Breaking: House Democrat Jim Matheson retires, clearing the way for Mia Love

posted at 3:21 pm on December 17, 2013 by Allahpundit

That was fast.

Here’s Matheson’s announcement. He’s only 53 years old. Either there’s some as-yet-unknown bad news that’s forced him out or, as a Democrat from Utah, he’s tired of fighting for his political life every two years. In 2002 he won his race by fewer than 1,700 votes. Last year, against tea-party favorite Mia Love and with Mitt Romney at the top of the ballot, he won by fewer than 800 — despite having trailed in one poll by 12 points heading into election day. Love already declared in May that she’d challenge him again next year; maybe he looked at the political landscape, especially with what’s in store for ObamaCare, and figured he might as well retire before the voters eventually retire him.

Big news for two reasons. One: Republican Frank Wolf, who represents increasingly blue northern Virginia, announced earlier today that he was retiring after 34 years. That’s a golden opportunity for Democrats to turn the House slightly bluer — or was, before Matheson’s retirement canceled it out. Two: If Love wins the seat, she’d be the first black woman elected to Congress as a Republican. The GOP naturally wants to make that happen to help rebrand itself as a more racially diverse party, which is one reason why she got a speaking slot at the convention last year. Grassroots righties I know like her a lot too, although she got some static last month when she seemed to inch away from the “tea party” label and criticized Mike Lee’s “defund” tactics (as did a lot of other Utahns). When the Blaze noticed, she issued a statement trying to smooth things over. Hmmm.

The only mystery to this election, then, is whether Love will win in a walkover or whether other Republicans will be lured into the primary by the prospect of an easy general election. One of Romney’s sons is forever being whispered about as a potential candidate for something or other. Maybe there’ll also be a candidate to her right championing Lee’s “defund” effort and dismissing her as just another RINO in the making. And hey — there’s always the Huntsmans! The national party will do whatever it can to clear the field for her. Stay tuned.


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I have a FB friend who was born in Asia. His nationality now is ‘Texan’.

Years ago in a Calc III class an Asian looking guy with the little round glasses stood up to ask a question. I mean this kid fit the Hop Sing caricature of what an Asian looks like. He opens his mouth and out flows the lowest, slowest Phil Gramm west Texas accent you ever heard not coming from Phil Gramm. Turned out his family was in the cattle bidness in the valley. 2nd generation Texan to the bone. After I got to know him he told me he always enjoyed getting that reaction.

DanMan on December 17, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Uh, never. She’s a republican, ya know.

[BuzzCrutcher on December 17, 2013 at 4:17 PM]

You sure? She reject labels, you know. Maybe we should check every few weeks.

I’m being overly sarcastic in this thread considering that I really like Love and would support her in her bid to take Matheson’s old seat. I just think she’s not fully ready yet for the rough and tumble of the national spotlight if she intends to get spend time in it when she gets to DC. If on the other hand she avoids the spotlight the way Tim Scott has, she’ll probably do okay.

Dusty on December 17, 2013 at 4:31 PM

idesign on December 17, 2013 at 4:15 PM

This really doesn’t address anything I just said, but okay, lol.

GOPRanknFile on December 17, 2013 at 4:26 PM

We all know you’re an establishment hack, GOPDipandSwirl.
That addresses it all.

RovesChins on December 17, 2013 at 4:32 PM

I knew that Allen Scott in SC reference was off. Tim Scott. Thanks Dusty.

DanMan on December 17, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Me too. I’m not trying to bust your hump, man. Hoping Mia Love won’t disappoint us.

RovesChins on December 17, 2013 at 4:29 PM

I’m hoping the same..:)

idesign on December 17, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Years ago in a Calc III class an Asian looking guy with the little round glasses stood up to ask a question. I mean this kid fit the Hop Sing caricature of what an Asian looks like. He opens his mouth and out flows the lowest, slowest Phil Gramm west Texas accent you ever heard not coming from Phil Gramm. Turned out his family was in the cattle bidness in the valley. 2nd generation Texan to the bone. After I got to know him he told me he always enjoyed getting that reaction.

DanMan on December 17, 2013 at 4:30 PM

I kind of like this guy. :)

22044 on December 17, 2013 at 4:38 PM

[RovesChins on December 17, 2013 at 4:23 PM]

I realize that. I wasn’t trying to get on your case or saying you’re wrong. And I also realize Love didn’t have much choice at the convention but to support Romney, because there was only one choice by the time.

All I was pointing out was that she doesn’t have a history. And we all know, or should know, by now, history is the only basis on which to apportion trust. (Hint: Crist, Specter, McCain, Rubio, Ryan, Christie, ….)

Dusty on December 17, 2013 at 4:40 PM

idesign on December 17, 2013 at 4:15 PM

This really doesn’t address anything I just said, but okay, lol.

GOPRanknFile on December 17, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Someone posts on EVERY SINGLE PALIN THREAD that she
is losing to Begich by 8 billion percent in the Senate
race (of which she never entered) in her state of
Alaska…would that be you??

ToddPA on December 17, 2013 at 4:40 PM

We all know you’re an establishment hack, GOPDipandSwirl.
That addresses it all.

RovesChins on December 17, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Lol, thanks for the non-sequitur. All I said was that she didn’t address what I said, which is true, and you come back with that? And of course you have no evidence whatsoever that I’m an “establishment hack.” You’re just as much of one as I am, I guess.

GOPRanknFile on December 17, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Someone posts on EVERY SINGLE PALIN THREAD that she
is losing to Begich by 8 billion percent in the Senate
race (of which she never entered) in her state of
Alaska…would that be you??

ToddPA on December 17, 2013 at 4:40 PM

I do post that, usually when someone asks why she doesn’t run for President or Senate in Alaska. I know she never entered it, which is why people ask why she hasn’t yet. So I inform them of one possibility. Could there be others? Sure, but that’s one possibility that’s out there.

GOPRanknFile on December 17, 2013 at 4:45 PM

22044 on December 17, 2013 at 4:38 PM

ROTFL!

annoyinglittletwerp on December 17, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Hooray! I’ve met her and she is the real deal. I’m not a biggie on race/sex/etc – just character and humility. Mia is terrific.

We’d be very fortunate to have her on our side.

MN J on December 17, 2013 at 4:55 PM

I do post that, usually when someone asks why she doesn’t run for President or Senate in Alaska. I know she never entered it, which is why people ask why she hasn’t yet. So I inform them of one possibility. Could there be others? Sure, but that’s one possibility that’s out there.

GOPRanknFile on December 17, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Yeah, I’ll tell you what. She’s damn sceeered of them polls…

..so sceerred like in 2006, when she was waaaayyyy down
in the early polls to a sitting Governor, Frank Murkowski..

turned those numbers around in a hurry, and whipped his AZZ.
If and when she decides to run….you’ll know….

ToddPA on December 17, 2013 at 5:00 PM

[RovesChins on December 17, 2013 at 4:23 PM]

I realize that. I wasn’t trying to get on your case or saying you’re wrong. And I also realize Love didn’t have much choice at the convention but to support Romney, because there was only one choice by the time.

All I was pointing out was that she doesn’t have a history. And we all know, or should know, by now, history is the only basis on which to apportion trust. (Hint: Crist, Specter, McCain, Rubio, Ryan, Christie, ….)

Dusty on December 17, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Yeah. I know. Trust, but verify.

RovesChins on December 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Yeah, I’ll tell you what. She’s damn sceeered of them polls…

..so sceerred like in 2006, when she was waaaayyyy down
in the early polls to a sitting Governor, Frank Murkowski..

turned those numbers around in a hurry, and whipped his AZZ.
If and when she decides to run….you’ll know….

ToddPA on December 17, 2013 at 5:00 PM

You make a good point about her run against Murkowski, but I would say it’s very different because back then she didn’t have 100% name recognition in the state, whereas she does now after serving as Governor and then running for VP. She’s very talented, and I actually wouldn’t mind her running for something again in the future.

GOPRanknFile on December 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM

We all know you’re an establishment hack, GOPDipandSwirl.
That addresses it all.

RovesChins on December 17, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Lol, thanks for the non-sequitur. All I said was that she didn’t address what I said, which is true, and you come back with that? And of course you have no evidence whatsoever that I’m an “establishment hack.” You’re just as much of one as I am, I guess.

GOPRanknFile on December 17, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Your reputation proceeds you.
If it was Rubio/Boehner/McCain, we would need a clean up on aisle hack.

RovesChins on December 17, 2013 at 5:09 PM

He’s only 53 years old. Either there’s some as-yet-unknown bad news that’s forced him out or, as a Democrat from Utah, he’s tired of fighting for his political life every two years.

Maybe he should pull a Scott Brown and move to Nevada. They adore Democrats there, or more accurately the mob does.

Happy Nomad on December 17, 2013 at 5:11 PM

BuzzCrutcher on December 17, 2013 at 3:56 PM

This.

Circular firing squads rarely work out well, and yet the Republicans seem so very fond of them.

iurockhead on December 17, 2013 at 5:20 PM

The only mystery to this election, then, is whether Love will win in a walkover or whether other Republicans will be lured into the primary by the prospect of an easy general election.

Well, does the national GOP establishment welcome the likes of Mia Love, or would they prefer to withhold support of her and or toss in a spoiler to ruin her chances of success.

hawkeye54 on December 17, 2013 at 5:22 PM

TEA party favorite.

I get nervous when I hear that phrase because I heard it over and over during Marco Rubio’s campaign and we all know how that turned out.

Wigglesworth on December 17, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Your reputation proceeds you.
If it was Rubio/Boehner/McCain, we would need a clean up on aisle hack.

RovesChins on December 17, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Lol, I don’t like Boehner or McCain. This just shows how little you know, which is no surprise. It shows how little you read, as well. Just in this very thread, I blasted McCain for betraying the party “more times than I can count.” Nice try, though. I do think Rubio is politically talented, and I did support him over Crist, but I have no loyalty to the man. His push for amnesty hurt his credibility with me. He’s been trying to make it up, which is better than someone like McCain, who’s been flipping the bird at conservatives forever.

GOPRanknFile on December 17, 2013 at 5:40 PM

I’d feel a little better about Mia if the Chamber of Crony Commerce backed another candidate in the primary.

Wigglesworth on December 17, 2013 at 5:46 PM

i’m so excited!! she got so close to winning before and i was frustrated. i hope she wins, and one reason is… liberal heads exploding =)

Sachiko on December 17, 2013 at 5:58 PM

At DailyMail via Drudge

Obama ‘hijacks’ tech executive meeting to make ‘PR pitch’ on Obamacare website fix instead of dealing with NSA surveillance
‘We didn’t really care for a PR pitch’ about Obamacare, said one executive
The White House telegraphed in advance that the president wanted to talk up his efforts to fix healthcare.gov, but no one in the room was interested
Tech executives gathered in the Roosevelt Room to discuss the NSA’s overreach in seizing their digital records
A federal judge ruled Monday that the practice violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees against unreasonable searches

Murphy9 on December 17, 2013 at 5:59 PM

At last we get rid of Matheson! Hallelujah!

Of course, he WAS one of the few “Blue Dogs” left; and in fact for the most part voted more conservative than Boehner. He never did vote for Obamacare, as I recall (though he ‘forgot’ to vote to repeal it a few times….).

In any case, hopefully we will finally have a full Republican slate in Congress.

Now, if only Hatch would follow suit……………

Vanceone on December 17, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Actually, you can thank Matheson FOR Obamacare. He had a chance to kill it in committee before it ever got to the House floor, but instead he VOTED it out of committee where would pass without needing his vote. Which he would have given if it would have been needed. He waited until he knew for sure that it would pass before he announced he would vote against it.

Gunlock Bill on December 17, 2013 at 6:03 PM

I just moved into that district, out of Chris Stewarts. The only mystery in that district was the Republican primary; after the primary the general election was a shoo-in.

How Matheson has survived this long is a mystery to me. No other Democrat in Utah has a snowballs chance, outside of a couple of city elections (and Salt Lake County, of course– Big City Dems).

Matheson just wouldn’t die, despite our attempts to stake him through the heart.

Vanceone on December 17, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Utah’s 4th CD doesn’t include Salt Lake City, but does include most of the southern suburbs west of I-15, and does not include the BYU campus in Provo. Some of the close-in suburbs just south of SLC (Murray, West Valley) are relatively poor and blue-collar, but the suburbs further south are more affluent, and heavily Mormon, and Mormons tend to be politically conservative. Mia Love has an excellent chance to take this House seat after Matheson’s retirement.

Steve Z on December 17, 2013 at 6:05 PM

This is very good news..Go Mia Go!..:)

Dire Straits on December 17, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Maybe he should pull a Scott Brown and move to Nevada Las Vegas. They adore Democrats there, or more accurately the mob does.

Happy Nomad on December 17, 2013 at 5:11 PM

FIFY. Most of rural Nevada votes Republican, but Sin City puts Dingy Harry over the top. Matheson would need a district which is dominated by Las Vegas to win a House seat in Nevada.

Steve Z on December 17, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Years ago in a Calc III class an Asian looking guy with the little round glasses stood up to ask a question. I mean this kid fit the Hop Sing caricature of what an Asian looks like. He opens his mouth and out flows the lowest, slowest Phil Gramm west Texas accent you ever heard not coming from Phil Gramm. Turned out his family was in the cattle bidness in the valley. 2nd generation Texan to the bone. After I got to know him he told me he always enjoyed getting that reaction.

DanMan on December 17, 2013 at 4:30 PM

I was watching Chuck Todd on MSNBC a while back and he had a guest who was complaining about how folks who moved South were “Southernized” upon arrival.

It’s true. Resistance is futile.

Punchenko on December 17, 2013 at 6:45 PM

From what I’ve seen of Mia thus far, I like her. The ‘progressive’ long knives will come out of course but it will be very interesting to see how they play it. Maybe we should scream ‘RACIST!’ at every opposition to her. Sauce for the goose and all…

ghostwalker1 on December 17, 2013 at 6:54 PM

DanMan on December 17, 2013 at 4:30 PM

My two Grandsons are Asian in appearance, Mother is from Burma. The boys were both born and have lived their entire lives in Wisconsin. Very distinct Wisconsin accents…dontchaknow.

Oldnuke on December 17, 2013 at 7:13 PM

So if she gets elected won’t she become the dreaded “establishment”? By the logic used do often on this website wouldn’t it be better to pre-emptively lose by voting for a democrat?

V7_Sport on December 17, 2013 at 7:26 PM

You’re right..

Mia Love: Romney’s the man we need at the helm

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/opinion/story/2012-08-30/Romney-convention-Mia-Love/57458192/1

idesign on December 17, 2013 at 3:45 PM

I can see your redunculous statement has already been addressed, but let me add mine.
SO WHAT!!??

SO DID EVERYONE ELSE THAT DIDN’T WANT TO SEE o GET ELECTED.

avagreen on December 17, 2013 at 7:40 PM

..apparently you did not get the memo: ALT says not to hyphenate.

;-D

The War Planner on December 17, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Ngro?

Solaratov on December 17, 2013 at 7:51 PM

If Love wins the seat, she’d be the first black woman elected to Congress as a Republican.

She’s pretty awesome. Can you just imagine the hate, racism, and misogyny that Mia Love is going to endure from Democrat women and blacks (and of course the usual champions of hate, racism and misogyny against conservative women – liberal white men and gays)?

Jaibones on December 17, 2013 at 8:07 PM

The only mystery to this election, then, is whether Love will win in a walkover or whether other Republicans will be lured into the primary by the prospect of an easy general election.

I think the mystery is whether she is something other than just a pigmented Kristi Noem or Kelly Ayotte. I’m hopeful that she is, but a little worried.

bofh on December 17, 2013 at 8:55 PM

I think the mystery is whether she is something other than just a pigmented Kristi Noem or Kelly Ayotte. I’m hopeful that she is, but a little worried.

bofh on December 17, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Yeah, I remember when people here were all on board with people like Ryan and Rubio, and look how that turned out….

Trust by verify..

idesign on December 17, 2013 at 9:02 PM

He’s only 53 years old. Either there’s some as-yet-unknown bad news that’s forced him out or, as a Democrat from Utah, he’s tired of fighting for his political life every two years.

There is a third option…..he’s running for another office. He has already hinted….

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/57275962-90/2014-already-continue-duty.html.csp

Could that mean running for Senate or governor?

“Yes, sir,” Matheson replied, quickly noting that he wasn’t making any announcements now on that.

Wink, wink, nudge, nudge know-what-I-mean…..

Given a) the very real backlash (here in Utah) from Dems and establishment GOP over the government shutdown and b) daddy’s (Scott M. Matheson former governor of Utah) popularity, a run for Senate against Mike Lee would not be out of the question. I suspect that he will go for the weaker of the two incumbents – Lee or Herbert. He has a 2 years to raise money and decide. But Matheson WILL run again. That is why he is not taking the chance of loosing to Mia in bad year to be a Democrat.

LL

Lady Logician on December 17, 2013 at 9:23 PM

This is very good news..Go Mia Go!..:)

Dire Straits on December 17, 2013 at 6:06 PM

…ditto that!

KOOLAID2 on December 17, 2013 at 10:01 PM

So if she gets elected won’t she become the dreaded “establishment”? By the logic used do often on this website wouldn’t it be better to pre-emptively lose by voting for a democrat?

V7_Sport on December 17, 2013 at 7:26 PM

…you’re getting a little boring…maybe you should concentrate on your own site!

KOOLAID2 on December 17, 2013 at 10:02 PM

…you’re getting a little boring…maybe you should concentrate on your own site!

KOOLAID2 on December 17, 2013 at 10:02 PM

That isn’t my site. Seriously, if all is lost and if she does something that you or I may disagree with, what’s the point in getting exited about her prospects for winning? Why would you have an issue with what I wrote and not take issue with the people who hope that the right looses elections to hasten the downfall?

V7_Sport on December 17, 2013 at 11:20 PM

So I assume the fact that she is black and a woman will preclude the Establishment from going after her since she has the backing of the Tea Party?

Cindy Munford on December 18, 2013 at 12:05 AM

Great news!! Now, people..let’s put a few sheckels where our mouths are..I donated to her last time..and I just did it again tonite…GO MIA!!!!!

Xango Annie on December 18, 2013 at 12:08 AM

although she got some static last month when she seemed to inch away from the “tea party” label

Grow up already, people.

Everyone isn’t Just Like You and they don’t have to be.

Moesart on December 18, 2013 at 12:30 AM

V7_Sport on December 17, 2013 at 11:20 PM

…who here wants the right to lose elections?
…I hope you are assuming right Cindy Munford!

KOOLAID2 on December 18, 2013 at 12:35 AM

Moesart on December 18, 2013 at 12:30 AM

Clarification, please.

Cindy Munford on December 18, 2013 at 7:42 AM

She can run as VP on the 2016 ticket with the same experience credentials as Obama had.

NoPain on December 18, 2013 at 8:01 AM

Mia Love soon to be the new media “angry white female or maybe even male”….

PatriotRider on December 18, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Good grief. So many comments on that video about how blacks “built it” and she’s a sell out. I didn’t realize we were still living in slavery times.

RDE2010 on December 19, 2013 at 9:05 AM

who here wants the right to lose elections?

KOOLAID2 on December 18, 2013 at 12:35 AM

The Mobys and the nuts, in that order.

V7_Sport on December 20, 2013 at 10:39 PM

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