By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
Republican Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who preaches that political foes have to drop their guard and have "adult talks" about serious issues facing the nation, today hit moderate Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh for deciding not to run for re-election because of the partisanship in Washington.
"I think it's too bad that our senator decided not to stay," said Daniels, who has worked in the Reagan and Bush administrations. "I mean I thought he provided and had the prospect of providing a lot more balance. But I think he finally decided it wasn't gonna happen."
Daniels, who won a second term in 2008 even though President Obama won Indiana, said Bayh's resignation was a surprise. "I didn't see it coming," he said. However, added Daniels, "I did have a sense that he was feeling pretty beat up inside his own camp," which is dominated by liberals.
Daniels, talked about as a potential 2012 presidential or vice presidential candidate, is in town for the annual governors' convention. He has spent part of that time urging warring political sides to come together to address critical deficit, financial, and terrorism issues.
Still, Daniels himself has said he is not planning to run for the White House and cited one of the very reasons Bayh felt for not campaigning for another term. "No sane person would do this," Daniels said of running for president. The reason, he added, is the "savagery of our politics."