It's All About Evan
All about Evan.
Evan Bayh wants to reduce the number of votes required for cloture in the Senate to 55.
Yes it is a very good thing that a certified centrist supports filibuster reform. For one thing, that means he isn't focused on mean lefty bloggers.
But how did he choose the number 55 ? Well as an extreme moderate he might have just averaged 60 and 50*, but I think that, as an extreme egocentric, he performed another calculation.
I'd say he figures he would be the 55th vote. Let's count. OK he makes less trouble than Lieberman, Nelson, Landrieu and Lincoln so he's magic number 55.
I'd say he's been spending the last year watching Nelson and Lieberman in the spot-light and thinking "if only it took 56 votes for cloture, that would be me."
It is very very clear that he made a bid to sell his vote more dearly than Nelson and Lieberman (remember the blue dog senate caucus). It is also clear that he doesn't have quite the necessary ruthless disregard for the national interest.
I am going to not step out on a limb and say that if he had announced his retirement on January 18th** he would have called for filibuster reform reducing the number of votes needed for cloture to 56.***
* According to the obsolete US Constitution, the votes of 50 senators plus Biden constitutes the will of the Senate except for ratification of treaties, constitutional amendments and conviction following impeachment by the house.
** I'm assuming he'd have assumed that Coakley would win, since he clearly doesn't think at all about Democrats' chances of winning Senate seats.
*** I'm joking. Of course he would have called for 55 and planned to position himself just to the left of Mark Pryor.