Saturday, December 16, 2006

Obama effect: Goodbye, Bayh!

By Michael Tackett for the Chicago Tribune.

The Obama effect has claimed its first casualty.

Sen. Evan Bayh, the Indiana Democrat with a gold-plated resume and a long-simmering presidential ambition, has decided to call it quits in his bid for the White House less than a month after it began.

Though Bayh had more than $10 million dollars immediately available to him from his senate fundraising account, with the prospects of raising several million more to seek the Democratic presidential nomination, it seems that the increasingly likely candidacy by Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, has forced Bayh from the race.

Bayh had been a successful two-term governor of the Hoosier state, winning for the first time in 1988. Among his gubernatorial colleagues was Bill Clinton of Arkansas, who often said that he thought Bayh had the makings of a president.

Clinton thought so much of Bayh that he named him the keynote speaker of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1996. But Bayh's hardly-memorable remarks did little to stoke interest in him nationally.

Clearly, he was lacking in the kind of star power that Obama has generated. And the question now is what other candidates might step back from the starting line when facing the likelihood of Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York draining the field of money, talent and attention.

In an interview with the Tribune on Thursday, Obama said he was quite confident he could easily raise $50 to $60 million for a White House run, a staggering amount of money. Those table stakes are almost certain to scare others away.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the blog, Robert! Good stuff!

3:05 PM, December 16, 2006  

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