Bayh: Not focused on politics right now

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/AP) – Evan Bayh says he is not focused on a run for any new political office at this time. But, the former U.S. Senator and two-term Indiana Governor did not close the door on the idea in the future.

Bayh, who retired from the Senate in 2010, held a news conference in Indianapolis, Monday to address the resignation of U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett. Bayh nominated Hogsett for the position in 2010, and said the two remain good friends.

“I thought it was appropriate on behalf of all the citizens of the Southern District [of Indiana] to thank Joe and wish him the very best in whatever the next chapter of his life might be,” Bayh said.

Bayh said he had no insight into speculation about Hogsett’s political future, then shrugged his shoulders and smiled when asked about his own.

“Today is about Joe Hogsett, not about me,” he said. “My boys are going to be going to college on August 24, and Susan and I are going to get together after that to talk about the next chapter of our lives. But, that’s an election that’s two and half years from now. We’ve got important races this fall that are going to be important to the state of Indiana, and Mayor’s races next year. First things first.”

Speculation has grown over the last year that Bayh is considering moving back to Indiana to run for a third term as Governor. Some political pundits also believe Bayh could play a central role if Hillary Clinton is eventually named as a Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

Bayh had been considered on the so-called “short list” for Vice-President by President Barack Obama in 2008.

Since retiring from the Senate in 2010, Bayh joined a Washington law firm, a New York equity firm and a think tank on the Middle East. Federal Election Commission campaign finance reports show Bayh’s campaign committee had $9.8 million in cash on hand as of March 31.

Bayh, who described his current relationship with the Democratic party as “good,” said he would be willing to use some of that campaign cash to help a potential Hogsett for Indianapolis Mayor campaign.

“But, of course, he has to make his decision first,” Bayh said. “I’ll do whatever I’m legally allowed to do.”

Of his own future, Bayh was far less committal.

“Sometimes, the man and the moment happen to meet,” Bayh said. “But, I’m just not focused on politics right now.”

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