Hastert to Step Down?

The Politico‘s Mike Allen scoops Bob Novak on his own column:

Robert D. Novak plans to report this weekend in his always-delicious tidbits column (which doesn’t run in The Washington Post, but is usually in Saturday’s New York Post):

“Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert has indicated to a close former aide that it is likely he will not run for a 12th term from his northern Illinois district and may even resign from Congress before his present term concludes. That runs counter to widespread speculation on Capitol Hill that Hastert will continue in the House for another two years as a private member with no leadership responsibilities. Since last year’s Democratic takeover of Congress moved him out of the speaker’s office, he has enjoyed returning to his former specialty of energy issues as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. A footnote: If Hastert does not run, a leading candidate will be his chief of staff, Mike Stokke. Before going on Hastert’s staff, Stokke was an aide for both the Illinois state legislature and the governor’s office in Springfield.”

If only he had done this when the Mark Foley scandal broke, the Republicans might still hold the majority.

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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.

Comments

  1. Billy says:

    If only he had done this when the Mark Foley scandal broke, the Republicans might still hold the majority.

    Yup. That sure would have silenced voters who were upset about Iraq.

  2. Savage_View says:

    Unlikely, but since this is a site that embodies right-wing cocooning, I’m sure many of your readers will agree with your non-falsifiable dreck.

  3. TJIT says:

    Billy said

    Yup. That sure would have silenced voters who were upset about Iraq.

    Savage_View said

    Unlikely, but since this is a site that embodies right-wing cocooning, I’m sure many of your readers will agree with your non-falsifiable dreck.

    The biggest cocooning I currently see is the liberals assuring themselves that the republicans lost in 2006 because of the Iraq war not things like.

    Inability to get judges or any other executive appointments confirmed

    Earmarks, K state project, pork barrel spending (bridge to nowhere) and various forms of utter fiscal irresponsibility.

    Playing kissy face with the Iranians and the Saudis

    and on and on and on

    In the end many republican campaigns consisted mostly of screaming that “well the democrats would be worse”

    Not a good way to motivate the base. IF your base is not motivated you are not going to win elections.

    Here are a couple of examples of how ticked the republican base is at the republicans in congress.

    Why The GOP Will Lose (badly) in 08

    Well, people like Don “Bridge to Electoral Oblivion” Young, that’s why. The Politico has just the latest example of what this disgrace to the Republican Party has been up to:

    and

    Not. One. Dime.

    To hell with Frist, to hell with Thune, and to hell with the GOP if they wait until the session is half-over before finding their spine or other significant parts of their anatomy.

    Enjoy the cocoon that tells you it was the war in iraq that led to the republican losses. However, that cocooning is liable to damage democrat electoral prospects in the future.

  4. Billy says:

    Enjoy the cocoon that tells you it was the war in iraq that led to the republican losses

    Enjoy the fantasy that the Republican base is a majority of voters.

    It was independents who voted the Republicans out of office, largely because of Iraq, but there’s no doubt there was a bit of a perfect storm with a number of things. The fact that a rabidly fundamentalist agenda was not enacted over the objections about 2/3 of the country did create a bigger margin by causing some of the dead-enders to stay home in protest, but rest assured that if it had been enacted the end result would have been no different.

  5. TJIT says:

    Billy said

    Enjoy the fantasy that the Republican base is a majority of voters.

    You are making stuff up, I never said the republican base was the majority of voters.

    The fact that a rabidly fundamentalist agenda was not enacted over the objections about 2/3 of the country did create a bigger margin by causing some of the dead-enders to stay home in protest,

    Not much rabidly fundamentalist in the links I gave unless you consider not spending money on bridges to nowhere as a rabidly fundamentalist concept.

    The congressional approval ratings are not good for the republicans but smart democrats should be concerned about them. Because some of that mess is eventually going to get splattered on them.

    Actions like running against earmarks before the election and then continuing and possibly increasing earmarks after the election is going to make democrat honeymoon with the voters short lived.

  6. Billy says:

    Not much rabidly fundamentalist in the links I gave unless you consider not spending money on bridges to nowhere as a rabidly fundamentalist concept.

    I’ve got to admit I didn’t look at the links, and you’ve got a point about spending. Still, I don’t know that it was fiscal issues that caused voters to stay home or shift to the Dems; I know that I don’t have any more confidence in the Dems to curb spending levels, except maybe in the sense that because now that nothing can get passed less money might actually get spent. Instead, I’d maintain that among the base, it was in fact the social right that did more abandoning of the Republican party than it was the economic diehards, who are generally more pragmatic than are the fundamentalists (for whom the Foley scandal may well have contributed to their disillusionment).

    Still, the wave was really caused by independents, and the war is the #1 issue, not that the Dems are going to be able to do anything about it before Bush is history anyway.

    Actions like running against earmarks before the election and then continuing and possibly increasing earmarks after the election is going to make democrat honeymoon with the voters short lived.

    I think it’s probably already over, to be honest.

  7. James Joyner says:

    Still, the wave was really caused by independents, and the war is the #1 issue, not that the Dems are going to be able to do anything about it before Bush is history anyway.

    I don’t doubt that the war was the #1 issue. My only contention is that corruption was itself a significant issue that likely made the difference is a few narrow contests; indeed, there were a few solid Republican seats lost directly to corruption. Hastert taking the hit for his misfeasance during the Foley coverup might have helped.

  8. Billy says:

    Agreed that Hastert’s resignation would made a difference. I just disagree with the original claim that it would have made enough of one for the Republicans to retain the majority, for the reasons previously stated.