Thoughts of an American Centrist

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Jim Jeffords: a sick man, or proof an independent cannot stand on his own?

"MONTPELIER, Vt - U.S. Sen. James Jeffords, whose declaration of independence from the GOP four years ago briefly gave Democrats control of the Senate, will not seek re-election next year.

Jeffords, 70, has been adamant in saying he will seek re-election, but there have been increasing concerns voiced about his health in recent weeks."

So what are we seeing here? Is it truly an aging veteran legislator that has decided that it is time to give up the hallowed halls of Congress for a well earned retirement, or is it the harsh reality that - even in Vermont - a man cannot decide to declare his political independence and hope to retain his post? I sincerely hope that it is the former.


  • Well we have had the examples of people like Thurmond, Helms and Byrd (maybe Kennedy?) becoming caricatures of themselves as they age in the Senate. Maybe retirement is the only way to hold onto your dignity?

    I like your blog. Good luck to you!
    I'll blogroll you over at

    By Blogger The Iconic Midwesterner, at 11:46 AM  

  • Yes, and it is looking more and more like Jeffords' reasons are genuinely health related.

    I agree with your analysis of older Senators caricaturing themselves, and I think it's a shame. Although, I do think Kennedy has done that to himself for traits other than his age!

    Thanks for the spot on the blog-roll (let me know when the link is up), and thanks for your own blog. Your analysis of where people's faith-based allegiances really lie is great! To all you other readers, Check it out!

    By Blogger Jonathan C, at 12:04 PM  

  • I wonder if it is just unseemly for older senators to be merely partisan. It would be nice to think that long experience in public service would result in a more centrist position, and sometimes exactly that happens. I think of Bob Dole and Lloyd Bentsen as good examples of this happening. No one would say they didn't remain loyal to their respective parties, but at the same time no one could claim that they didn't serve ALL Americans. Jeffords showed every indication to be that sort of public servant. It's too bad he wont be around.

    Thanks for the kind word and the link as well!

    By Blogger The Iconic Midwesterner, at 12:54 PM  

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