Evan Bayh Not Running for President

Evan Bayh is joining the increasingly long line of touted Democratic candidates who have bowed out of the 2008 race for the White House.

Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh will not seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2008, FOX News has learned.

Bayh made the decision depsite having made several visits to test states like Iowa and New Hampshire, and raising millions of dollars toward a possible White House run.

FOX News has learned that Bayh raised more than $10 million, making him competitive with other top possible Democratic presidential candidates like New York Senator Hillary Clinton and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards. However, future fundraising considerations may have been a factor as it is believed that Clinton will get a large share of financial support from party backers in 2007.

Personality issues may have been a concern as well as some insiders told FOX News that Bayh showed very little “fire in the belly” as a presidential prospect. Some of his supporters have acknowledged that his relaxed demeanor and calm tone lacked presidential charisma, even though Bayh has been re-elected by large margins in a red state over the past 20 years.

Fundraising is definitely a factor but I suspect the “fire in the belly” aspect played the biggest role. Running for president is a grueling endeavor. You’ve got to want it badly to endure that.

With Bayh and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner officially out of the race, the Democratic field is narrowing down pretty quickly–and without the most prominent moderates. Bill Richardson and Tom Vilsack would appear to be vying for the mantle of “moderate alternative to Hillary.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. McGehee says:

    I’ve already declared in favor of Vilsack for the nomination.

  2. David Wissing at Hedgehog had the observation that every bow out of someone like Bayh hurts Hillary. His reasoning goes like this. There are people who will support Hillary no matter what. There are people who will oppose Hillary no matter what. Then there are the persuadables in between. Hillary has a much higher percentage of the voters locked in their position than someone like Bayh. The more alternatives to Hillary there are, the more diffuse the opposition to her will be. So if there are ten people running, the anti-Hillary crowd gets split among the 9 other candidates. But if there are only two running, then the anti-Hillary crowd has only one place to go.

    Bush used his position and access to major fund raisers in 2000 to drastically whittle down the potential opposition. Not only was contirbution to Bush’s campaign expected, but not contributing to someone else was also expected. I suspect that Hillary and Bill will be making a similar case to their party donors to help clear the field if/when she runs. While the nut roots can still chant and donate free from this influence, Lamont showed that the nut roots is good for noise, but not the really big bucks.

  3. I do not think he will be running for president. It takes a very good fundraising person to raise a lot of money to run for president and I do not think he will have the chance to raise that much money.
    Regards
    Matt. H. Kennedy
    Founder: http://www.seenation.com

  4. Ol' BC says:

    Well, James, now we will see if Bayh goes back to a semi-conservative fiscally like he was as Governor of Indiana for two terms. He was really sucking up to the Donks left wing leaders. Hopefully it was to garner support, but maybe they got to him once he got to Washington. His dad ended up in lala land.