Holy Joe Lieberman was the front runner until I heard something disturbing from Glenn Greenwald on teevee about Senator Evan Bayh, which makes him this weeks malaka. Not only is the Hoople-headed Hoosier threatening to join a filibuster, It turns out that the Bayhs, via the Senator's wife Susan, have a financial stake in maintaining the health care status quo:
He's worried aloud that any public option would be a nod to socialism and counter to his principles as a fiscal conservative. When pressed on the issue, he's said he's simply a vessel reflecting the views of his Indiana constituents.
Yet Bayh, who until very late in the campaign last year was considered a top contender to be Obama's vice president, is at best naive and disingenuous, and at worst supremely hypocritical in pushing his views as those of his voters.
His wife, Susan Bayh, sits on the board of WellPoint(WLP Quote) in her hometown of Indianapolis. Over the last six years, Susan Bayh has received at least $2 million in compensation from WellPoint alone for serving on its board.
She joined Anthem Insurance (the precursor organization to WellPoint) in 1998, when she was 38 years old and a midlevel attorney working for Eli Lilly (LLY Quote). Her work experience prior to her stint at Lilly was five years as a junior law professor at Butler University in Indianapolis. Her work background at the time she was appointed to the Anthem board would have been surprising, given that she had no insurance experience and was relatively young and inexperienced to serve as a director on a multibillion-dollar board.
However, Susan Bayh had one competitive advantage that made her stand out as attractive to Anthem: She was married to Evan Bayh -- former governor of Indiana who, in 1998, was elected to the U.S. Senate.
Eric Jackson's article at the Street goes on to detail how Susan Bayh has cashed in on her husband's office. Shocking? No, it's a classic inside the beltway story. I have no illusions about Evan Bayh being anything other than a Blue Dog careerist but I'm *somewhat* more disappointed than I should be in hearing this news because I have great respect for his father, former Indiana Senator Birch Bayh.
Birch Bayh was Ted Kennedy's closest friend in the Senate: in 1964, he pulled Teddy out of that legendary crashed plane thereby saving his life. Birch Bayh was a fighting liberal in a conservative state who voted his convictions and went down in the Reagan landslide losing his seat to J. Danforth Quayle. Birch Bayh has said many times that he hated losing but didn't mind *how* it happened because he stood for something. His son stands only for getting re-elected and making money off his position. In this case, the acorn fell far from the tree. And that's why Evan Bayh is malaka of the week.