Indiana Senator Evan Bayh surprised some Iowa dems by deciding NOT to run for prez. I saw him last a few weeks ago as he was the headliner for a luncheon by the Greater Des Moines Partnership in downtown DSM. The media outnumbered the guests at the event. Bayh told me his family was behind him if he ran. But a few minutes later, he said he would meet with his family members over the holidays to see if he had their support (???) I walked away thinking this guy was running.
Add that to the previous news former Virginia Gov Mark Warner wasn't going to try, and it's been a pretty decent month or so for Gov Vilsack. If he can just knock New Mexico Gov BillRichardson off the list, he'll corner the democratic governor-turned-prez-candidate market.
Here's the release from Vilsack's prez staff on Bayh's bye-bye...
VILSACK STATEMENT ON BAYH DECISION NOT TO MOUNT WHITE HOUSE BID DES MOINES, IA -- Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack today issued the following statement in response to US Senator Evan Bayh's announcement that he has decided not to run for President:
"As Indiana Governor and US Senator, Evan has been an influential leader in our party, in his state and in our country. I look forward to working with Evan and other leaders with the courage to create change in America and bring our nation together to address the challenges that face America's families.
"Although he has decided not to run for President in 2008, Evan's voice and perspective as a successful Midwestern governor will be needed to ensure that Democrats retake the White House. Christie and I wish Evan and his family all of the best in their future endeavors." Vilsack and Bayh have been friends for more than a decade. Each has been governor of a Midwestern state and chair of the Democratic Leadership Council."