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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