Fred Barnes argues that Evan Bayh — that critic of excessive partisanship — played the consummate partisan in the way he exited Washington. By waiting to exit until it was too late for potential successors to obtain the petition signatures they needed to get on the ballot, Bayh ensured that the Democrats (presumably with Bayh’s significant input) can handpick their candidate for his seat. Moreover, as Politico notes, the handpicked candidate is likely to be Congressman Brad Ellsworth, and the Democratic establishment will also be able select the candidate for that vacancy.
Meanwhile, the Republicans will select their Senate candidate through a potentially divisive primary. And the candidate for Ellsworth’s seat will also be the product of primary in which, according to Politico, the field isn’t strong. Had Bayh resigned sooner, Politico suggests, a stronger Republican candidate might have entered that House race.
Yet, I wonder whether, in this year’s likely environment, being handpicked by the party establishment might turn out to be something of a liability.
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