On the day I promised my wife I would abandon the internet until we got home from Hampton Beach my congresswoman decided to call it quits.
Having imprinted the 3rd Congressional District with the indelible mark of her family’s public service, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas will step away from Congress at the end of her current term to help nurture her family’s next generation.
First elected in 2007 to a congressional seat her husband Paul wielded to great effect, Tsongas has made a name for herself as a fierce advocate for women in the military, veterans benefits, and health care. Her recent bids for re-election have been forgone conclusions, but Tsongas said in a statement announcing her decision that the time has come to move on.
“I am so grateful to those who have been there since day one, and to the many great Americans who I have met along the way, all of whom have served as my inspiration and support,” Tsongas said. “I have learned in life that there is a time for endings and for new beginnings. After much thought, I have decided that this is one of those times.”
Tsongas, who is 71, has three daughters and two grandchildren, with another expected imminently. She said she plans to spend more time “enjoying and celebrating” them after her term expires at the end of 2018.
Now I’m a big fan of spending one’s golden years with the children and grandchildren and in that sense I completely agree with Congresswoman Tsongas’ decision, but I couldn’t help notice how this announcement contrasts with a story in the very same paper just four months ago:
REP. NIKI Tsongas put to rest growing rumors that she’s be retiring from Congress in 2018, when her present two-year term is up.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not going anywhere but to work. I’m happy, healthy, and committed to helping my constituents on issues that are so important to them,” said Tsongas, who represents the 3rd Congressional District.
Asked to explain the persistent rumors, Tsongas said, “I think it is age-driven. I’m 71 and some people might be thinking I’m going to retire. But that’s not something I’m thinking about.”
So the question on the floor is this: What changed in the 107 days between April 23rd and August 9th that converted the story of Niki Tsongas retirement from a rumor to be quenched to a reality to be celebrated?
Might I be so bold as to suggest that the congresswoman , who has been covered and interviewed by this blogger, just might have seen this post:
Sunday, even after the GOP fell on it’s face over Obamacare and the White House was playing musical staff Nancy Pelosi is reportedly saying stuff like this
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Sunday it was “unimportant” for Democrats to win back a majority in the lower chamber in the mid-term elections, The Hill reported.
“That’s so unimportant. What is important is that we have the lively debate on a better deal,” Pelosi told Fox News host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” when asked about the chances Democrats had to win back the House in 2018.
What does that tell you? It tells me that no matter how bad things look for the GOP the American people have decided that the Democrats are worse.
Now perhaps it’s huberis to think that Congresswoman Tsongas first heard about Minority Leader Pelosi’s declaration here but I suggest it would be naive to discount this story from the Congresswoman’s calculations.
Or to put it another way, in April when Nancy Pelosi was talking Democrats taking congress, and the prospect of a committee chair and the power that comes with it was there, Congresswoman Tsongas was all about working for the people of the 3rd district. Once it became clear that even an outside chance of such a prospect meant staying in congress until she was closer to eighty than seventy, enjoying one’s golden years with the grandchildren while one is healthy enough to enjoy them trumped another guaranteed lustrum or two in the congressional minority.
FYI here is the interview with Congresswoman Tsongas that the image at the top came from
Closing thought, Interesting that the Democrats didn’t ask her to resign early and generate a winnable special election in a deep blue state that they could tout isn’t it?
A quick Layoff bleg update. Yesterday was the scheduled end to my layoff bleg and I’m sorry to say we didn’t manage half of the goal I had set although we did manage to raise enough to get me a paycheck this week and next week. This will make August a very lean month.
So if you are inclined and at all able I would ask you to hit DaTipJar at this time even if we don’t make the goal another $315 will mean a full paycheck for August 25th.
Please consider subscribing, Not only does that get you my weekly podcast emailed to you before it appears either on the site or at the 405media which graciously carries it on a weekly basic but if you subscribe at any level I will send you an autographed copy of my new book from Imholt press: Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer