works for them.

    February 15, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  17. Liberal wing nut

    Moderate democrats where stepped on by Obama during the state of the union. Its a shame

    February 15, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. Rick

    Sen. Evan Bayh is a fake. His wife was collecting millions from Insurance companies when her husband was blocking health care. Another vote the republicans will lose.

    February 15, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  19. Bernie

    Jessica Yelln is showing her Republican bias again. She absolutely failed to mention that the senators who co-sponsored the job bill before and who now rejcted it were Republicans. Why do the American people allow the Republicans to be obstructionists and therefore fail to govern? It is because of reporters like Jessica who does not see the value in unbiased reporting. . I myself will change the channel everytime I see her speak. report.

    February 15, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  20. Jake

    Looks like the Dems are already on the way out,we Repubs do not have to even wait till November.Keep talking to yourself Dems,you can still blame somebody for your problems ON THE WAY HOME,you bunch of morons.

    February 15, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  21. lilacluvr

    I wonder if there would be such an exodus if there were no payout of thier pensions and they all lose their health insurance? We are in dire economics times and perhaps all these long-term poltiicians need to learn the facts of life.

    February 15, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  22. U.S. Citizen

    Bayh is not a centrist. He is a conservative bordering on neocon in foreign policy.

    February 15, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. The Lady

    Only the strong survive.

    February 15, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  24. Ann

    Isn't 'tucking tail and running' precisely what Obama requested Dems NOT TO DO during his State of the Union address??

    February 15, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  25. valwayne

    Sen Bayh didn't even tell the Obama administration he was retiring until just before the announcement. He must really be upset with the radical left wing extremism and corruption of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. It was hard to understand how an honest moderate man like Sen Bayh could vote for the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback, and the trillions and trillions in additional corrupt spending in the stimulous and healthcare bills! Now we know how difficult it was for him! Lets hope he takes some time off and he or Hillary come back and challenge Obama for the nomination in 2012!!!! The radical left wing agenda and the corrution have to end!!!!!

    February 15, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
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