So what's the real story here with this unexpected retirement?
How does this add up: $13 million in the bank + 20 point lead = cold feet on your reelection chances? Bayh's statement dismissed that it was reelection concern, but does he really believe he can better serve the people outside of Congress? That was pretty much Sarah Palin's excuse, but Bayh doesn't need the talk show money. He's already been governor, where else does he go? There have already been rumors he would challenge Obama from the right in a 2012 primary. Don't buy it. The next rumor will be that he'd run as a third party candidate. I don't see this kind of egomania from a guy who was a three-time Veep shortlist leftover ('00, '04, '08 ... "always the bridesmaid, never the bride"), essentially for being too dull. That said, had Hillary prevailed, he was the pick. All in all, a surprise move coming from a relatively unsurprising political figure.
Private sector money?: "But running for the sake of winning an election, just to remain in public office, is not good enough. And it has never been what motivates me. At this time I simply believe I can best contribute to society in another way: creating jobs by helping grow a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor." IndyStar
Perhaps his brief '08 presidential flirtations did have to do with a desire to get out of Congress.