Yikes: Kyl to retire; Update: Bigger plans?; Update: Flake not ruling out a run

posted at 11:24 am on February 10, 2011 by Allahpundit

The bad news: He’s only 68 and this would have been an easy hold. As it is, Democrats will take a crack at it in hopes of offsetting losses by vulnerable midwestern Blue Dogs like Nelson, Tester, and McCaskill. In fact, Larry Sabato’s already downgraded the seat from solid Republican to leans Republican.

The good news: Are you ready for Senator Meghan McCain?

Two GOP sources confirm to Fox that 3-term Senator Jon Kyl will announce his retirement at a noon news conference Thursday in Phoenix.

The Arizona lawmaker is the No. 2 Republican in the Senate.

Kyl, 68, served four terms in the House before winning a Senate seat. In 2006, he was named one of the 10 best senators by Time Magazine.

Analysts on both sides are already whispering Giffords’s name as a potential Democratic contender, which assumes a lot about the progress of her rehab but makes perfect sense given the sentiment in her favor. If not her, maybe … Napolitano, who used to be governor? On the GOP side, no worries about Meggie: She’s still a few years too young to be constitutionally eligible. Besides, isn’t there already an obvious frontrunner?

Exit question: Who’ll replace Kyl as number two in the leadership? Take your pick, says Politico — John Cornyn or Lamar Alexander.

Update: The Hill says he has his eye on a Supreme Court appointment or a Cabinet position if a Republican is elected president in 2012. But why does he have to retire now to put himself in position for that?

Update: Flake is coy.


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Update: The Hill says he has his eye on a Supreme Court appointment or a Cabinet position if a Republican is elected president in 2012.

He’s 68 now… he’s not going to be appointed to SCOTUS… that’s crazy talk…

ninjapirate on February 10, 2011 at 11:49 AM

The Hill is a gossip rag. Ignore it – always.

logis on February 10, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Kyl at least refused to confirm Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. For that, he earned my respect. Then came Kagan, who he questioned in excellent terms, which she failed to adequately, reasonably respond to aa to points raised, then Kyl voted to confirm her — which I didn’t respect.

Point is, Kyl made astute questioning of both those nominees but then caved on Kagan, despite her more than disappointing responses, when she even did respond.

But Kyl’s positions on amnesty for illegals is an utter deal-breaker for me. I can’t understand any Senator who would or does support such an irregular idea.

Lourdes on February 10, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Half-serious = too bad he doesn’t resign immediately so Brewer could give another GOP a leg up;

Totally serious, but far-fetched = too bad he doesn’t resign immediately so Brewer could appoint herself.

ChrisB on February 10, 2011 at 12:13 PM

I know one AZ Republican who would make a great candidate. Alice Cooper

Mark1971 on February 10, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Are you ready for Senator Meghan McCain?

HELL NO

NoFanofLibs on February 10, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Giffords? Really?

Isn’t the sentimental/emotional schtick how Obama got elected? Granted, Giffords has more background and is more qualified to be a Senator that Obama is a President, but right now we don’t even know if her mental condition will allow her to dress herself. To automatically have her name pop up as a possible candidate smacks of sentimentalism and nothing more.

As if being shot she is “owed” something.

ButterflyDragon on February 10, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Update: The Hill says he has his eye on a Supreme Court appointment or a Cabinet position if a Republican is elected president in 2012. But why does he have to retire now to put himself in position for that?

If Kyl was newly re-elected in 2012, a Republican President would be hesitant to hire him for a Cabinet position, taking out a 6-year Senator for a caretaker who would face re-election in two years. At 68, Kyl is probably too old to be appointed to the Supreme Court, since Presidents of both parties tend to seek people around 50 years old (Roberts, Alito, Sotomayor, Kagan) who can “leave their mark” on the Court for a longer life expectancy.

Kyl’s announcement NOW allows Republicans more time to find a good replacement, and Jan Brewer would be a shoo-in if she wants it. It would be a shame if two or more GOP Reps in AZ gave up their seats to fight for a Senate seat, although Shadegg would probably be a good bet, and has nothing to lose right now.

Steve Z on February 10, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Besides, isn’t there already an obvious frontrunner?

How about Joseph Zimudie?

csdeven on February 10, 2011 at 12:21 PM

There is another candidate in Ruth Mcclung. A rocket scientist who gave Rep, Raul Grijalva (AZ-7)a run for his money in the last election. She is very conservative and would be a HUGE asset to the Senate…

hawkman on February 10, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I think it has been a sufficiently long enough time to discuss this so-called protected status our elected representatives think they deserve. They do deserve to be safe, but at what cost? If protecting them means creating laws that violate the constitution, I say let them take their chances.

Isn’t service to the country supposed to be their sacrifice for the rest of us? Wouldn’t it be nonsensical to lose our freedoms to the very people who are supposed to be securing them from the government?

csdeven on February 10, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Lamar Alexander as a replacement because he, along with Rand Paul, are the only repubs who came out in defense of Palin when the media was accusing her of “accessory to murder”.

I am afraid there is a back story here about his resignation
that won’t be pretty. No evidence to support that statement; just years of watching these resignations; I hope I am wrong.

Amjean on February 10, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Two GOP sources confirm to Fox that 3-term Senator Jon Kyl will announce his retirement at a noon news conference Thursday in Phoenix.

MORE PLEASE!

PappyD61 on February 10, 2011 at 12:28 PM

I am afraid there is a back story here about his resignation
that won’t be pretty. No evidence to support that statement; just years of watching these resignations; I hope I am wrong.

Amjean on February 10, 2011 at 12:27 PM

I hope you are, too. The world is not ready for online pictures of a flexing Jon Kyl standing before a mirror shirtless.

ChrisB on February 10, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Half-serious = too bad he doesn’t resign immediately so Brewer could give another GOP a leg up;

Totally serious, but far-fetched = too bad he doesn’t resign immediately so Brewer could appoint herself.

ChrisB on February 10, 2011 at 12:13 PM

That’s a terrible idea. She’s got one good issue – illegals. She’s a big government tax raising republican. I voted against her in the primary and the general.

Kelligan on February 10, 2011 at 12:31 PM

We don’t eneve know if giffords is mentally able to be a senator. Hell she can barely talk. she lost a lot of brain matter. She may not be able to even understand complex issues anymore.

Everyone seems to think it’s just a matter of time until she’s back to normal, maybe walking with a cane. The sad reality is that it’s more likely she’ll be back to Jim Brady level.

Putting aside his wife’s reprehensible gun-grabbing politics, does anyone really think Jim Brady could ever win a Senate race?

The Lone Platypus on February 10, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Meghan McCain: Michele Bachmann A “Poor Man’s Sarah Palin”

A Rich Man’s Snooki: Meghan McCain. Look, Megs made the cover of a magazine!

Can Meghan just go already?

BTW, what is a “rulling”? >:D

NTWR on February 10, 2011 at 12:33 PM

MeggyMac? pfftttt… get with it. This is all a conspiracy by Palin to give Bristol the Senate!

MeatHeadinCA on February 10, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Kyl is six years younger than McCain

r keller on February 10, 2011 at 12:46 PM

The buzz coming from inside the beltway is that TAFKAM wants to have BOTH seats. His ego tells him the nation needs him to save us from “the forces of intolerance”./sarc

JimP on February 10, 2011 at 12:46 PM

For sheer comedic value I think we should float the rumor of Sheriff Joe Arpaio as his replacement

Don’t tease us like that He’s Sarah Palin with a badge? Christie with a family values injection? Boehner without tears?

Don L on February 10, 2011 at 12:47 PM

NTWR on February 10, 2011 at 12:33 PM

ROTFL. Thanks for the link.

JimP on February 10, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Does Kyl really think a GOP president will appoint someone who is 70 to SCOTUS?

It's Vintage, Duh on February 10, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Kyl is six years younger than McCain

r keller on February 10, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Is this Kyl’s way of telling Maverick to resign already?

MeatHeadinCA on February 10, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Serious question: What about Ruth McClung?

MeatHeadinCA on February 10, 2011 at 12:56 PM

I know one AZ Republican who would make a great candidate. Alice Cooper

Mark1971 on February 10, 2011 at 12:14 PM

me likey

cmsinaz on February 10, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Serious question: What about Ruth McClung?

MeatHeadinCA on February 10, 2011 at 12:56 PM

listening to KFYI (550), they mentioned her name but don’t think she is 35 yet….

cmsinaz on February 10, 2011 at 12:57 PM

MeatHeadinCA on February 10, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Definitely should be in the mix.

Robert_Paulson on February 10, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Does anyone know if she’ll be 30 y/o by Jan 2013?

Robert_Paulson on February 10, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Just answered my own question. The answer is “yes.”

Robert_Paulson on February 10, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Please let it NOT be Cornyn, the RINO’s RINO.

mr.blacksheep on February 10, 2011 at 1:02 PM

listening to KFYI (550), they mentioned her name but don’t think she is 35 yet….

cmsinaz on February 10, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Oh… that’s right…

MeatHeadinCA on February 10, 2011 at 1:02 PM

ROTFL. Thanks for the link.

JimP on February 10, 2011 at 12:48 PM

My pleasure! I had to pass it on, glad it made you laugh too.

NTWR on February 10, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Does anyone know if she’ll be 30 y/o by Jan 2013?

Robert_Paulson on February 10, 2011 at 1:00 PM

I’m pretty sure she already qualifies on age. I think she is early 30s.

Kelligan on February 10, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Crikey, I go out to the grocery store and when I come back Mubarak is gone and Kyl is on his way out.

myrenovations on February 10, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Go to the store again maybe when you come back BHO will be on his way out, oh wait, I guess only republicans resign or retire democrats die or are hauled out!

dhunter on February 10, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Ruth McClung is pretty cool, but still a bit young. She’s pretty damned smart, but we need brains AND experience. Washington is full of barracudas, and I’d be a bit concerned that they would eat her alive.

mr.blacksheep on February 10, 2011 at 1:05 PM

listening to KFYI (550), they mentioned her name but don’t think she is 35 yet….

cmsinaz on February 10, 2011 at 12:57 PM

US House is 25, Senate is 30, Presidency is 35.

Kelligan on February 10, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Exit question: Who’ll replace Kyl as number two in the leadership? Take your pick, says Politico — John Cornyn or Lamar Alexander.

Yuck and double-yuck.

steebo77 on February 10, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Ruth McClung is pretty cool, but still a bit young. She’s pretty damned smart, but we need brains AND experience. Washington is full of barracudas, and I’d be a bit concerned that they would eat her alive.

mr.blacksheep on February 10, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Because experienced politicians are doing so well running things now?

Kelligan on February 10, 2011 at 1:07 PM

If a Sheriff were to run, instead of Sheriff Joe, I’d bet on Sheriff Paul Babeu. He was voted National Sheriff of the Year and can work a crowd better than Obama – without a teleprompter! He’s much less abrasive than Sheriff Joe, well educated and is not letting any dust settle under his feet. He’s out speaking at events all over the valley.

Flake or Shadegg would be good also, although tea party folks have issues with Flake.

GrannySunni on February 10, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Because experienced politicians are doing so well running things now?

Kelligan on February 10, 2011 at 1:07 PM

You make a good point. However, I guess I should have stipulated that I was not talking about career politicians, for whom I have no time or patience. I’m talking about somebody with real-world experience, a Jack Welch type.

Romney scores in that department, but I’m a bit leery of him because of the Romney care thing — he’s too far left for me.

So from that perspective, the field of prospective Repub candidates looks pretty weak as far as I am concerned.

mr.blacksheep on February 10, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Jeff Flake or John Shadegg are both good choices.

Desert Gardens on February 10, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Trent Franks would be good too.

steebo77 on February 10, 2011 at 1:15 PM

US House is 25, Senate is 30, Presidency is 35.

Kelligan on February 10, 2011 at 1:06 PM

thanks!

cmsinaz on February 10, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Trent Franks would be good too.

steebo77 on February 10, 2011 at 1:15 PM

true…he’s my rep :)

cmsinaz on February 10, 2011 at 1:21 PM

“Jeff Flake, Cynthia Lummis Vote “No” On Republican Appropriations Bill, Insisting on Full $100 Billion in Promised Cuts”

Flake is fine by me!

Sultry Beauty on February 10, 2011 at 1:29 PM

true…he’s my rep :)

cmsinaz on February 10, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Hey, me too – Surprise

Kelligan on February 10, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Goodbye to another RINO! Not soon enough.

flytier on February 10, 2011 at 1:52 PM

I thought Kyl was OK until he screwed up bigtime on the Bush-Kennedy-McCain amnesty.
Anyway, new blood is always good.

james23 on February 10, 2011 at 2:04 PM

ruth mcClung would be great! make it happen AZ tea partiers!

james23 on February 10, 2011 at 2:05 PM

But why does he have to retire now to put himself in position for that?

He doesn’t.
He wants to play golf for a while first.

itsnotaboutme on February 10, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Kelligan

Sun city

cmsinaz on February 10, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Exit question: Who’ll replace Kyl as number two in the leadership? Take your pick, says Politico — John Cornyn or Lamar Alexander.

John Cornyn is the most dishonest, unethical and lowest of slime …

There is not a politician in the nation as low as him. And yeah – I know about Barney Frank.

HondaV65 on February 10, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Ruth McClung will have her 29th birthday in a few days. She will be 30 in Feb 2012.

Edouard on February 10, 2011 at 3:34 PM

I know one AZ Republican who would make a great candidate. Alice Cooper

Mark1971 on February 10, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Newest member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame too…

Jeff2161 on February 10, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Agree with Flake or Franks as excellent possibilities. Shadegg is obviously outstanding too, but given his retirement from the House he does not strike me as a long-term answer, most probably a one-termer if he ran at all.

Edouard on February 10, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Kyl resign now so Brewer can appoint Arpaio

obdurate on February 10, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Jeff Flake or John Shadegg are both good choices.

Desert Gardens on February 10, 2011 at 11:31 AM
Trent Franks would be good too.

steebo77 on February 10, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Fife might be tired of cooking by now. What’s he up to these days?

petunia on February 10, 2011 at 6:50 PM

I am hoping that John McCain may get a clue from John Kyl’s announcement.

Dasher on February 10, 2011 at 6:57 PM

What’s the real reason Kyl is quitting? Erick Erickson personally front-paged Coldwarrior’s diary report at RS. The short story is that new precinct committeemen declined to elect Kyle’s favorites to GOP slots in Maricopa county and chose a write-in candidate for AZ GOP chair over Kyl’s own pick. Could be that Kyl simply read the handwriting clearly displayed on the wall. EE came out moments later for Flake.

Long Shot: who just moved to AZ? (Not a rick roll, I promise!)

ElRonaldo on February 10, 2011 at 7:28 PM

At 68, Kyl is probably too old to be appointed to the Supreme Court, since Presidents of both parties tend to seek people around 50 years old (Roberts, Alito, Sotomayor, Kagan) who can “leave their mark” on the Court for a longer life expectancy.

Steve Z on February 10, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Sotomayer, being a diabetic since her teens, may not stay on the court as long as Stevens had.

bayview on February 10, 2011 at 9:44 PM

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