Did Billy Tauzin’s PhRMA Retirement Prompt Evan Bayh to Quit?

12:35 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Billy Tauzin, the former Louisiana Democrat-turned-GOP who left Congress to run the pharmaceutical industry’s trade and lobby group, announced his retirement on Friday. Until then, Evan Bayh’s campaign team and Capitol Hill staff appear to have believed he was running for re-election 100%. Are these events connected?

W.J. "Billy" Tauzin, a former congressman from Louisiana, announced Friday that he is retiring at the end of June as head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which became a pivotal backer of health-care legislation after reaching a deal with the White House aimed at limiting damage to the industry.

Evan Bayh announced his decision not to seek re-election to his senior staff the same day:

Bayh made the decision not to run on Friday, telling a small group of senior staff, but he did not tell President Obama or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid until today.

His aides say he had been struggling with the decision for months, but Democrats in the Senate seemed to have no clue. Many said his decision caught them completely by surprise.

Josh Marshall says Senator Bayh’s team was in re-elect mode last week, and not just going through the motions:

What seems very odd about this is that Bayh and his political team were making active preparations for a run as recently as mid-late last week. And not just the kind of public, optics stuff that you need to be sure to do to keep your options open. We’re looking into it.