Whatever Evan Bayh's politics...

[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.

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.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

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

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In