After absorbing the news from every outlet on earth yesterday, even our own editor’s take, on the “surprise” retirement of Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh, I have to say that analysts are not considering all the “good” that can come from his retirement from the U.S. Senate. It seems that everyone predicts a Republican to pick up his seat in November. Lately, I have been among the few to see some things that ebb against the accepted flow in analyzing races and situations. This is another such ebb.
I think the reason that Bayh waited until Presidents’ Day to announce his retirement was to prevent someone relatively unknown, like Tamyra d’Ippolito, from garnering the nomination without a primary election AND without their seal of approval by collecting the requisite signatures necessary to get on the primary ballot. The Democrats have an opportunity to select a candidate, since it seems that d’Ippolito did not achieve the 4500 signatures necessary to get on the ballot. If she had, that is the WORST CASE SCENARIO for Democrats. By waiting, Bayh almost assured that the state Democrat Party could spend time vetting, choosing and fundraising for someone “moderate” enough to win the state, but “progressive” enough to fully support the agenda of the party for the next six years. While d’Ippolito likely fills out the latter, there is no chance she can accommodate the former.
Bart Stupak, the Congressman whose decision to end his holdout on the health care reform bill guaranteed it’s passage, has announced that he’s going to retire at the end of this term:
Michigan Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak, who was the central figure in the abortion debate surrounding the health care law, will retire from Congress at the end of this term.
Stupak, who’s been in Congress for 18 years, will make the announcement at a 12:30 p.m. ET press conference in Marquette, Mich.
Stupak told The Associated Press that attacks on him for his role in the abortion debate did not influence his decision and he could win re-election if he tried.
Stupak was a lightning rod in the debate over abortion provisions contained in the health care feud. Abortion language in the House bill was deemed the Stupak amendment because it provided clear rules that federal funding could not be used by insurance companies to pay for abortions. But the final law adopted different language from the Senate bill.
In the final analysis, the left accused Stupak of attempting to make abortion access more difficult while the right said he caved at the last minute by agreeing to weaker Senate provisions.
The guy was a wet noodle in the end so I can’t say I’ll miss him.