So much for Mr. Felonious Monk.
Succumbing to scandal, former Majority Leader Tom Delay told MSNBC's Chris Matthews that he will not seek re-election to Congress, closing out a career that blended unflinching conservatism with a bare-knuckled political style.
Rep. DeLay was expected to announce the plans Tuesday, reported Matthews, host of MSNBC's “Hardball.”
Republican officials told The Associated Press Monday night they expect the Texan to quit his seat later this spring. He was first elected in 1984, and conceded he faced a difficult race for re-election.
Matthews reported that DeLay told him in an interview that “the polling on him in the 22nd District was going down,” as a result of his part in a campaign contribution controversy.
“He (DeLay) expected to take a beating all summer on this,” Matthews reported. “I guess he felt the beating was going to continue.”
But what's more, OF COURSE he has to move to Virginia. Maybe I'll run into him when I'm doing political canvassing! Ashcroft's neighborhood was one of my regular stops for awhile.
In a separate interview with Time Magazine, DeLay says he plans to make his Virginia condominium his primary residence, a step that will disqualify him from the ballot in Texas and permit GOP officials there to field a replacement candidate.
While I wouldn't get too excited about this, I think it is a major development. DeLay, after years of fighting, is probably battle-fatigued, and it would take every ounce of his pull and power to stay competitive with the scandals surrounding him (Abramoff, and now one of his aides) multiplying. Even if he could make it past 2006, he would be much weakened, and who knows what his future would hold having to run again in 2008. I'm sure Republican leaders, given the stink he's produced lately, won't miss him all that much. Let's not forget one of DeLay's greatest accomplishments, the Medicare drug prescription program, that he threw his supposedly "conservative" muscle behind and that will probably bankrupt the country in 10 years or so. I think we could all do with a little less "achievements" like that disaster.