Friday, May 7, 2010

Obama's latest political victim

David Obey, a political titan whose decisions have touched every corner of the 7th Congressional District since being elected in 1969, has decided to bow out at the apex of his power.

“You know me, I work hard,” the Wausau Democrat said after announcing his stunning decision to retire Wednesday.

“You can do that so long and you get tired. I feel worn down,” said Obey, 71, who has been a close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a strong supporter of President Barack Obama.

Obey said he didn’t want to spend any more time explaining to angry constituents the “stupid” procedures of the U.S. Senate that held up the health care bill.

The unpopularity of Obama and his policies is endangering Democrats not permanently seated in safe districts. Obey was the third longest serving member of congress and the chair of its most powerful committee, and he expressly blames his decision to quit on constituent anger over the health care debate (although he spins it as best as he can).

If I were a first term Democratic congressmen from a swing district, I would be angling for an appointive position.

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