Bayh wonders if partisanship will encourage a new Ross Perot
Evan Bayh wants out of Washington but wonders if the partisan bickering he leaves behind will one day be swept aside by a new Ross Perot riding a third-party tidal wave of public anger.
“If (voter) frustration continues to grow and the American people say ‘a pox on both your houses,’ then there’s some prospect for a third-party type movement,” the Democratic senator from Indiana told ABC’s Good Morning America.
Bayh hastens to add that he doesn’t believe that would really happen.
Why not? “I think that ultimately we can make progress within the two-party system,” he said.
Polls say voters are angry about the partisan bickering that has engulfed legislative initiatives from healthcare reform and climate change to financial regulation and job creation.
Republicans and Democrats both catch blame. But Democrats, as the governing party, could suffer most in November’s congressional elections. Republicans did the suffering in 2006. Meanwhile, the conservative Tea Party movement has candidates from both sides rattled.
Some pundits have already floated the idea of a Perot-like figure emerging from the political wilderness to put things right in Washington, suggesting President Barack Obama himself could be unorthodox enough for the role.
Any truth to speculation that Bayh might try the aggrieved outsider route by challenging Obama in 2012? “No truth whatsoever,” the senator says.
“Your crystal ball is taking me farther down the road than I can see.”
(Photo credit: Reuters/Rebecca Cook (Ross Perot); Reuters/Eric Gaillard (Obama Parade Figure); Reuters/John Gress (Evan Bayh)