Sen. Evan Bayh is expected to announce Monday that he will not seek a third term in the Senate, a source close to the Indiana Democrat told CNN.
Bayh may have really screwed the Democrats here. I just looked up the filing requirements for Senate primary candidates in Indiana. The CAN-4 form, which can be located here, titled, INDIANA PETITION FOR PRIMARY BALLOT PLACEMENT AS A CANDIDATE FOR UNITED STATES SENATOR, states:
INSTRUCTIONS: This petition is used to nominate candidates for placement on the May 4, 2010 Democratic or Republican Primary Election Ballot for the office of United States Senator. Petitioners are not required to provide precinct and congressional district information. The county voter registration office will complete this information after the petition is filed. Each candidate must also complete a Declaration of Candidacy for Primary Nomination form (CAN-2). This petition must be filed with the appropriate county voter registration office for processing beginning January 4, 2010, and no later than NOON, February 16, 2010.
That means Democrats might only have until tomorrow at noon to get a candidate on the ballot. I’m going to check further on this.
The decision blows a sizeable hole in the Democrats’ 2010 lineup, in a state that Republicans have long eyed as a prime pick-up opportunity. The retirement is likely to intensify chatter about the GOP’s chances to take over the Senate this year.
"After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so by serving in Congress has waned," Bayh plans to say, according to excerpts obtained by The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza.
Republicans recently coaxed former Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., into running for Bayh’s seat, which he held before Bayh was elected to two terms. Coats’ candidacy got off to a slow start, with questions about his lobbying clients and his residency, though Bayh’s exit makes this a much easier race for any Republican.
The Democrats need to get overthemselves and turn to reconciliation to start passing positive and much-needed legislation. The Republicans used reconciliation to force the Bush tax cuts through Congress and there was barely a whimper from the press or the public. The Democrats were perceived at the time as weak. Republicans were perceived as "savvy" and "cunning."
Now the Democrats are worried about making the Republicans "angry." And that’s too bad.
Time for the Democrats to grow a pair, as Howard Dean said. Now.
This could turn into quite the