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Bayh kept Reid in the dark about his retirement plans

Below, Kim posted about Sen. Bayh's (D-IN) retirement announcement. Apparently he chose not to tell Harry Reid about his plans first.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) shocked many today with his announcement that he would not seek re-election. One of those in the surprised category - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

According to a democratic source, as of 30 minutes ago, Sen. Bayh had not informed Sen. Reid of his decision. Most often, before major decisions are announced, like the one by Bayh, lawmakers will give a courtesy call to their leader to give them a heads up.

However, according to a source, Sen. Bayh did tell President Obama about his plans.

This seems pretty telling to me. I take it as a not-so-subtle statement that he was more frustrated with the way Reid runs the senate than with Obama.

I seriously doubt Reid will win reelection (though news of a Tea Party candidate running in NV means anything possible). But even if he does, I think his days as leader of the senate are over. Assuming of course the Democrats are still in control of senate come 2011. The unlikely possibility of a power switch in the senate increased in probability ever so slightly with Bayh's announcement.

Update: In the comments, Jake is distressed by a lack of sources in this post. While I will never understand people's need to be snarky on the internet, I thought I might accommodate him and provide some links. He wasn't clear which statement needed references to be believable so I'll cover a few potential areas.

I said: "I seriously doubt Reid will win reelection." See the most recent Rasmussen Reports polling for the Nevada senate race here. Reid is struggling to get above 40% support against any of his potential challengers. When an incumbent fails to break the 50% barrier, they should worry. When they fail to break the 40% barrier, they need not worry anymore because the race is in all likelihood over.

I said: "The unlikely possibility of a power switch in the senate increased in probability ever so slightly with Bayh's announcement." See a recent analysis by Nate Silver at the (liberal, if you are worried about biases) site Five Thirty Eight. Post Scott Brown, his model put the chances of a Republican takeover at 6-7% with another 6% chance of a 50-50 split. Thus, I used the phrase "unlikely possibility of a power switch." If you scroll down to the section on Indiana, he had Bayh narrowly defeating either of his potential challengers at the time. Replacing Bayh with a lesser known candidate is likely to increase the Republican's chances, which is why I used the phrase "ever so slightly".

I said: "I think his days as leader of the senate are over." This is of course opinion and harder to substantiate. (Which is why I prefaced the comments with "I think", designating it opinion and not the result of a rigorous mathematical analysis.) That said, I think the opinion is justified. Reid has be ineffectual as majority leader and has made a number of missteps and quotes that one can assume have embarrassed Obama and the Democratic Party leadership. If it helps, my opinion is not unique. Over at the (again liberal, if you are worried about me cherry-picking only conservative sources) NPR, David Rothkopf suggested in an editorial that it was time to replace Reid.


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Comments (21)

And Im sure dingy has not t... (Below threshold)
914:

And Im sure dingy has not told blinky that He will not win reelection yet either.

Goodbye Harry, enjoy the trip!

If the Dems suffer the bloo... (Below threshold)
KeithK:

If the Dems suffer the bloodbath in November that seems likely right now then it's hard to imagine them not chaning Congressional leadership, even if they do retain control of one or both houses by a small margin.

I don't think it will matter too much unless the caucus changes. IIRC Reid had a pretty moderate record before becoming leader. Not the kind of guy you'd expect to push a radical left agenda. The caucus must've been pushing him pretty hard to swing left the way he did.

What great analysis! Nothin... (Below threshold)
Jake:

What great analysis! Nothing like random gut feel as content that's supposed to pass as smart analysis.

Do you have ANY facts to backup your wild speculation?

So Bayh is trying to positi... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

So Bayh is trying to position himself as a Palinesque outsider. He sees the handwriting on the wall. Now he is going to 'take on' both the Democrat and Republican establishments. Palin is so stupid that we now have Democrats trying to imitate her. Just keep repeating after me: There is no such thing as a moderate Democrat.

Huge slap in the face to De... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Huge slap in the face to Dem leadership.

Jake, did that leave a mark... (Below threshold)
epador:

Jake, did that leave a mark?

jake [or is it "jakeass?"] ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

jake [or is it "jakeass?"] "Do you have ANY facts to backup your wild speculation?"

To paraphrase you: "Do you have ANY facts to backup your" counter argument?

Piss and moan all you want, but until you offer something in opposition, and of substance, you're nothing but a troll.

"Jake" = "anon" = Steve Gre... (Below threshold)
Drago:

"Jake" = "anon" = Steve Green

Simple answer guys. Sen. Ba... (Below threshold)
glenn:

Simple answer guys. Sen. Bayh was on the short (very short) list to be the Veep nominee with Gore in 2000. At the last minute Joe Lieberman replaced him because Liebermans chief of staff (I think) said something about Joe being a shoe in if he wasn't Jewish and the Dems identity politics kicked in. Evan has been smarting every since. Here's his payback.

Wrong as usual, Drago. I do... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

Wrong as usual, Drago. I don't have any other identities other than this one.

Thing that's going to be re... (Below threshold)
glenn:

Thing that's going to be really fun to watch is the Dems process for selecting a successor to run in the general election. If some nobody who happens to be a woman or a person of color (or both) tosses their hat in the ring it'll be Roland Burris all over again.

Steve Green: "Wrong as usua... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Steve Green: "Wrong as usual, Drago. I don't have any other identities other than this one."

I'll bet your therapist says otherwise......

Nicely done, Dan.... (Below threshold)
jim2:

Nicely done, Dan.

Isn't it easier to just say... (Below threshold)
The New and Improved Steve Green:

Isn't it easier to just say that Harry Reid is a contemptible asshole that nobody in Nevada believes any more and very few in the Senate can stand any more?

Support for this conclusion is widely available, including many polls and from Senator Bayh himself.

I love that Queen song.... (Below threshold)
retired military:

I love that Queen song.

"Another one does , another one does, another one bites the dust"

Just tell us Steve Green. if the dems are doing such a bang up job then why all the retirements?

Give to the Chronic Lyricos... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Give to the Chronic Lyricosis Foundation. Help RM out.

Poor Dems. Not that long a... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Poor Dems. Not that long ago they were on top of the world. NOTHING could stop them! Well guys, where's the LOVE now?

Oh, it was that EVIL Republican majority! Ooops, sorry they're in the MINORITY aren't they? Oh, it was those EVIL bankers! Yeah! Ooops, no wait, Barry knows a couple of them. Swell fellows. He doesn't begrudge their MILLIONS in bonus'. Oh, those EVIL medical companies, like BIG PHARMA, and AMA and AARP! Ooops, no, they were all in bed with Barry.

Maybe your Obamassiah can whip up a new villain for you.

Let Bayh gone be Bayh gone!... (Below threshold)

Let Bayh gone be Bayh gone!

Bayh owed Reid nothing. He... (Below threshold)

Bayh owed Reid nothing. He had been shut out of discussions like a conservative since he started barking about excessive spending. Bayh's problem is he caved in to party pressure on the big issues. Coats would be a welcome change. Bayh would have won against any opponent by double digits. When he won re-election as governor in a landslide he was the only Democrat to win statewide.

Good for him. I would not ... (Below threshold)
poptoy:

Good for him. I would not tell Reid anything either. But something is up!

This isn't as big of a gift... (Below threshold)
jim m:

This isn't as big of a gift as it seems. His announcmement comes right on the eve of the filing deadline. That means few good GOP condidates will have an opportunity to do anything to file and no Dem candidates have yet filed. The fact that the dems have no one else filing mans that the party will choose a candidate.

We will have a 2nd or 3rd string OP candidate vs a 1st string ringer selected by the dems.

This is going from an at risk dem seat to a keeper for the dems unless the GOP gets lucky.




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