When Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh announced he was giving up his Senate seat last year, he said he could "best contribute to society in another way," perhaps leading a charitable endeavor, or guiding a university. Instead, he's signed on to provide political commentary on Fox News. Bayh was one of the Senate's most conservative Democrats, but is going to Fox a step too far?
Bayh's just cashing in: Look, "Bayh may be a Democrat, but he knows where the money is," says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. Signing on with Fox is more than just another lucrative paycheck for the Indiana Democrat, though. It's also confirmation that he really "has no intention of running for office again." At least not as a Democrat.
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He'll use Fox to shill for his day job: Bayh already left the party — along with any "high-minded" post-Senate pretenses — to "get rich as a lobbyist," says Matthew Yglesias at ThinkProgress. So it's no surprise that he'll now get even richer as a "conservative television pundit." What's discouraging is that he'll undoubtedly use his Fox platform for "peddling whatever nonsense" his lobbyist clients pay him to sell. Fox won't care.
Bayh will help Fox keep its balance: This is a smart move for Bayh, and for Fox, says Tim Malloy at The Wrap. After suspending GOP presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, adding a "high-profile Democrat" like Bayh helps Fox "bolster its claim to fair and balanced coverage." And that's more important than ever going into the 2012 election season.
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