Statement: Senator Bayh’s Retirement
Senator Evan Bayh made the following statement today:
“I’ve been flattered by the speculation about me running for governor in 2012. I was honored to serve as our Governor for eight years. It was a job I cherished every day. Working with a wonderful team, we established a record of creating jobs, cutting taxes, balancing the budget, improving education, reforming welfare and much more of which I am very proud.
“After careful consideration, I have concluded that the appropriate decision is not to be a candidate for governor of Indiana in 2012.
“The principle reason for my decision is the welfare of my twin sons. As I’ve said since the day my children were born—when I was governor—my most important job is being a good father. My boys are now in high school, and in my judgment, a run for governor at this time in their lives would be potentially very disruptive.
“While Susan and I prefer Indiana to Washington, D.C., at this time, a statewide campaign would require relocating our children; it would require a change of schools, separation from their friends and athletic teams—all during a formative time in their lives. In addition, while adults seeking public office knowingly accept the rigor and occasional nastiness of modern campaigns, imposing the process on children—particularly teenagers—would be especially onerous.
“Nick and Beau are proud ambassadors for Indiana. They wear their Colts, Pacers, Notre Dame, Purdue and IU apparel with enormous pride, and I know they always will. I’m a fifth generation Hoosier. The boys are the sixth. Nick and Beau have already asked if we can attend the Old Oaken Bucket game in Bloomington next year. I told them we’ll be there.
“Another factor in my thinking is whether I want to be in politics my entire life. I’ve been privileged to be in elective office for 22 years and was first elected when only 30 years old. Serving the people of Indiana has been the honor of my life.
“But as I said when I announced my retirement from the Senate, there are many honorable ways to contribute to society—creating jobs, growing a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning, or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor. I’ll continue to serve, but my contributions will take a different form and on a different stage. I will reassume the most important role any one can play in a democracy—involved citizen.
“Hoosiers can always count on me, much like they have my father, who has made service to Indiana an integral part of his post-electoral career. For example, I will speak at Notre Dame in January on the global economy, and Beau will accompany me. And our family has established a scholarship at IU. These are just the first of what I am sure will be many examples of our ongoing commitment to our state.
“Susan, Nick and Beau join me in expressing our heartfelt gratitude to the many Hoosiers who have supported us over the years. We are grateful for your friendship and your prayers and look forward to seeing each of you again soon. Thank you for the privilege of serving and for so many fond memories. May God bless you all.”