Whatever Evan Bayh's politics...

More

[Ta-Nehisi]

...this strikes as a truly awful thing to do to your colleagues:

Though Mr. Bayh had been considering his political future for some time, the timing of the announcement caught many top Democrats off guard. He did not inform Mr. Obama or other top party leaders of the timing of his decision, one associate said, so they would not make further efforts to talk him out of it; the office of Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, first learned of the decision from news accounts.

Until now, every indication was that Mr. Bayh was proceeding with the race this fall. He had collected the necessary petitions to be placed on the ballot and they were due to be filed at noon on Tuesday. Democrats had coordinated an extended campaign to release damaging political information about the Republican who had emerged as Mr. Bayh's main threat, Daniel R. Coats, a former senator.

Mr. Bayh had already hired some campaign workers, and his campaign account had more than $13 million on hand....

Democrats say that since no party candidate is likely to raise enough signatures to qualify for the ballot by the deadline on Friday, the state party will be allowed to select its Senate candidate. But Republicans are challenging that interpretation and said they were exploring their legal options to deny Democrats a candidate if no one meets the filing deadline.

That is just amazing to me. I don't know Evan Bayh, so I don't know if this is narcissism or what. But to leave your colleagues in such a bad way strikes me as an extraordinary act of selfishness.

Not calling the president or Harry Reid because they might try to "talk him out of it," is telling. I don't know what to make of people who talk big in front of cameras, but can't look their comrades in the eye.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Social Security: The Greatest Government Policy of All Time?

It's the most effective anti-poverty program in U.S. history. So why do some people hate it?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In