Bayh: No political plans 'right now'

Retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) said Monday he has no plans to re-enter politics in any capacity in the short term.

The second-term senator and son of former Sen. Birch Bayh (D-Ind.) said he plans to work in the private sector "for a few years."

ADVERTISEMENT
"I don't have political plans right now. I'm looking forward to being in the private sector for a few years," he said at a South Bend farewell tour event, according to WNDU-TV. "I'm looking forward to making sure my kids graduate from high school well, and is [sic] suspect I’ll look to re-enter public service in some capacity, but there are a lot of ways to do that other than running for political office."

Bayh earlier this month ruled out a run for his former post as governor, a move many expected him to make following his decision to retire in February. The centrist has also swatted away talk that he could launch a primary challenge to President Obama in 2012. 

But Bayh's remarks give more clarity to the plans of the 55-year-old official, whom many believe could still make a political comeback. The senator would not rule out a future run for public office in a separate interview with the Indianapolis Star on Monday.

"Somewhere between infinity and zero. How's that for keeping my options open?" Bayh said after being asked about the changes of him running for office sometime in the next decade.

"Look, obviously the fact that I chose not to run for re-election makes that less likely. But look at our senator-elect: After 12 years in the private sector, he decided to come back and run. ... That's a long way of saying, I don't know. It is known to happen," he added. "But I don't know what kind of possibility to attach to that."

He also said a run for president down the road is highly unlikely.

"It was possible at one point that the stars might align in the right way. But they didn't," he said. "And I think it's better to be realistic. There are people who just feel they can't go to their graves contented unless they've run for president. I'm not one of those people."

Bayh said he is not "planning" on becoming a lobbyist after he is legally permitted to do so and also said he has not decided what to do with the $11 million left in his campaign war chest.