No Fun to be The Minority
Arizona GOP Rep. John Shadegg became the latest casualty of Washington’s changing political tides, announcing Monday that his seventh term will be his last. The decision, the statement reads, was made to allow him and his family the chance to pursue their “dreams, goals, and ambitions.” Oh yeah — and he also wants “to seek a new challenge in a different venue to advance the cause of freedom.”
And that explanation wouldn’t be so implausible if Shadegg hadn’t sought just two years ago to become House majority leader — a spot he ultimately lost to Ohio Rep. John Boehner. More likely, Shadegg, after 12 years in the majority, has joined a long list of his GOP colleagues who, in the face of expected Democratic gains this November, have similarly decided that this year will be their last.
At last count, 22 GOP House members have announced they will retire this year (including Shadegg). Three others are running for other offices. And one — Louisiana Rep. Richard Baker — left Capitol Hill last week to pursue a million-dollar opportunity on K Street.
Not that Democrats should begin rejoicing at Shadegg’s announcement. True, he’s a self-proclaimed Goldwater guy, but so are many in the gated-community-style Phoenix suburbs he represents. Bush took this turf by 58% in the last election.