Confessions of a Hoosier Democrat

Blogging Indiana Politics and the 2008 Presidential Race.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

And he's out...

Well... it seems no sooner than I posted my blog about Sen Bayh forming his exploratory committee... he announced he wasn't going to run.
During my two terms as Governor and now in the United States Senate, it has always been more about the people I was able to help than the job I held. As you know I have been exploring helping the people of my state and our country in a different capacity. After talking with family and friends over the past several days, I have decided that this is not the year for me to run for President and I will not be a candidate for the presidency in 2008. It wasn't an easy decision but it was the right one for my family, my friends and my state. I have always prided myself on putting my public responsibilities ahead of my own ambitions.

The odds were always going to be very long for a relatively unknown candidate like myself, a little bit like David and Goliath. And whether there were too many Goliaths or whether I'm 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. This path - and these long odds - would have required me to be essentially absent from the Senate for the next year instead of working to help the people of my state and the nation.

I am immensely grateful for the support of my family and friends and the thousands of people around the country who helped me with their time and their resources. There may be no campaign in the near future, but there is much work to be done. When the Senate returns, I will focus on the issues that matter to the people of my state and are critical to the future of the nation including reducing our dependence on foreign oil, creating opportunity for middle class families, and implementing a national security strategy that is both tough and smart.
On one hand I'm extremely disappointed. I thought Sen Bayh was a great candidate and would have made a great president. That's the reason why I supported him from the start. On the other hand, we need to take a reality check. He's right... there were too many Goliaths. Confidence is one thing... bravado is another. As impressive as his all-star staff and huge bank account was, he couldn't compete with the star power that was sucking all of the oxygen out of the room. It was refreshing to see someone actually speak the truth rather than hide behind his family or other lame excuses. I can't win is what Bayh said.

So... the question then becomes... What happened? Just a few weeks ago Bayh announced the formation of his exploratory committee. What happened between then and now? Well no one has come out and say it, but I'll lend my speculation to the mix. Personally I think some of Bayh's financial backers looked around and saw the writing on the wall. Once Obama said he might run, Bayh's backers saw the opportunity and took him aside and told him that they were going to go with Obama if he ran. Once he saw his support dwindling, well that's the last thing he needed. He couldn't go down any further, he had to go up. And if he wasn't going to go up, well what's the point?

So... now what? Well I spent a few days thinking long and hard about what I wanted in a candidate. Who will best serve the country? Who will best promote the values that I hold? Who can win?

Each of us has to answer those questions for ourselves when deciding who we want to support in the upcoming primaries. I have my own opinion but I certainly welcome yours.


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