Monday, February 15, 2010

Because Nothing Says "I'm Presidential" Better Than Quitting

I recognize that people see Sarah Palin as a potential presidential contender despite her habit of quitting jobs that she finds difficult, but must we extend that "reasoning" to every quitter on the block?
For months now, Bayh has been screaming at the top of his voice that the party needs to reorient toward a more popular, centrist agenda -- one that emphasizes jobs and fiscal responsibility over health care and cap and trade. Neither the White House nor the Senate leadership has given him the response he wanted. Their bungling of what should have been a routine bipartisan jobs bill last week seems to have been the last straw.

* * *

Quitting the Senate was a no-lose move for the presidentially ambitious Bayh, since he can now crawl away from the political wreckage for a couple of years, plausibly alleging that he tried to steer the party in a different direction -- and then be perfectly positioned to mount a centrist primary challenge to Obama in 2012, depending on circumstances.
Earth to Charles Lane: That's not what people mean when they say "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

It's more like... the scene from Idiocracy in which Private Bowers (Luke Wilson) explains, "Every time [the C.O.] says, 'Lead, follow, or get out of the way,' I get out of the way.
Pvt. Joe Bowers: Why me? Every time Metsler says, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way," I get out of the way.

Sgt. Keller: Yeah, when he says that, you're not supposed to choose "get out of the way." It's supposed to embarrass you into leading - or at least following.

Pvt. Joe Bowers: That doesn't embarrass me.
Then again, Bowers does end up in the White House, so maybe Bayh and Palin are on to something.... (My wife's initial reaction to Idiocracy was "This isn't a comedy - it's a horror movie.")

Update: James Fallows has called upon Evan Bayh to lead. Is anybody taking bets?

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