Letter from Washington: The Starting Gate

Evan Bayh was uncharacteristically dispirited when I met him in the Russell Senate Office Building on a quiet Wednesday before Christmas. For Bayh, who is fifty-one and was first elected to the Senate from Indiana in 1998, December will be recalled as a low moment in an otherwise high-achieving life. Less than two weeks earlier, he had the bad luck to visit New Hampshire on the same weekend that his junior colleague in the Senate Barack Obama, from Illinois, was also visiting. Bayh spoke to a hundred and fifty supporters in a Manchester restaurant; Obama swept through the state trailed by a hundred and fifty reporters. "We originally scheduled the Rolling Stones for this party," the governor, John Lynch, told fifteen hundred people who paid twenty-five dollars apiece to see Obama in a Manchester ballroom. "But we cancelled them when we realized Senator Obama would sell more tickets."
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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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