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Waxman to Retire

In what is likely the clearest indication Democrats realize they have no shot of winning the House this November, 40-year veteran and former chairman of the multiple House committees, Henry Waxman (D-Hollywood) is retiring.

Veteran California Democrat Henry Waxman, whose legislative and political savvy helped remake the American health care system, reveal tobacco’s dangers and expose steroids in baseball, will retire at the end of the 113th Congress.

“I will have completed 40 years in Congress by the end of this year,” Waxman said in an interview with POLITICO in his Capitol Hill office this week. “I think it’s time to let somebody else come in and take on some of these fights.”

Since arriving in the Capitol during the Watergate-era, Waxman’s reach has extended nationally. As the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee during the George W. Bush administration, he was a pugnacious partisan who sought to hold the White House accountable. When President Barack Obama was elected, Waxman came out on top of a bitter brawl within the Democratic Caucus when he knocked off Michigan Rep. John Dingell to chair the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he helped craft Obamacare, as well as legislation that sought to drastically slash on carbon emissions.

“I leave with a lot of satisfaction for the accomplishments that I’ve had in my congressional career,” Waxman said in the interview. “And I think it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life.”

Waxman’s retirement is the latest blow to House Democrats, who’ve endured a string of high-profile retirement announcements in recent weeks. Waxman’s seat will likely remain in Democratic control, but taken all together, the departures suggest that party veterans don’t believe their party will take back the House in the fall.

By “high-profile retirement announcements,” Politico is implying California Democrat (and Pelosi confidante) George Miller and Virginia’s Jim Moran.  These are high-ranking generals for the minority leader.

Which now raises a question that should be asked:  Dems are now looking at their third election in which they’ve lost significantly under Pelosi.  Forget talk about a coup against Boehner, how long does she hang onto power?

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