In case you missed the news when it hit at the end of the day Friday, Evan Bayh has become a hedge-fund lobbyist. I'll write more about this matter in a future column, but I wanted to make two quick notes now:
1) Some liberals will be tempted to chalk up Bayh's cashing out to his "conservatism." This is not wholly wrong, but I think it's imprecise. I think you need to consider it together with Bob Bennett, Bayh's partner in this sweet PBS talk about the need for more moderation in politics.
The best explanation (and, again, I'll expound in an upcoming column) is that the very traits that make these men "moderates" -- ideological flexibility & pragmatism -- also make them prime candidates to sell their influence and access.
2) I like Ezra Klein's take on this:
In 2010, Sen. Evan Bayh retired. Part of the reason, he told me, was that the corrosive effect of money in politics had left his profession looking corrupt. "You want to be engaged in an honorable line of work," Bayh said, "but they look at us like we're worse than used-car salesmen." On Friday, Bayh announced that he was joining Apollo Global Management, a private-equity megafirm, as "a senior adviser with responsibility for public policy." Something tells me that this isn't going to vastly improve the way Americans think about their politicians.