“My passion for helping people is not highly valued in Congress,” said in announcing his decision Monday He added that he would prefer to be in an environment that thrives on “solutions not slogans, progress not politics.”
Bayh’s announcement stunned fellow Democrats and added more problems to a party that is losing ground in Congress just four years after gaining control of both the House and Senate.
Steel reeling from loss of the Massachusetts Senate seat once held by long Democratic icon Ted Kennedy and other political setbacks, the party of the donkey now faces a struggle to hold on to Bayh’s seat in a swing state.
Democratic insiders say Bayh’s decision spotlights the problem of serving in a national political system today.
“It’s not like going to work every day, it’s like going to war,” former congressman Dave Nagle, now a political consultant, told The Associated Press. “You can only hear the bugle on the Hill so many times, then you grow tired of it. It just isn’t worth it.”