There are many lifetime politicians still lingering in Washington, D.C. At least one swamp-dweller is finally calling it quits after nearly half of a century in government.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has decided he will retire in 2022 and not run for a ninth term, Breitbart reported. The 81-year-old lawmaker graciously decided to “pass the torch” after an illustrious career spilling national secrets.
“I know I have been there for my state when I was needed most,” Leahy said of his retirement. “I know I have taken our best ideas and helped them grow. I brought Vermont’s voice to the United States Senate and Vermont values across the world,” he added.
Leahy was elected in 1974 in the aftermath of former President Richard Nixon’s resignation following the Watergate scandal, USA Today reported. These Democratic politicians who rode that wave were dubbed “Watergate Babies,” and Leahy was the last of them still serving.
During his decades-long tenure, the lawmaker was dubbed “Leaky Leahy” because of his penchant for spilling secrets, according to the Heritage Foundation. The worst happened in the leadup to hearings on the Iran-Contra scandal when Leahy allowed an NBC reporter access to secret documents and was removed from Intelligence Committee for his trouble.
The odds-on favorite to replace Leahy is Democrat Rep. Peter Welch (VT), who is currently serving as the state’s only Congressman. “I think he would be the logical candidate, and that would set up the musical chairs about who replaces him in Congress,” Vermont-based political science professor Matthew Dickinson noted.
Some are worried that it would then leave both seats vulnerable to a Republican takeover. However, it could also perfectly position Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont’s other Senator, to help another leftist in his own image win the seat and cement the state’s far-left presence in Congress.
The glut of career politicians has always been a problem on Capitol Hill, but at least one of them is finally leaving for good. If only the same could be said for the elderly holdover in the White House, the country would be much better off.