Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Old Old Senate

Aaron Blake has a very good piece about Senate retirements over at WaPo's The Fix. While we don't really know why there have been so many retirements over this and the last election cycle (his guess that it comes from strong partisan swings in previous elections is plausible), he makes the good point that the reason retirements are showing up this early in the cycle is because national party committees are putting pressure on wavering Senators to decide quickly.

Oddly enough, that doesn't seem to apply over on the other side of the Capitol. So far, there hasn't been a single announced retirement from the House. That's not counting the two resignations, and three Members who have declared for Senate seats. It is, as Blake points out, very early in the cycle, so I wouldn't jump to any conclusions about what House retirements will look like a year from now. Clearly, however, this is going to be a very heavy retirement cycle in the Senate.

Meanwhile, this has got to be the saddest sentence I've ever read about the current state of the Senate:
Sure, all four of them are in their 60s, but none of them rank among the 30 oldest senators.
That's about Kyl, Huchison, Bingaman, and Webb. For those of us who would really like to see a more demographically representative Senate with respect to age, it's just depressing to think about.


  1. For some odd reason, this is the kind of argument that I find I have less sympathy for with each passing year.

  2. Senate: from O.Fr. senat or L. senatus ...lit. "council of elders," from senex (gen. senis) "old man, old" (see senile).



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