Breaking: Jay Rockefeller to retire in 2014

posted at 9:52 am on January 11, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It didn’t take long for the first retirement of the 2014 election cycle to occur.  Jay Rockefeller, who has won five Senate elections in West Virginia but seen his state turn deeply conservative, will announce today that 30 years is enough:

Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller will not run for reelection in 2014, passing up a bid for a sixth term and putting in play a Senate seat in deep red West Virginia.

In an interview with POLITICO, Rockefeller — the chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and one of the most senior Senate Democrats — said he had been wrestling with the question of whether to run again since October but had not made up his mind to retire until very recently.

“I’m going to serve out my term,” the 75-year-old Rockefeller said. “It was a very hard decision for me. Once it’s made, like any hard decision, it eases up. But it was a very tough decision for me.”

Rockefeller is scheduled to make a formal announcement at 11 a.m. back home in West Virginia.

Rockefeller said he decided to go public with his retirement now — one that is sure to shake up the 2014 Senate landscape — because it felt like the right move and because he didn’t want months of public speculation over his political future.

Just a few hours earlier, Roll Call wrote a lengthy analysis that explains why Rockefeller decided to retire at the relatively young age of 75 … at least in the Senate:

Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s close ties to President Barack Obama could end his Senate career — should the West Virginia Democrat choose to run for re-election in 2014.

Rockefeller hasn’t had a close race in 30 years. But his strong support for Obama’s agenda in a state where the president remains deeply unpopular, combined with Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s decision to run for Senate, could prove enough to undermine the political career of a Democratic icon who has endured even as West Virginia has grown more and more conservative.

“There’s been no doubt on his absolute support of Barack Obama,” West Virginia GOP Chairman Conrad Lucas said, explaining why this race would be different from previous Republican Senate bids.

Rockefeller won his first Senate contest in 1984 with 52 percent of the vote and has won every race since with at least 63 percent. And with a stranglehold on the governor’s mansion and the Legislature, the West Virginia Democratic Party remains more powerful than its Republican counterpart.

But the Mountain State hasn’t voted Democrat for president since 1996, and unlike popular Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, a recent former governor who was first sent to Capitol Hill in 2010, Rockefeller has a long and politically troublesome Washington voting record that Republicans can use against him. He has been a strong supporter of the health care overhaul, to name one major component of Obama’s agenda derided by West Virginians.

It would be different because of the competition, too.  Moore Capito has a lot more experience in running for office in West Virginia than previous candidates.  She may not be a Tea Party darling — at least not yet — but she has been an effective campaigner in the state.  It certainly seems to have provided the impetus to drive Rockefeller into retirement in a state that kept re-electing Robert Byrd even when it became clear he wasn’t up to the task.

This may not be all bad news for the White House, however.  They were likely to lose the seat in the midterms, and it’s probably certain now that they will.  But this means that Rockefeller doesn’t have to spend the next two years looking over his shoulder and shifting to the right to protect his seat.  For the next two years, Rockefeller can vote without any accountability to the more conservative voters in West Virginia.  The good news for Republicans won’t come until 2015 at the earliest.


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Rockefeller has been in the Senate about as long as Jeddite has existed.

THIS. IS. PROBLEM.

Jeddite on January 11, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Only 30 years? Come on, stay another 20 at least, America will have trouble muddling through without your sage lifer wisdom.

Bishop on January 11, 2013 at 9:55 AM

The good news for Republicans won’t come until 2015 at the earliest.

You’re talking like we’re going to win that seat. Riiight.

The usual suspects are already on the warpath against Capito, while offering nobody of their own who’s better. I’ve seen this play before, and the second act is a no-name activist, probably with a criminal record, running as the “true conservative,” winning the primary, and losing the seat to a Democrat who would never win in 2014 but will now hold the seat for thirty-six years.

KingGold on January 11, 2013 at 9:56 AM

There should be a absolute age limit on how old a person can be in either house (I’d put it at 57).

nobar on January 11, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Meh. They’ll elect another Democrat. He’ll do a commercial with a pickup truck and a gun and the good voters of WV will forget that he / she is just another liberal fascist.

SAMinVA on January 11, 2013 at 9:59 AM

What are the odds Rockefeller has been paying his “fair share” of taxes…

perroviejo on January 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM

This may not be all bad news for the White House, however. They were likely to lose the seat in the midterms, and it’s probably certain now that they will. But this means that Rockefeller doesn’t have to spend the next two years looking over his shoulder and shifting to the right to protect his seat. For the next two years, Rockefeller can vote without any accountability to the more conservative voters in West Virginia. The good news for Republicans won’t come until 2015 at the earliest.

With 44 seats in the Senate, and a 45th probably coming when Brown wins Kerry’s seat, whether Rockefeller moves to the left is irrelevant.

And as you mentioned, this now becomes a 98% chance at a pick-up in 2014. Although, as we saw in Missouri and Indiana in 2012, and Delaware and Nevada in 2010, Republicans always have a shot at shooting themselves in the foot when they nominate the worst possible candidates.

milcus on January 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Rockefeller hasn’t had a close race in 30 years. But his strong support for Obama’s agenda in a state where the president remains deeply unpopular, combined with Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s decision to run for Senate, could prove enough to undermine the political career of a Democratic icon who has endured even as West Virginia has grown more and more conservative.

ROBIN:Holy bats**t, Batman! The good people of West Virginny are finally going to get some representatives in D.C. who actually represent them and their livelihoods and the eevil BIG Labor industries! Perish the thought, Batman!”
Batman: “To the Bat Phone. The White House needs us, Robin!”

“Wham ~ Bam ~ Thwack ~ KaPow!”
TERM LIMITS. If this dinosaur is not prove positive, I don’t know who … er …
Never Mind
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Aw jeeze….. I think I’m gonna’ cry .
Not !

Lucano on January 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Democrats will be nearly extinct in WV within the next 10 years.

forest on January 11, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Let us not assume that it is easy for a Republican to win a senate seat in West Virginia… Most importantly we need to make sure that the Republican candidate does not shoot himself in the head by talking stupidly about rape and abortion…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Capito broke the democrat monopoly in the state’s congressional delegation 14 years ago and had already announced she was running for this seat, Rockefeller or no. She is why he’s retiring rather than lose.

I suspect that the democrats will end up running current governor Earl Ray Tomblin against her. He’s probably the only democrat besides Manchin that could win (and he already has the other Senate seat).

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 10:01 AM

For the next two years, Rockefeller can vote without any accountability to the more conservative voters in West Virginia. The good news for Republicans won’t come until 2015 at the earliest.

Yes, as opposed to the last 30 years, where he’s been held highly accountable by the people of west virginia.

WV really loves their senators-for-life, don’t they? Anyways, more importantly, how many Rockefellers are there left in politics? Any? That doesn’t seem right to me, without the Kennedy and Rockefeller dynasties, I’m not sure our country can survive.

Timin203 on January 11, 2013 at 10:02 AM

This may not be all bad news for the White House, however. They were likely to lose the seat in the midterms, and it’s probably certain now that they will.

You sure about that, Ed? The GOP has been notoriously bad at winning statewide elections in West Virginia, despite it trending more and more red. And let’s not forget how many easily winnable Senate races the NRSC blew in 2012. They lost Indiana for chrissakes!

Doughboy on January 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM

There should be a absolute age limit on how old a person can be in either house (I’d put it at 57).

nobar on January 11, 2013 at 9:58 AM

It is very stupid… I trust older people much more so than younger people to make wise decisions…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM

The usual suspects are already on the warpath against Capito, while offering nobody of their own who’s better. I’ve seen this play before, and the second act is a no-name activist, probably with a criminal record, running as the “true conservative,” winning the primary, and losing the seat to a Democrat who would never win in 2014 but will now hold the seat for thirty-six years.

KingGold on January 11, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Yup, Republicans and conservatives having no clue that not all 50 states are alike, and that you cant win with pure conservatives in every state is the reason we keep losing, and is the only chance that this seat doesn’t flip in 2014.

milcus on January 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM

You’re talking like we’re going to win that seat. Riiight.

The usual suspects are already on the warpath against Capito, while offering nobody of their own who’s better. I’ve seen this play before, and the second act is a no-name activist, probably with a criminal record, running as the “true conservative,” winning the primary, and losing the seat to a Democrat who would never win in 2014 but will now hold the seat for thirty-six years.

KingGold on January 11, 2013 at 9:56 AM

This is a test for the NRSC. I believe that they’ve already committed to support Capito in the race and hopefully having Cruz on board is enough Tea Party cred. And this is definitely not a situation where the preferred Republican candidate is a Crist/ Spector figure. It was a good recruit for the Republicans early on and did what it was supposed to.. knock a senior Democrat out of the race.

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM

30 years is enough

Yet he isn’t even close to being the longest serving. Really too bad. The system worked much better when we didn’t have a political class. Folks would come in, serve a few terms, and go home. Nowdays they come to DC and never leave.

There’s a Congressman who attends my church. He’s in his 14th term. He met his wife here when he was a staffer. His kids have always lived in DC. Yet, he is the representative for a state on the other side of the country. We might as well adopt the British system where a member of the House of Commons doesn’t necessarily have to live among those who elect him.

Happy Nomad on January 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Isn’t there a movie star who can run against Capito? That’s the usual path taken by the libs just to generate some interest in a race.

Kissmygrits on January 11, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Democrats will be nearly extinct in WV within the next 10 years.

forest on January 11, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Manchin and Tomblin are pretending to be Republicans. But they aren’t, Manchin has sided with Obama in every important vote. And I guarantee you that Tomblin won’t stand up to Obama when he moves to stop fracking (which has created an economic BOOM in the northern part of the state, including the long dying Wheeling area).

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Let us not assume that it is easy for a Republican to win a senate seat in West Virginia… Most importantly we need to make sure that the Republican candidate does not shoot himself in the head by talking stupidly about rape and abortion…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Republican men running for office need to have shock charges placed on them, and when they start talking about abortion and/or rape, they should simply be zapped.

milcus on January 11, 2013 at 10:05 AM

TERM LIMITS.

Karl Magnus on January 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Those in power will never vote themselves a specific time limit to live off the government’s people’s largess. I’m still mad at Newt and the gang for conveniently, once in office, dropping that part from their Contract with America.

Fallon on January 11, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Most importantly we need to make sure that the Republican candidate does not shoot himself in the head by talking stupidly about rape and abortion…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Well, I for one think we should encourage our politicians to talk about rape rape a la Whoopie Goldberg.

Timin203 on January 11, 2013 at 10:06 AM

The GOP has been notoriously bad at winning statewide elections in West Virginia, despite it trending more and more red. And let’s not forget how many easily winnable Senate races the NRSC blew in 2012. They lost Indiana for chrissakes!

Doughboy on January 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Perhaps, but she is a chick. And she’s known in WV for 12 years already.

Also, this past November, the GOP won WV Attorney General, so they started winning at the state-wide level.

sentinelrules on January 11, 2013 at 10:07 AM

It is very stupid… I trust older people much more so than younger people to make wise decisions…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Maybe, but not if they’ve spent most of their time in DC.

ElectricPhase on January 11, 2013 at 10:07 AM

This is a test for the NRSC

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM

You bet, and it shouldn’t be a particularly hard one. But after losing in North Dakota, Missouri, Montana etc, no bar is too low.

First step would be to stop trying to blame the Tea Party for their own failures and take an honest accounting of why they keep losing so many winnable seats in conservative states.

forest on January 11, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Well, I for one think we should encourage our politicians to talk about rape rape a la Whoopie Goldberg.

Timin203 on January 11, 2013 at 10:06 AM

There is an easy answer to the rape trap for pro-life Republicans: “Rape is the most terrible of crimes and I support making it a capital offense punishable by death”.

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Yup, Republicans and conservatives having no clue that not all 50 states are alike, and that you cant win with pure conservatives in every state is the reason we keep losing, and is the only chance that this seat doesn’t flip in 2014.

milcus on January 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Well, with a few notable exceptions of idiots saying idiotic things, we keep losing because of “moderate” republicans who don’t at all differentiate themselves from democrats leading most normal voting age people to throw their hands up and say, “there’s no difference between the two parties, I’m not even going to waste my time voting.”

Timin203 on January 11, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Looks like another possible Rats-Fleeing Hopeys Titanic thingy,
or not!!

canopfor on January 11, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Is that all, 30 years? I’m not completely on board with term limits, but “serving” in the Congress for multiple decades is ridiculous, too. At least he’s retiring before he’s too old to remember where he is.

changer1701 on January 11, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Republican men running for office need to have shock charges placed on them, and when they start talking about abortion and/or rape, they should simply be zapped.

milcus on January 11, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Not a bad idea :)… I am now convinced that the stupid rape and abortion disaster comments with the Republican senate candidates in Missouri (Akin) and Indiana (Murdoch) may have cost us more than these two seats… It may have cost Romney the the swing states of Ohio, Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Colorado and hence the elections… It has also cost us Senate seats in other Republican states that were easily winnable….

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:10 AM

It is very stupid… I trust older people much more so than younger people to make wise decisions…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Yeah, I felt re-assured when I saw some staff member of Strohm Thurmond or Robert “sheets” Byrd wipe the drool off the button that the Senators were supposed to press to cast a vote on national security issues or something.

Happy Nomad on January 11, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Well, with a few notable exceptions of idiots saying idiotic things, we keep losing because of “moderate” republicans who don’t at all differentiate themselves from democrats leading most normal voting age people to throw their hands up and say, “there’s no difference between the two parties, I’m not even going to waste my time voting.”

Timin203 on January 11, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Name the Senate seats that we lost in 2010 and 2012 because a moderate was running as a Republican…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:12 AM

There is an easy answer to the rape trap for pro-life Republicans: “Rape is the most terrible of crimes and I support making it a capital offense punishable by death”.

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 10:08 AM

There are plenty of ways to sidestep the question, but the media will circle back to, “do you think abortions should be okay for rapes and incest?” and if the candidate says “yes” then the media follows up with, “okay, if you’re morally okay with abortion, why can’t it be allowed in other cases?”

It’s a trap, the best way to avoid it is to avoid it, by saying it should b e a “capital offense punishable by death,” we’ll get stories running about how extreme republicans are and how they want to hang 18 year olds for statuatory rape when they get a handy from their 15 year old girlfriends.

It’s not winnable. The media has dozens of these traps set up for republicans.

Timin203 on January 11, 2013 at 10:12 AM

First step would be to stop trying to blame the Tea Party for their own failures and take an honest accounting of why they keep losing so many winnable seats in conservative states.

forest on January 11, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Well, why did they lose those seats in red states? Particularly ND and MT? Mourdock and Akin were horrid candidates who shot themselves in the foot, but those aren’t the fault of the NRSC.

changer1701 on January 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Is that all, 30 years? I’m not completely on board with term limits, but “serving” in the Congress for multiple decades is ridiculous, too. At least he’s retiring before he’s too old to remember where he is.

changer1701 on January 11, 2013 at 10:09 AM

If Shelly Moore Capito hadn’t announced she was running against him he wouldn’t have retired rather than lose. She is popular and well known in the state, and Rockefeller has angered nearly everyone with his anti-coal backstabs as well as his shrill support for Obama, who is easly the most UNPOPULAR person in the state.

Rockefeller should have retired years and years ago but clearly intended to be wheeled out of the Senate to a hearse like Byrd did.

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Yeah, I felt re-assured when I saw some staff member of Strohm Thurmond or Robert “sheets” Byrd wipe the drool off the button that the Senators were supposed to press to cast a vote on national security issues or something.

Happy Nomad on January 11, 2013 at 10:12 AM

You took two extreme cases… I was replying to someone who said that the maximum age of a Congressperson or a Senator should be limited to 57… That is absolutely stupid…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:14 AM

You bet, and it shouldn’t be a particularly hard one. But after losing in North Dakota, Missouri, Montana etc, no bar is too low.

First step would be to stop trying to blame the Tea Party for their own failures and take an honest accounting of why they keep losing so many winnable seats in conservative states.

forest on January 11, 2013 at 10:07 AM

By NRSC test.. I mean making sure that the nice electable Republican lady is the nominee, not some crazy loon. As for the Missouri loss, that had to do with Akin and legitimate rape.

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Name the Senate seats that we lost in 2010 and 2012 because a moderate was running as a Republican…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:12 AM

By “moderate” I mean poll-driven opportunistic politicians. My home state of CT for one could have been a seat in play with someone other than Linda McMahon running in both 2010 and 2012. Blumenthol never would have won if the majority of the state that didn’t like the guy came out and voted against him instead of staying at home.

Timin203 on January 11, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Well, why did they lose those seats in red states? Particularly ND and MT? Mourdock and Akin were horrid candidates who shot themselves in the foot, but those aren’t the fault of the NRSC.

changer1701 on January 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Akin and Murdoch had a lot of negative effect on the senate races in other states than you think… Even worse they did cost Romney many of the swing states and hence the elections… Single women came in large numbers to vote against Republicans all over the country because of these two fools Akin and Murdoch…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

You took two extreme cases… I was replying to someone who said that the maximum age of a Congressperson or a Senator should be limited to 57… That is absolutely stupid…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:14 AM

No one should be able to run for federal office younger than age 35, nor older than 65.

IE: if election day happens after your 65th birthday, that’s it, you’re done.

I also would like to see the legal voting age raised to at least 21, if not 25.

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

By “moderate” I mean poll-driven opportunistic politicians. My home state of CT for one could have been a seat in play with someone other than Linda McMahon running in both 2010 and 2012. Blumenthol never would have won if the majority of the state that didn’t like the guy came out and voted against him instead of staying at home.

Timin203 on January 11, 2013 at 10:15 AM

And did you expect a conservative to win in Connecticut one the most liberal states in the Union?… Get real…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:17 AM

No one should be able to run for federal office younger than age 35, nor older than 65.

IE: if election day happens after your 65th birthday, that’s it, you’re done.

I also would like to see the legal voting age raised to at least 21, if not 25.

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Then we would not have Ronald Reagan…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:18 AM

And did you expect a conservative to win in Connecticut one the most liberal states in the Union?… Get real…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:17 AM

I can accept Scott Brown type candidates in places like Massachusetts or Connecticut. But they are unacceptable in red states like Indiana.

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Name the Senate seats that we lost in 2010 and 2012 because a moderate was running as a Republican…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:12 AM

I’ll throw are Tea Party friends a bone here.. Wisconsin was a pretty spectacular failure on the part of the NRSC. The only person they could recruit was 70-year-old Tommy Thompson despite the fact that both the VP nominee and RNC chairman live in the state.

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Jennifer Garner Affleck is a proud west Virginia native… But the dems will probably run a Boothe.

myrenovations on January 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Then we would not have Ronald Reagan…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:18 AM

If it hadn’t been for the backstabbing Republican establishment we would have had Reagan in the 70′s and would have never experienced the economic cataclysm that was Jimmy Carter.

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM

No one should be able to run for federal office younger than age 35, nor older than 65.

IE: if election day happens after your 65th birthday, that’s it, you’re done.

I also would like to see the legal voting age raised to at least 21, if not 25.

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Then we would not have Ronald Reagan… However I agree that the voting age should be raised to 25 years old… Yes there a lot of good people under the age of 25 including our brave troops but the vast majority of people under the age of 25 are too imature to vote on the fate of the nation…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Akin and Murdoch had a lot of negative effect on the senate races in other states than you think… Even worse they did cost Romney many of the swing states and hence the elections… Single women came in large numbers to vote against Republicans all over the country because of these two fools Akin and Murdoch…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

They helped with Barry’s false war on womenz narrative.

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 10:20 AM

“I’m going to serve out my term,” the 75-year-old Rockefeller said. “It was a very hard decision for me. Once it’s made, like any hard decision, it eases up. But it was a very tough decision for me.”

Aren’t most people happy to stop working before they’re 81?

Someday maybe serving in congress will be made unattractive enough that citizens will have to be drafted to serve.

It could only help.

Akzed on January 11, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Yes there a lot of good people under the age of 25 including our brave troops but the vast majority of people under the age of 25 are too imature to vote on the fate of the nation…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:20 AM

The elections of 2008 and 2012 are proof positive that there are many people who vote who shouldn’t.

No one should be allowed to vote for a living.

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Well, with a few notable exceptions of idiots saying idiotic things, we keep losing because of “moderate” republicans who don’t at all differentiate themselves from democrats leading most normal voting age people to throw their hands up and say, “there’s no difference between the two parties, I’m not even going to waste my time voting.”

Timin203 on January 11, 2013 at 10:08 AM

I cannot disagree more. In half the states you wont win without moderates.

Mike Castle wins in 2010, Christine O’Donnell loses. Tarkanian wins in 2010, Angle losses. Luger wins in 2012, Mourdock loses. Anyone else but Akin wins in 2012, Akin loses.

The problem with moderates is no different than the problem with conservatives. It’s that Republicans cannot make the case to voters why voting for Republicans benefits them over voting for Democrats. That simply getting free crap will not lead you further than a bare minimum existance, and that lower taxes and jobs gets you out of poverty and into a life with a brighter future for your kids.

milcus on January 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM

If it hadn’t been for the backstabbing Republican establishment we would have had Reagan in the 70′s and would have never experienced the economic cataclysm that was Jimmy Carter.

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM

If we follow your maximum age limit of 65 then Reagan would not even qualify to run for President in 1976 as he was born in February 1911 and he would had been older than 65 on elections day 1976…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Good riddance.

Bmore on January 11, 2013 at 10:26 AM

abortion in the case of rape lets the rapist off the hook for his crime

theblackcommenter on January 11, 2013 at 10:27 AM

They helped with Barry’s false war on womenz narrative.

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Exactly… It helped more than in Obama and the democrats wildest dreams…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Aren’t most people happy to stop working before they’re 81?

Generally that’s true. But those in polictical office who are addicted to the attention, power, a lifetime of lush living including retirement when and if it comes, and access to the public treasury for your family, cronies and yourself generally means too may want to stay longer than their “best if used by” date.

Someday maybe serving in congress will be made unattractive enough that citizens will have to be drafted to serve.

Make it part time, no more than 6 months in DC, no taxpayer provided benefits, other than salary, a nice HMO that members can pay into while serving, and optional participation in a members funded 401k to fund their own retirement and last, no self policing of miscreants, and all members are fully subject to all legislation inflicted upon everyone else and I’m in on this dreamy scenario.

hawkeye54 on January 11, 2013 at 10:29 AM

You took two extreme cases… I was replying to someone who said that the maximum age of a Congressperson or a Senator should be limited to 57… That is absolutely stupid…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Of course it is absolutely stupid! But my cases were not extreme. The litmus test is if a Congressman can do his or her job. Gabbie Giffords, Jesse Jackson Jr., and Mark Kirk are all politicians in the last two years who should never have been allowed to stay in Congress because they were incapable of doing the job. Giffords is 42, Jesse Jackson Jr. is 47. Mark Kirk is 53.

Somebody had to point out which button Thurmond and Byrd had to push to cast their vote. Same holds true when Giffords came to vote on Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on January 11, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Then we would not have Ronald Reagan…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Doubtful, and we definitely would not have Obama.

MelonCollie on January 11, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Not a bad idea :)… I am now convinced that the stupid rape and abortion disaster comments with the Republican senate candidates in Missouri (Akin) and Indiana (Murdoch) may have cost us more than these two seats… It may have cost Romney the the swing states of Ohio, Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Colorado and hence the elections… It has also cost us Senate seats in other Republican states that were easily winnable….

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Romney lost the election because of that. Aside from Romney’s incompetent staff, that was the single biggest reason for the loss imo, and probably even more of a reason than the staff’s incompetence.

Romney tried as hard as he could to not talk about social issues. And it worked…until idiots like Akin and Mourdock started talking about rape and abortion. That turned women against the GOP and lost Romney the election. And in a country where 90% of people dont follow politics, even the hint of a member of the GOP being anti-women hurt Romney.

milcus on January 11, 2013 at 10:32 AM

The elections of 2008 and 2012 are proof positive that there are many people who vote who shouldn’t.

No one should be allowed to vote for a living.

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Up to 1850 only property owner should be allowed to vote… Those who are not retirees and have not paid any income taxes within 4 years prior of an elections year must not be able to vote…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:32 AM

milcus I agree that Lugar would probably win, but he was also 80. Couldn’t someone in the Republican party sat him down and explained that maybe he should be retiring and let popular Mitch Daniels run for the seat instead?

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 10:32 AM

I also would like to see the legal voting age raised to at least 21, if not 25.

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

That isn’t going to happen. What scares me though is that young people are by and large the epitome of low-information voters (the more PC term for what we used to call morons). They get their news from Jon Stewart and Honey Boo Boo. And yet, they vote in the same elections as you and I.

Happy Nomad on January 11, 2013 at 10:33 AM

HappyNomad I disagree on Kirk. He is back doing his job right now. :)

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 10:34 AM

There should be a absolute age limit on how old a person can be in either house (I’d put it at 57).
nobar on January 11, 2013 at 9:58 AM

That’s the bar that has been set for most DoJ (Bureau of Prisons, Law Enforcement, etc.) employees for decades (it was 55). It’s not only because some carry firearms either.

It is very stupid… I trust older people much more so than younger people to make wise decisions…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM

And, when Michigan’s bonafide demented Rep. John Dingell, the Levin brothers, etc. ad nauseam insist upon hanging around … What then?
I thought we were supposed to herald the “elder statesmen”. Sadly, far too many over the years have proven beyond all doubt that they are “just following orders”.
(an excuse nullified by the Nürnberg Trials in ’46-’47)

Already in Michigan SIX coal-fired plants have closed down thanks to Emperor Øligula. The owner of the company has stated that he will close down them all if King Barry’s EPA doesn’t back off.

The “robber baron” Rocky has HIS, to hell with you!

In Sum: The Citizen Legislature (Congress) was never meant to be a full-time, life-time job, it was to represent The PEOPLE as the demographics change. How does an old phart suffering from dementia advance the PUBLIC good?
End of story.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 11, 2013 at 10:40 AM

abortion in the case of rape lets the rapist off the hook for his crime

theblackcommenter on January 11, 2013 at 10:27 AM

WTF? The baby is the rapist’s punishment?

cam2 on January 11, 2013 at 10:45 AM

My home state of CT for one could have been a seat in play with someone other than Linda McMahon running in both 2010 and 2012.

Timin203 on January 11, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Yeah, and I could have won last week’s Power Ball if I picked different numbers.

bw222 on January 11, 2013 at 10:48 AM

The problem with moderates is no different than the problem with conservatives. It’s that Republicans cannot make the case to voters why voting for Republicans benefits them over voting for Democrats. That simply getting free crap will not lead you further than a bare minimum existance, and that lower taxes and jobs gets you out of poverty and into a life with a brighter future for your kids.

milcus on January 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM

I don’t understand how a “moderate” republican who will vote with dems 1/2 the time and give everything “bi partisan” cover is preferable to losing the seat. I don’t care if the republicans control the senate if they can’t pass anything major because they’re constantly worried about losing “moderates.”

The way our system is set up, the minority in the senate has plenty of power as long as they have 41 seats. I’d rather a caucus that fights for my ideals as a minority then one that governs against my wishes as majority.

Timin203 on January 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Romney tried as hard as he could to not talk about social issues. And it worked…until idiots like Akin and Mourdock started talking about rape and abortion. That turned women against the GOP and lost Romney the election. And in a country where 90% of people dont follow politics, even the hint of a member of the GOP being anti-women hurt Romney.

milcus on January 11, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Social issues didn’t lose the election for Romney, economic issues did. Yes, on the fringe, a few votes were swayed by the ‘war on women’ (those votes would have been lost regardless of rape comments, obama was full bore war on women since R primaries).

people that voted for Obama were voting for the perceived self interests. the message of “cutting government” is the exact opposite of what someone who relies on the government wants to hear. I don’t think republicans will win another presidential election ever again — and if they do, it will be because the d candidate screws up so badly as to lose some of the low info voters on the margins. We will never see a Reagan or even Bush margin of victory again for republicans.

Timin203 on January 11, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Yeah, and I could have won last week’s Power Ball if I picked different numbers.

bw222 on January 11, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Okay. I was asked to name a senate race that I thought could have been won with a conservative candidate instead of a moderate who ends up sounding exactly like a democrat.

Timin203 on January 11, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Obamacare got passed despite the fact that Brown was #41 at the time.

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Well, why did they lose those seats in red states? Particularly ND and MT? Mourdock and Akin were horrid candidates who shot themselves in the foot, but those aren’t the fault of the NRSC.

changer1701 on January 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Why they failed so thoroughly is for them to figure out. I don’t follow ND and MT politics closely enough to explain to them why they failed so badly there. That’s why I suggested it would be a good place to begin a good self examination. As for MO and IN, those are especially the NRSC’s fault. They need to get the best conservative candidates to run and win. Trying the pretend Akin was a Tea Party creation in an attempt to escape responsibility is unhelpful.

forest on January 11, 2013 at 10:54 AM

No one in the Senate has done more damage to this country under the guise of “working to benefit the lives of average Americans” than this evil champion of government overstep.

When you have as much inherited money as, well, a Rockefeller , the mega-ego of an Obama, and the brains of a turnip, there’s just no fun left but to spend decades meddling with and controlling the lives of the unwashed subjects.

He would have been the first against the wall had the revolution come.

The man sickens me.

ROCnPhilly on January 11, 2013 at 10:54 AM

HappyNomad I disagree on Kirk. He is back doing his job right now. :)

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 10:34 AM

I understand that. I’m happy to see that he has sufficiently recovered enough to get back on the job. Yet, for nearly a year (since 1/23/12) he has been unable to do his job. The Senate business included many crucial votes where it would have been nice for Illinois to be represented by BOTH Senators and the GOP to have another Senator present.

Happy Nomad on January 11, 2013 at 10:55 AM

They helped with Barry’s false war on womenz narrative.

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Exactly… It helped more than in Obama and the democrats wildest dreams…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:28 AM

mnjg:

The KING,has now bragging rights over Hopey the Divirsity Changer!
=================================================================

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah appoints 30 women to previously all-male advisory council – @AFP

3 hours ago from dailynewsegypt.com by editor

canopfor on January 11, 2013 at 10:55 AM

I don’t understand how a “moderate” republican who will vote with dems 1/2 the time and give everything “bi partisan” cover is preferable to losing the seat. I don’t care if the republicans control the senate if they can’t pass anything major because they’re constantly worried about losing “moderates.”

The way our system is set up, the minority in the senate has plenty of power as long as they have 41 seats. I’d rather a caucus that fights for my ideals as a minority then one that governs against my wishes as majority.

Timin203 on January 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM

First of all, its not 1/2 the time. Scott Brown might have voted for Democrats about 20% of the time. But, even if its half, lets use finance to make the point. Would you like to have something in your stock portfolio that pays a dividend 50% of the time, or something that never pays a dividend? The answer is obviously 50%. Same with politicians.

And as moderates of both parties show, when their party has control, they will always side with their party on the important bills. And when out of power, the moderates from the other party is what you use to get to 60.

milcus on January 11, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Those who are not retirees and have not paid any income taxes within 4 years prior of an elections year must not be able to vote…

mnjg on January 11, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Why exempt retirees who currently pay no income tax? Why should they be allowed to vote themselves “free stuff”?

What scares me though is that young people are by and large the epitome of low-information voters (the more PC term for what we used to call morons). They get their news from Jon Stewart and Honey Boo Boo. And yet, they vote in the same elections as you and I.

Happy Nomad on January 11, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Don’t kid yourself, there are low info voters in every age group. And Daily Show viewers are better informed than most.
http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/174826/survey-nprs-listeners-best-informed-fox-news-viewers-worst-informed/

cam2 on January 11, 2013 at 11:00 AM

I understand that. I’m happy to see that he has sufficiently recovered enough to get back on the job. Yet, for nearly a year (since 1/23/12) he has been unable to do his job. The Senate business included many crucial votes where it would have been nice for Illinois to be represented by BOTH Senators and the GOP to have another Senator present.

Happy Nomad on January 11, 2013 at 10:55 AM

If Kirk had resigned, then we’d have lost the seat. The Governor is a Democrat (along with being a clueless bozo).

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Jay Rockefeller to retire in 2014

I’ll drink to that.

*clink*

petefrt on January 11, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Why they failed so thoroughly is for them to figure out. I don’t follow ND and MT politics closely enough to explain to them why they failed so badly there. That’s why I suggested it would be a good place to begin a good self examination. As for MO and IN, those are especially the NRSC’s fault. They need to get the best conservative candidates to run and win. Trying the pretend Akin was a Tea Party creation in an attempt to escape responsibility is unhelpful.

forest on January 11, 2013 at 10:54 AM

MO was the NRSC’s fault in that they didn’t get involved in the primary and Akin squeaked through. With the Lugar situation, there is no way that the NRSC is going to not endorse a fellow Republican Senator up for reelection. However, someone should have perhaps hinted to elderly Lugar that it was time to go and then encouraged Daniels to run for the seat.

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 11:03 AM

WV really loves their senators-for-life, don’t they?

Timin203 on January 11, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Not just WV, unfortunately.

AScott on January 11, 2013 at 11:04 AM

With his retirement, he’ll have more time to denigrate his own heritage on programs like “The Men Who Built America”.

allanbourdius on January 11, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Yeah, they fell down in all sorts of different ways. Their job is to get Republicans elected to the Senate and it was a comprehensive failure.

This WV seat is good opportunity to get one back next time.

forest on January 11, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Obamacare got passed despite the fact that Brown was #41 at the time.

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 10:54 AM

ObamaCare was passed before Scott Brown was sworn in. If you remember, Ted Kennedy was wheeled in to cast his vote.

bw222 on January 11, 2013 at 11:16 AM

There should be a absolute age limit on how old a person can be in either house (I’d put it at 57).

nobar on January 11, 2013 at 9:58 AM

You have to be 30 to get elected to the Senate. I’d put the limit at about 36.

trigon on January 11, 2013 at 11:20 AM

There are 21 senators that are 70 or older; 37 that are 65 or older.

bw222 on January 11, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Jay Rockefeller, who has won five Senate elections in West Virginia but seen his state turn deeply conservative, will announce today that after 30 years the people of West Virginia have had is enough.

FIFY

GarandFan on January 11, 2013 at 11:31 AM

If Kirk had resigned, then we’d have lost the seat. The Governor is a Democrat (along with being a clueless bozo).

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Well maybe being a clueless bozo will prevent him from joining his predecessors in a federal penitentiary. Although that didn’t stop Blago.

I stand by my statement. This is about good governance not about Ds and Rs. Mark Kirk was sidelined for about a year. Giffords longer than that. Jackson went AWOL for months without anybody telling us that he was in re-hab and/or the looney bin. I think there should be some sort of law that says if you miss a certain number of business days then you should not be recognized as a legitimate representative of your district/state. It wouldn’t stop an instance like Robert Byrd from drooling over himself but it would be a step in the right direction.

Happy Nomad on January 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

ObamaCare was passed before Scott Brown was sworn in. If you remember, Ted Kennedy was wheeled in to cast his vote.

bw222 on January 11, 2013 at 11:16 AM

The initial one perhaps, but the final bill was not. Remember the infamous “Demon Pass.”

Illinidiva on January 11, 2013 at 11:34 AM

canopfor on January 11, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Instead of hijacking threads with off-topic ruminations …
… why don’t you start up your own blog?
(give it some serious thought, eh?)
Just a Thawt
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 11, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Joan McCain and his girlfriend Graham should retire. We need fresh conservatives to take on the socialist regime.

celticdefender on January 11, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Instead of hijacking threads with off-topic ruminations …
… why don’t you start up your own blog?
(give it some serious thought, eh?)
Just a Thawt
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 11, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Why don’t you go teach your grandmother to suck eggs you fking nitwit.

tom daschle concerned on January 11, 2013 at 11:47 AM

West Virginia voted Democrat with the exception of President. They love pork and loved Byrd for it. I don’t buy that Rockefeller had anything to worry about. Having said that I thought we would win friggin North Dakota by the same Presidential logic and we didn’t. They love them some pork around the country and view their Senators in these states as pork providers and Santa Claus just like the rest of the country. it will be close but a democrat who says they will funnel money to WV like Byrd and Manchin will win the seat.

Conan on January 11, 2013 at 11:50 AM

The classic limo liberal.

pat on January 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Long time coming. Isn’t it time West Virginians start putting themselves on the couch and do some serious talk therapy as to why they consistently vote against their interests?

Rockefeller is going to help kill coal. Manchion is a closet lib whose first reaction was to want to grab everybody’s gun (but first talk about movies and mental health before doing it).

Now Manchion is walking it back. Guess he understands its not too cool to go against the family on this issue. So he’ll be a noodle if something ever gets to the Senate regarding the Second Amendment.

kens on January 11, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Having said that I thought we would win friggin North Dakota by the same Presidential logic and we didn’t. They love them some pork around the country and view their Senators in these states as pork providers and Santa Claus just like the rest of the country.

Conan on January 11, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Have you seen the Dem Senator from ND? You’ll understand where the term “porker” comes from and I’m not talking about the stuff that pads legislative bills.

I don’t think the GOP should be pulling out the red ink to color in the map after the 2014 election quite yet. That being said, hard to see how any Dem candidate will be able to run as a pro-rat ears Democrat in a state being economically crushed by the current administration. Throw in the forthcoming gun grab and you’ve got a situation where the GOP has a fighting chance. The Dems will run away from rat ears and the GOP candidate will make it a referendum on the administration.

Happy Nomad on January 11, 2013 at 12:34 PM

damn good news!! He is just another corrupt liberal, elitist, scumbag

ultracon on January 11, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Whoa !
Even the NRSC can’t screw this one up.

FlaMurph on January 11, 2013 at 12:38 PM

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