When John Kerry chose John Edwards as his running mate, he was elevating the South Carolina Senator to the top of the “earnest white boy” pecking order. Evan Bayh was not amused. It was so unfair. A slick southern ambulance chaser had hijacked Bayh’s golden career right out from under him!
Hurt, angry and scheming, Bayh set about becoming another Bob Kerrey, always tacking right to get a pat on the head from the media’s Broder Brigade. (In punditry, Democrats may never fight for their policies. That’s being “divisive”. Only Republicans, as heirs of Ronald Reagan, are allowed to project strength and to pursue a firm agenda.)
Fortuitously for Bayh, John Edwards began to self-destruct shortly after the 2004 campaign. First, he re-invented himself as a crusading populist who appeared genuinely concerned with the struggles of ordinary citizens. This earned him the wrath and condescension of elite journalists, whose corporate masters take a dim view of such antics. Then, of course, Edwards’ gross personal failings led to the mother of all recent sex scandals.
Evan Bayh is now happily rid of his southern-fried doppelgänger. He’s already rich. His wife is safely ensconced in the penthouse of corporate America, where she can keep filling the family coffers as a kind of super-lobbyist for Wellpoint and its ilk. The media will continue to fawn over him.
We haven’t seen the last of this guy. And that’s a little scary.