Michael Leahy, a former Democrat-Gazette writer who's been at the Washington Post a number of years, wrote a feature today on outgoing U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder, who explained how family demands led to his retirement decision. He talks about how he'd have met a challenge, including criticism of his health care vote. He figured his role as a family physician would have helped him there. He laments the partisan redistricting process which creates safe Republican and Democratic districts but a relatively small number of battleground districts where candidates with different points of view can meaningfully compete for swing voters.
Might there be hope in the close of the article?
He says he can sometimes feel the depth of the country's divisions in the solace that constituents offer him nowadays. Their kindness reflects their pessimism, he suspects. "You have people saying to you, 'I bet you're glad to be out of it,' " he recounts. To the contrary, deep down in that part of him that loves debating big issues and angling for legislative victories, he doesn't want to be out of anything. "I come back and say to them, 'No, I like to be in the middle of it.' " He pauses, then adds, "It's just that it doesn't work with a family of babies."
He sounds wistful then. It perhaps explains why he won't shut the door on a future political race. "I think that probably wouldn't happen," he says. "But never say never."
There are a lot of seats worth considering besides a return to Congress. Mayor of Little Rock. Governor.
Both just fine for a dad who wants to be home with the kids each evening.