A year ago, Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, was considered an up-and-coming power broker on behalf of moderate Democrats. Now, he has dropped out of the race for what would have been his third term in the Senate.
Bayh's predecessor, Republican Dan Coats, is now widely considered to be the front-runner. Coats has not declared his candidacy, but appears to be interested in a return to the Senate.
Coats, 66, spent 10 years representing Indiana in the Senate, after Dan Quayle became vice president in 1989. Quayle had won this Senate seat eight years earlier, defeating three-term Democratic incumbent Birch Bayh, Evan's father.
If the Democratic leadership in Washington had paid more attention to Evan Bayh's centrist perspective at the beginning of the Obama Administration, would both President Obama's poll numbers, and Bayh's reelection chances, be looking better right now?