Monday, February 15, 2010

Reid Didn't Know About Bayh's Retirement

Interesting tidbit MSDNC is reporting on the Bayh retirement. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did not know about Bayh's plans to retire but Obama spoke with him this morning. Was there some pressure on Bayh to step aside so Democrats could avoid the anti-incumbent fevah? Does Bayh blame Reid for bungling the Senate health care vote? It's possible Bayh felt some need to let Obama know his decision before it broke in the news and Obama was just as stunned as Reid. Interesting.

UPDATE: Memeorandum has many links on this breaking news.
Ed Morrissey reports on the nomination process and the obstacles facing Dems getting a credible candidate on the ballot. It looks as though Bayh stuck it to the Democrats big time, the filing deadline is tomorrow. Yes, that's right tomorrow.

The most likely candidate to jump in the race is Brad Ellsworth. Ellsworth will face huge hurdles getting qualified by tomorrow especially since this is a legal holiday. If reports are correct that Bayh let his staff know on Friday and only notified Obama this morning and Reid long after the news broke, he was clearly very resentful and not at all concerned about leaving Democrats in a bind. While some on the left would like to think Bayh is complaining of partisanship on the Republican side his actions today benefit Republicans far more than Democrats though he directs his comments on excessive partisanship to both sides here:
“Two weeks ago, the Senate voted down a bipartisan commission to deal with one of the greatest threats facing our nation: our exploding deficits and debt. The measure would have passed, but seven members who had endorsed the idea instead voted ‘no’ for short-term political reasons,” he said.

“Just last week, a major piece of legislation to create jobs — the public’s top priority — fell apart amid complaints from both the left and right. All of this and much more has led me to believe that there are better ways to serve my fellow citizens, my beloved state and our nation than continued service in Congress.”
Seven Republicans voted against the bipartisan commission which was widely argued to be a toothless commission being proposed in place of those actually responsible for reducing the deficit, Congress, from doing the jobs they were voted into office to perform.  It was Harry Reid, however, who scrapped the jobs bill that had bipartisan support, in favor of a pared down bill he proposed.  Mmm, I think there was definitely resentment toward Reid shown in this move.  We'll know more, or at least have more to pick apart when Bayh makes his statement at 2 PM.

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