Democratic Rep. Bob Matsui Dies at Age 63

Democratic Rep. Bob Matsui Dies at Age 63 (ABC News – AP)

Democratic Rep. Bob Matsui of California, who spent time in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans as an infant during World War II and went on to serve 26 years in Congress, has died of complications from a rare disease, his family said Sunday. Matsui, 63, died Saturday night at the National Naval Medical Center in this Washington suburb.

Matsui juggled political and policy roles during more than a quarter-century in Congress. He was the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the past two years, in charge of the unsuccessful effort to regain control of the House. He also was the third-ranking Democrat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, where he was his party’s point man on Social Security legislation.

In a statement announcing Matsui’s death, his office disclosed that the congressman was diagnosed several months ago with Milo Dysplastic Disorder, a rare stem cell disorder that reduces the body’s ability to produce red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Victims of the disease are left more susceptible to other illnesses, with less ability to fight them off.

A shame. I mostly disagreed with Matsui on the issues but usually found him pleasant when he appeared on the various talking heads shows. He always struck me as someone who believed in what he was saying, rather than just a partisan hack who spouted the party line for political points.

FILED UNDER: US Politics, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Perhaps now they can get on with the Auburn dam and stop pissing away all that surplus water.

  2. anjin-san says:

    God created rivers, streams, lakes & wetlands to flow freely. No dams except for the ones made by beavers. Undoubtely we do need dams, but I am of the opinion we have built enough of the things.