Hunter notes that "Evan Bayh, Democrat Senator from Indiana and much-lauded moderate, voted 'no' on Condoleezza Rice's confirmation as Secretary of State. She was confirmed by a large margin regardless, but I can't help but see his 'no' vote as a surprisingly unpleasant gesture.
"What was he thinking? Is he that secure in 'red' Indiana?"
Certainly he does remain immensely popular, and his next Senate reelection campaign is not for a while, but I think there is more to it than that.
This is as far to the Left as I've ever seen Evan Bayh openly go. The vote suggests that he is trying to solidify his base among Democrats. It is quite possible that this vote--the first big one of this session--signals Bayh's intention to pursue the Democrat Party's nomination for president in 2008. It also suggests that he feels it necessary to move openly to the Left in order to have a plausible chance.