NEW YORK – Indiana Governor Evan Bayh–a leading candidate for the US Senate in 1998–held talks recently with representatives of the Armenian-American community. The meeting–which took place in the New York offices of Corum Capital–was attended by one of the firm’s principals–Robert Setrakian–as well as by Harry Derderian–the Chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region.
Ranked by Time magazine as one of America’s most promising leaders under the age of 40–Evan Bayh is currently the leading Democratic candidate to replace retiring Senator Dan Coats (R-IN).
During the meeting–which lasted more than an hour and a half–a range of issues were discussed–including increased aid to Armenia–self-determination for Nagorno- Karabakh–the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide and the lifting of the Turkish blockade. The participants shared memories of the principled stand taken by Gov. Bayh’s father–Indiana’s senior Senator Birch Bayh–during the mid-1960s–in defense of the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
"Long ago–before our community was fully mobilized on the issue of the Armenian Genocide–a lone Senator from the state of Indiana raised his voice in defense of the 1.5 million Armenians murdered earlier in this century," remarked Derderian after the meeting.
"His was not an act of political expediencythere was no sizable Armenian community in Indiana. His motivation was based on the historical record because he knew the difference between right and wrong–just and unjust. His son Evan knows our history and he appreciates the Armenian experience. He understands where our people have been and knows where we plan to go," Derderian concluded.
A special feature article in The Wall Street Journal on December 20th highlighted Evan Bayh’s race for the United States Senate and identified him as the clear front-runner. As evidence of his popularity–the article noted that Bayh was re- elected in 1992 by the largest margin in modern Indiana gubernatorial history.