After only 58 years in the House, one year longer than I have been alive, John Dingell (D.Mi.) decides to cut short his career in Congress:
Rep. John Dingell is leaving the Congress he’s served for longer than anyone else in United States history.
At a luncheon Monday in his beloved Downriver, the Dearborn representative says he will announce he won’t seek re-election this fall to the seat he’s held since 1955.
“I’m not going to be carried out feet first,” says Dingell, who will be 88 in July. “I don’t want people to say I stayed too long.”
Dingell says his health “is good enough that I could have done it again. My doctor says I’m OK. And I’m still as smart and capable as anyone on the Hill.
“But I’m not certain I would have been able to serve out the two-year term.”
More than health concerns, Dingell says a disillusionment with the institution drove his decision to retire.
“I find serving in the House to be obnoxious,” he says. “It’s become very hard because of the acrimony and bitterness, both in Congress and in the streets.
Go here to read the rest. This statement is truly hilarious: “I don’t want people to say I stayed too long.” The type of permanent member of Congress exemplified by Dingell is Exhibit A for term limits. Dingell succeeded his father in his Congressional seat, taking over after his dad died in office in 1955 after a mere 23 years in Congress. One family has thus controlled a congressional seat for 81 years. It looks like his wife Debbie, who was one year old when her hubbie was first elected to Congress, is thinking of running for the seat. The Founding Fathers weep.