A Whole Lot of Turnover Goin’ On

B000243On Tuesday, April 23, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) (pictured) announced that he was not running for re-election in 2014. He joins a long list of Senators who have announced that they will not be candidates for re-election in 2014. They are Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Carl Levin (D-MI),  and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). Two other Senators, Jim DeMint (R-SC) and John Kerry (D-MA), resigned. Listed below are the months and years as to when each Senator first began his term.

Senator and Starting Month/Year
Baucus – December 1978
Levin – January 1979
Harkin – January 1985
Kerry – January 1985
Rockefeller – January 1985
Johnson – January 1997
Chambliss – January 2003
Lautenberg – January 2003 (current term); 1982-2001 (previous)
DeMint – January 2005
Johanns – January 2009

With the exception of Lautenberg, each of these Senators would have had a relatively easy re-election in 2014. Lautenberg would have faced a tough primary challenge in Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D). If Lautenberg survived that primary, he would have won in the general election, since New Jersey trends Democratic electorally. The question remains, “Why retire?” If the chances for re-election were quite high, then why move on?

In Kerry’s case, he was named Secretary of State. In DeMint’s case, he took a position at the conservative think tank known as the Heritage Foundation. Some of these Senators claim that the partisan rancor in Washington caused them to step down. Others have said that their age was a determining factor. Could it also be that some do not want to face their records come 2014? In Baucus’s case, speculation has arisen that the Senator does not want to defend his stance of Obamacare and that is his reason for stepping down. In any case, there’s a whole of turnover in the Senate going on. The question is, “Why?”

8 responses to “A Whole Lot of Turnover Goin’ On

  1. Katherine Didier

    I do not understand how you could retire after holding a position for so ling. Maybe they are worn out of politics, but after so many years it seems unlikely. Also, maybe they are fed up with fighting with the opposite party but again, after so many years I feel that they would be used to it by now.

  2. People should retire if they cannot do what they are paid to do. If that individual is incapable to perform their duties they should step down and allow people to do the job who is more elgible for the position. It is better for younger people who have fresher minds and are willing to take the challenge of benefiting America. Also more people should leave when they cant do what is best for the government.

  3. While old age may be a forthrunnign agrument as to why so much turnover is happening, those who are leaving are probably leaving for other reasons. One main reason is loss of support. This comes through the public and party remembering their great support for certain bills. When the bills are not implamented properly and face negative public support, the Congressman may face quite a bit of his support loss.

  4. Honestly my initial thought would be their age. By looking at their starting dates, a lot of them are roughly 30 years into their bidding. However, I’m sure there are some other detailed reasons why they would step down. Could be personal issues

  5. People like succeeding at their work, they like being able to wake up and have effective, productive days. In retrospect, an individual would really not enjoy going to work day after day only to do a poor job. With the current state of our country and the different systems of government within it, it would be extremely difficult for a person to feel that they have the ability to positively change the way things are. Government positions throughout the past thirty years are witnessing an all time low. The government and the financial condition of territories are crumbling beneath the feet of position-holders. It would be easy for anyone holding a position in the government to feel discouraged and defeated when they’re living in the world we are today.

  6. Kevin Toussaint

    Just as being the president is a very exhausting job, being any important elected official would be just as strenuous. Many of those senators listed have been serving for over twenty years! After a given time, the stress must add up and it just so happens that there are more senators resigning this year than in recent years. Fresh blood can be just as good as old experience in this current congress.

  7. I feel their has been a real push of great minds flowing into the political spectrum in recent years and people who command influence are starting to care.

    It takes a special kind of person to be a politician; it takes a God damn super hero to be a pristine one apparently.

    Facing their stance on Obamacare is one thing but I’m sure there are many more skeletons in the closet. It is always nice to have a wealth of experience in any diverse group of people; but like the saying “Only perfect practice is perfect.”, I feel like a political rap sheet isn’t always full of the experience you exactly want.

    Sometimes it is easier to walk away from a fight than it is to own up to it. I always follow Mark Twain’s advice; “Let us so live that when we come to pass even the undertaker will be sorry.”

  8. Elizabeth Lenz

    I feel that many of these people just feels that they are not up for the job anymore. just as any of us would get tired and overwhelmed at a job they do as well. many of they are probably at they age where they would be retiring soon anyways. MISSED BLOG

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