Of all the reactions to Evan Bayh's retirement bombshell, this one strikes me as the most unlikely prediction:
One of two things is happening here: either Bayh is truly tired of being a senator right now, as he claims, or he's got a savvy long-term game plan to leave the swamp, recapture some outsider credentials and return in a few years as a new national leader for the Democrats.
Bet on the latter.
Bayh is a fairly normal guy as politicians go. He appears to lack the all-consuming drive of Bill Clinton or the smothering self-absorption of John Edwards. He's solid, soft-spoken and predictable - which for many translates into boring.
But don't mistake that quiet disposition for a lack of ambition. At age 54, he has probably figured out that the moment is right to remove himself from the mess on Capitol Hill, where Congress has an 18% approval rating, and rebuild his reputation elsewhere.
The epic battle of Government Keeps Growing vs. Rein Government In is now engaged. There is no place for a left-leaning, moderate-sounding "fairly normal guy" except to stand in the middle of it all and get mugged from all sides. Evan Bayh is never going to be president.
Considering my lousy record at predictions, though, you might not want to take my word on that.