Links - Official Sites: Senate Office, All America PAC
Independent Sites: Americans for Bayh (blog), more
Legislation: 109th, 108th, 107th, 106th; Project Vote Smart
Finances: PAC finances (1); Open Secrets   Organization
Patrick Ruffini's 2008 Presidential Wire: Stories on Evan Bayh  |  Daily KOS: Evan Bayh

In Brief - Elected to the U.S. Senate in Nov. 1998, re-elected in 2004.  Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, announced Feb. 2001, stepped down in July 2005.  Elected Governor in 1988, re-elected in 1992.  Elected Secretary of State in 1986.  Private practice in Indianapolis.  Graduate of the University of Virginia, law degree, 1981 and of Indiana University with a degree in business economics, 1978.  Born Dec. 26, 1955 in Shirkieville, IN.  [Timeline].

"Too Many Goliaths"
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) was among the most active of the potential Democratic candidates in the pre-campaign period.  In late summer of 2006 Bayhís All America PAC trained and deployed 50 paid campaign staffers to races mostly in Iowa and New Hampshire, but also in Indiana, Nevada and South Carolina.  The PAC directly contributed more than $270,000 to over 350 Democratic candidates and party committees in the 2006 cycle.  Among Democratic prospects Bayh was second only to former Sen. John Edwards in time spent in Iowa (by Dec. 4, 2006 he had made ten visits totaling 21 days compared to 14 visits and 24 days for Edwards) and tied for second in time spent in New Hampshire (seven visits totaling 13 days through Dec. 10, 2006).

On December 5 Bayh filed with the FEC to establish a presidential exploratory committee.  Bayh's December 9-10 visit to New Hampshire included a reception and a couple of small house parties, but the state's Democrats were abuzz with excitement over Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL)'s Sunday visit, which drew sold-out crowds.  On December 16, less than two weeks after he had filed to establish the exploratory committee, Bayh announced he would not be a candidate in 2008, stating in part, "And whether there were too many Goliaths or whether Iím just not the right David, the fact remains that at the end of the day, I concluded that due to circumstances beyond our control the odds were longer than I felt I could responsibly pursue."  

The Moderate
A major argument for the possible candidacy of Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), according to the independent Americans for Bayh website, was that he "wins statewide in traditionally Republican Indiana."  In fact he won four times statewide, first to the office of Secretary of State in 1986, followed by two terms as Governor, and two terms as Senator.  In 2004, while President Bush won Indiana by more than 20 percentage points, Bayh trounced a little known opponent, gaining more than 61 percent of the vote.  His campaign committee finished 2004 with $6.6 million cash on hand and no debts; this money could be applied to a presidential campaign.  Bayh honed his moderate credentials by chairing the centrist Democratic Leadership Council for four years.  He was also a leader in founding Third Way, a 501(c)(4) that launched in January 2005 and seeks to "develop policy and communications products to help Senators, House members and other progressive leaders connect more effectively with moderate voters."  The theory was that a moderate like Bayh could do well not only in Indiana, but also in Southern states where Democratic presidential candidates have floundered in recent elections.

Bayh by all accounts was a popular governor, and eight years of executive experience could not be dismissed lightly, but he finished that service almost a decade ago and memories had faded.  He had not been overly visible in the Senate.  His low-key demeanor was not well suited to firing up crowds.  Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, who considered a presidential campaign before opting not to run in October 2006, appeared likely to appeal to the same kind of moderate voters that might have favored Bayh, but seemed to attract considerably more early interest.

Sons of Former Presidential Candidates
If Bayh had run, he would have followed in the footsteps of his father, Birch Bayh, who sought the Democratic nomination in 1976, but lost to Jimmy Carter.  The senior Bayh served 18 years in the U.S. Senate, being elected in 1962 and defeated in his 1980 re-election bid.  The father of another '08 prospect, Republican Mitt Romney, also was a presidential contender.

"The American Middle Class: Future of the Nation, Future of the Democratic Party." National Press Club.  July 17, 2006.  [prepared remarks]

Chris Cillizza.  "The Life Of The Party?"  Indianapolis Monthly.  August 2005.

Bayh is author of FROM FATHER TO SON: A Private Life in the Public Eye published by Emmis Books, Guild Press of Indiana (March 5, 2003).

Dec. 3, 2006-After an appearance on ABC News' "This Week" during which he announced he would be forming an exploratory committee.
Nov. 15, 2006-Press conference with the three newly elected congressmen from Indiana.
Sept. 24-25, 2006-Visit to NH.  [Flickr, Michael Garafalo]
Aug. 15, event in front of Linn County Court House in Cedar Rapids, IA.  []
Aug. 15, 2006-Campaigning for local candidates at Brewed Awakenings in Cedar Rapids, IA.  [Linn County Democrats]
Aug. 14, 2006-At the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, IA.
July 17, 2006-Calls for a renewed focus on the American middle class in a speech at the National Press Club.
July 8, 2006-Campaigning with congressional candidate Dave Loebsack at a private home in Iowa City, IA.  [Loebsack for Congress]
June 9-10, 2006-In Manchester, Bartlett and Rollinsford, NH.  [Flickr]
May 19, 2006-At Polk County Democrats' Spring Dinner in Des Moines, IA.  [Polk County Democrats]
March 26, 2006-Joins New Hampshire Young Democrats for a brunch event at the home of Justin Nadeau in Portsmouth, NH.  [New Hampshire Young Democrats]
Feb. 12, 2006-At a fundraiser for the Iowa Senate Democratic Majority Fund with Sen. Keith Kreiman and Becky Schmitz at UFCW Local #230 Hall in Ottumwa, IA.  [Flickr]
Aug. 2, 2005-Press conference with Rep. Leonard Boswell on efforts to combat methamphetamine at State Historical Society (Terrace) in Des Moines, IA. [Flickr]
July 10-11, 2005-In Manchester, Concord and Merrimack, NH during first trip since the Nov. 2004 election.  [Flickr]

On the Web
June 16, 2006 grab
March 31, 2006 grab July 5, 2005 grab April 27, 2005 grab

Copyright © 2005, 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action