Fox News signs former Dem Sen. Bayh

Former Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.) will join Fox News as a paid contributor, the network announced Monday.

Bayh will offer political analysis and commentary on the Fox networks and is expected to be a part of Fox's coverage of the 2012 presidential election.

"Senator Bayh’s decades of experience in the political arena and his participation in key decisions in Washington will lend a valuable point of view to the entire FOX News lineup," Michael Clemente, senior vice president for news editorial, said in a statement.

Bayh — who was known as a centrist Democrat — announced early last year he would not seek another term in the Senate, saying he wanted to enter private life.  

Republican Dan Coats, a former senator, won Bayh's seat in the 2010 midterm elections. 

The hire is a significant move for Fox, which employs a number of former Republican politicians — and potential 2012 presidential candidates — as contributors.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) are both on the Fox payroll. The network recently suspended former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Ga.) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) due to their serious interest in running for president.

The centrist senator was sometimes critical of President Obama and Democratic leaders during his time in the Senate. He has not ruled out a run for office in the future.

Bayh already has a post at private equity firm Apollo Global Management and McGuireWoods LLC, a K Street law firm. Upon retiring from the Senate in February 2010, he said he was looking forward to contributing to society in other ways than serving in elected office.

"At this time I simply believe I can best contribute to society in another way: creating jobs by helping grow a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor," he said. "All of this and much more has led me to believe that there are better ways to serve my fellow citizens, my beloved state and our nation than continued service in Congress."

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