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Hastert About to Throw in the Towel

Disgraced, former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert is getting reading to throw in the towel:

Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) will decide in a few weeks if he is going to seek another term, the Sun-Times has learned. Hastert, 65, is considering retiring, said chief of staff Mike Stokke. "I think that is a possibility," Stokke said. Stokke said Hastert "believes he needs to let people know by the next recess," referring to a congressional break in August.

Translation: Hastert is through. It sucks being a Congressmen in the minority especially after you were Speaker of the House and accustomed to all the benefits and perks that included. We should expect to see more Republicans throwing in the towel now that their party has been consigned to minority status and there is little probability of reversing their fortunes in the near future.

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Rating: 4/5 (8 votes cast)

Comments (8)

Paul Hamilton:

I feel sorry for him. He was obviously way over his head as speaker and was only chosen when several others had fallen by the wayside due to scandals. And he couldn't handle it when crisis hit.

I guess the lesson we should carry from his time in office is that there are more considerations to be made than the the purely political.


wow larkin. you know it just might be that a 65 year old wants to actually, you know, retire. i know that my plan is to retire at 65.

and you could be right. he could be tired of all the politics in washington.

i don't know, and neither do you.

oh....and i suspect that the republicans have a better chance in 2008 in the House than you think. especially if the democrats keep screwing up on things like earmoark reform. contrary to what a lot on the left think, the 2006 election was more about the scandals (real and manufactured) than on changing the strategy in iraq to a percipitous withdrawl.


Paul Hamilton:

KE, like with any election, the winner will be determined by which party has candidates who best meet the voters' expectations on the important issues of the day. If the Pubs continue to march in lockstep with Bush on the war, the likely result will be a political disaster for the Pubs. I suspect issues like energy prices and job creation and security will be key issues as well. For the moment at least, I'd give the Dems the advantage on each of these.

Hastert surely would be less likely to consider retiring if he were still Speaker. While the Republicans' chances of retaking the House will depend on future circumstances which cannot be foreseen, Hastert is not the sort to lead such a resurgence - any more than Bob Michel was.

After the scandals which felled Gingrich and Livingston, Hastert was a "white bread" choice: clean as a whistle, and likable in a grandfatherly sort of way. He had no political enemies in the House, in either party. He was a caretaker Speaker, intended to bridge the way to a new generation of leaders in what was supposed to be an enduring Republican majority. A funny thing happened on the way to the forum, though . . .

Not much was ever truly expected of Hastert as Speaker, and he certainly delivered exactly that. We can only hope the Republican Party learns the lesson that "business as usual" in DC is unacceptable no matter which Party is in power.

superdestroyer[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Hastert is a textbook example of incompetent. He never once managed to get the budgets done in time. He never once had an idea that you help his own party and implement its ideals. He comes from a state where the Republicans are quickly going out of business and becoming irrelevent.

Just like president Bush is probably the last Republican president because of his own incompetence. Hastert will probably be the last Republican speaker and it will partially be due to his own incompetence.

I still think the putz Hastert should have voluntarily resigned after his complacency about Foley's indiscretions was revealed to be the key enabler that allowed Foley to continue his practices for years...

Well, come to think of it -- Hastert's non-efforts in that regard played an important role in securing the 2006 elections for the Democrats. Maybe the knowledge that he made that significant contribution is punishment enough.

I also fault Hastert for standing by silently while the Washington Times smeared Pelosi over her "jet" assignment. Finally, after several days, the White House and the Sergeant-At-Arms set the record straight and stopped the despicable "unnamed source" drive-by smearing being conducted by the Times, but Hastert could have spoken up and set the record straight immediately - and didn't.

Just another example of Hastert choosing politics over ethics. Good riddance to this bad rubbish.


My thoughts are that Hastert lost stature long before the "changing of the guard" in the House, as it were. Specifically, he lost stature and credibility when he jumped to the defense of William Jefferson, and fought against the quite legal use of subpoenas to search Congresspersons' offices, attempting to make their offices "hands off" sanctuaries.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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