A 2016 Bayh campaign would be a surprise

August 22nd, 2014 at 2:07 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

Will Evan Bayh run for governor in 2016?

It’s a hot topic in Indiana politics but if Bayh says yes, it will be a surprise.

Indiana Democrats are gathering in French Lick this weekend for the annual Democratic Editorial Association meeting.  It’s an unofficial state convention and Evan Bayh won’t be there.

Yet the Democrats who go to French Lick will be asked to fill out this survey asking if they think he will run for governor.

In early July Bayh made it known that is considering a campaign for the job that he held from 1989 to 1997.  It was big news around Indiana and around the country.

Bayh friend and former aide Bill Moreau understands why.  “I know that his popularity is well up in the 60′s,” said Moreau.  “He’s as popular as any political figure in Indiana right now.  He’s still very, very, very well known.”

But when he appeared before the Indianapolis media on July 14th Bayh downplayed the possibility saying that he’s not focused on politics right now.

And Thursday, in a public radio interview spelled out some of the arguments that would discourage a run.

“Given the current makeup of the state legislature and the way the maps are drawn,” said Bayh on the WFYI program No Limits, “I just wonder if my style of leadership would be feasible right now.”

The man who has won five statewide elections doesn’t sound ready to try it again.

“I think it’s less likely than likely,” he said.  “Another way to say that is it’s unlikely.”

Bill Moreau says it would be good for the state.  “Just on a personal level,” he says, “I can’t figure out how it makes sense for him.”

“I won’t keep people waiting long,” said Bayh in the radio interview.  “I would expect I’ll have a statement to make sometime after Labor Day, in the week or so after that.”

In the meantime, others will be in French Lick this week trying to build support for 2016.  Among the potential candidates are Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott and the 2012 Democratic Nominee John Gregg.

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