Blue Dog Tanner to retire

Could this be the start of a string of retirements announced by Democrats in the House and Senate?

Conventional wisdom states that a politician who doesn't like the lay of the land for an upcoming election will seek retirement rather than go down to electoral defeat. This was the decision that faced  GOP members in 2008 and 26 of them chose retirement. The reason was obvious; 2008 was shaping up to be a huge Democratic year in the spring and summer which convinced a lot of older members as well as some of the more vulnerable congressmen to take advantage of that overly generous taxpayer funded, gold plated pension that ex-Congressmen are entitled to and retire.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. As we head into the winter, Democrats will be sizing up their chances for success in 2010 and making decisions based on several factors. While it is still too early for a final judgment, it doesn't look good for the majority party at this point.

Highlighting this fact, 11 term incumbent John Tanner (D-TN) has announced his retirement. Tanner becomes the second Blue Dog Democrat to announce his leave taking in the last two weeks, as Josh Kraushaar and Jessica Taylor point out in this Politico piece:

Tanner has never faced a tough re-election campaign since first capturing the seat in 1988 and was unopposed in 2008. But he was facing a strong challenger in farmer and gospel singer Stephen Fincher, who raised an eye-catching $308,000 in the third quarter-most of it from within the district-and out-raised Tanner, who pulled in just $62,000."Stephen Fincher's impressive candidacy was already raising eyebrows from Frog Jump to Washington, and we're confident he'll have the privilege of representing Tennessee's 8th District after he beats whichever sacrificial lamb Democrats offer up," said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Andy Sere.

Tanner's rural, western Tennessee district has favored Republican candidates at the presidential level, giving John McCain 56 percent of the vote last year, and supporting former President Bush with 53 percent in 2004. Recognizing the conservative terrain, Tanner emerged as a leader of the fiscally-conservative Blue Dog Democrats and sports a voting record to the right of most of his party colleagues.

While Fincher looks like the odds-on favorite to win the Republican nomination, the Democratic field is in flux. State Sen. Roy Herron, who is currently running for governor, has emerged as the most likely candidate to run in Tanner's stead - with one source telling POLITICO he's now considering dropping out from the governor's race.

There are a good two dozen of these Democrats who have done well by running ahead of the Democratic presidential candidate  in their districts. Given the state of the economy and general dissatisfaction with Obama, we are likely to see a slew of retirements over the next 6 months.

 

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky


Could this be the start of a string of retirements announced by Democrats in the House and Senate?

Conventional wisdom states that a politician who doesn't like the lay of the land for an upcoming election will seek retirement rather than go down to electoral defeat. This was the decision that faced  GOP members in 2008 and 26 of them chose retirement. The reason was obvious; 2008 was shaping up to be a huge Democratic year in the spring and summer which convinced a lot of older members as well as some of the more vulnerable congressmen to take advantage of that overly generous taxpayer funded, gold plated pension that ex-Congressmen are entitled to and retire.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. As we head into the winter, Democrats will be sizing up their chances for success in 2010 and making decisions based on several factors. While it is still too early for a final judgment, it doesn't look good for the majority party at this point.

Highlighting this fact, 11 term incumbent John Tanner (D-TN) has announced his retirement. Tanner becomes the second Blue Dog Democrat to announce his leave taking in the last two weeks, as Josh Kraushaar and Jessica Taylor point out in this Politico piece:

Tanner has never faced a tough re-election campaign since first capturing the seat in 1988 and was unopposed in 2008. But he was facing a strong challenger in farmer and gospel singer Stephen Fincher, who raised an eye-catching $308,000 in the third quarter-most of it from within the district-and out-raised Tanner, who pulled in just $62,000.

"Stephen Fincher's impressive candidacy was already raising eyebrows from Frog Jump to Washington, and we're confident he'll have the privilege of representing Tennessee's 8th District after he beats whichever sacrificial lamb Democrats offer up," said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Andy Sere.

Tanner's rural, western Tennessee district has favored Republican candidates at the presidential level, giving John McCain 56 percent of the vote last year, and supporting former President Bush with 53 percent in 2004. Recognizing the conservative terrain, Tanner emerged as a leader of the fiscally-conservative Blue Dog Democrats and sports a voting record to the right of most of his party colleagues.

While Fincher looks like the odds-on favorite to win the Republican nomination, the Democratic field is in flux. State Sen. Roy Herron, who is currently running for governor, has emerged as the most likely candidate to run in Tanner's stead - with one source telling POLITICO he's now considering dropping out from the governor's race.

There are a good two dozen of these Democrats who have done well by running ahead of the Democratic presidential candidate  in their districts. Given the state of the economy and general dissatisfaction with Obama, we are likely to see a slew of retirements over the next 6 months.

 

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky