I've just heard from an impeccable source that Barbara Mikulski, the Democratic Senator who is up for reelection this November, will choose to retire. Mrs. Mikulski is expected to make her formal announcement in the next few days.
Mrs. Mikulski seriously fractured her right ankle last fall just prior to Edward M. Kennedy's death. Due to the severity of the fracture, she had to have open reduction surgery, that included the insertion of pins, as well as the use of special surgical boots, during recovery. She had tried to arrive in time for Mr. Kennedy's funeral but was turned away.
Her recovery has been exceptionally slow and she is evidently still in a great deal of pain. Reportedly, she has told her physician that she does not desire to seek reelection. Additionally, friends and family have been saying in the near future she will announce her retirement. Because of the very slow recovery, she has been forced to use a wheelchair, a walker or a cane in order to get around.
One of her complaints is that the health insurance that is provided for Congress is "poor" with high deductibles and "limitations" on coverage. My contact tells me that she told an aide that she should have inserted in the ObamaCare bill an amendment to improve Congressional health insurance!
Mrs. Mikulski was first elected to the Senate in 1986, and thus is a very senior member of the Democratic caucus. Despite this seniority, she has never been offered any important chairmanships or leadership positions. Born on July 20, 1936, she is 74 years old, come July...it is perhaps fitting that she has choose this year to retire.
If she retires, the GOP has a decent shot at picking this up. If they could do it in MA, they can do it here.