This year has seen more people voluntarily quitting the senate before their term runs out than any other year in recent memory. For years people have said that being a Senator is the best job in America. But it is obviously not the case as a whole bunch of people are leaving before their term ends.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden left the Senate this year. But they, at least, had a really good excuse. They became President and Vice President – definitely a promotion. Hilary Clinton, too, left the Senate to become Secretary of State … also a promotion. But a bunch of people left the Senate for lateral moves.
Ken Salazar left to run the Department of the Interior. No slight to the Interior, but it doesn’t seem as impressive as the being the senior Senator from Colorado – especially one that has only had the job for four years. And Judd Gregg from New Hampshire tried to leave the Senate to become Secretary of Commerce before having a dispute about the census.
And now there’s Mel Martinez from Florida. He’s just leaving after four years for no stated reason.