10.29.2010 1

Pelosi Expected to Retire When Democrats Lose House

While a Time headline suggests that Pelosi is expected to retire “if” the Democrats lose control of the House on Tuesday, their headline suggests that there is still a chance that they could reverse a tidal wave of voter frustration that is poised to sweep the Democrats out. A better and much more accurate headline should have read: “Pelosi is expected to retire when the Democrats lose the House on Tuesday.”

The Time article is filled with insight on what the Democrats have to look forward to when the inevitable occurs.

First, there could be many resignations–not just Pelosi’s. According to Time:

Other Democrats are sure to follow Pelosi out of the Capitol. After the GOP lost the House in 2006, 27 Republicans called it quits. But in the case of Pelosi’s Democratic cloakroom, the exodus could be deeper: five of the 20 current committee chairmen are her allies from California. Without their champion, some veterans such as Education and Labor Committee chairman George Miller, who has been in Congress since 1975, may be inclined to leave. Even if they don’t head for the exits, they might choose to abandon their gavels: Standards Committee chair Zoe Lofgren, also of California, is serving at Pelosi’s request and has made no secret of her distaste at being her colleagues’ ethical watchdog.

Others are older — Rules Committee chair Louise Slaughter and Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers, both 81, know that life in the minority holds less appeal for octogenarians. And, in any case, it might be time for some fresh blood. The average age of Democratic House chairs is nearly 70, while top Republicans are, on average, a decade younger — thanks, in part, to the 2006 spate of retirements. Democratic chairs have spent an average of 13.5 terms, or 27 years, in office, compared to Republicans who average 9.5 terms, or 19 years, in office.

And this isn’t even taking in to account Democrat Committee Chairs that could lose on Tuesday including: Barney Frank, John Spratt, Ike Skelton, Jim Oberstar, and Nick Rahall.

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