Politico reported that House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey announced that he will not seek reelection this fall, serving as a blow to Democrats from an institutional perspective. Obey faced poor poll numbers in his district and admitted:
“I am ready to turn the page, and frankly, I think that my district is ready for someone new to make a fresh start."Obey's staff insisted he planned to run late last night, and it appears that even Speaker Pelosi only found out this morning. Pelosi considers Obey a close ally, and his decision to leave compounds the loss she suffered after Murtha's death this winter. Murtha's death may have actually influenced Obey's decision as his leave“I have to ask myself how I want to spend the time I have left,” he said.
“All I do know is that there has to be more to life that explaining the ridiculous, accountability destroying rules of the Senate to confused, angry, and frustrated constituents."Healthcare's passage and his frustration with Obama's troop escalation simultaneously spurred him away from politics. Sean Duffy, a leading Republican challenger for Obey's seat, responded to the news of Obey's departure, asking, “Is this a prank call?”