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Rep. Wexler Resigning for Think-Tank Job


Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) will leave the House in January.
(Susan Biddle / The Washington Post ).

By Ben Pershing
Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) announced Wednesday that he is resigning his House seat to take a post at a think tank, surprising his colleagues by cutting short a potentially promising Congressional career after a dozen years.

In a statement released by his office, Wexler said he would leave the House in January to become president of the Center for Middle East Peace & Economic Cooperation, a job that would afford him "an unparalleled opportunity to work on behalf of Middle East peace for an important and influential non-profit institute. After much discussion with my family, I have decided that I cannot pass up on this opportunity."

Currently the sixth-ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee and a staunch supporter of Israel, Wexler has been active on Middle East issues for several years. (His official biography says that he was the only House member present when President Bill Clinton signed the Wye River peace agreement in 1998.) Wexler is also a prominent member of the Judiciary Committee, where he earned significant media attention during that panel's impeachment proceedings against Clinton.

A press-friendly and outspoken liberal, the 48-year-old Wexler seemed positioned for a long career climbing the committee ladder in the House. But the Florida lawmaker said Wednesday, "We are at a unique and critically tense moment in the history of the Middle East.... I am convinced that now is the time for me to engage on these issues on a full time basis."

Wexler's Boca Raton-based 19th district stands almost no chance of changing parties. President Obama -- whom Wexler supported very early in the 2008 presidential campaign -- won the seat with 65 percent of the vote in November. The real action to replace Wexler will take place in the Democratic primary, and the Miami Herald reports that the jockeying among potential candidates has already begun. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) will schedule a special election to fill the seat once Wexler officially resigns.

Wexler will be the fifth House member to resign since the end of the 110th Congress. The previous four -- Reps. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) and John McHugh (R-N.Y.) -- all left Capitol Hill to take jobs in the Obama administration.

By Ben Pershing  |  October 14, 2009; 11:41 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Campaign , House  
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Comments

So the bombastic and ultra liberal Wexler got what he has been striving for his entire career a cushy appointment removed from the pressure of campaigns and constituents. Every career politicians dream! As liberal as they come he walked two steps behind Obama with a dust pan and mop...he will not be missed by many Floridians, irrespective us his Palm Beach county constituents, who you may recall, have a hard time figuring out how to vote.

Posted by: foxwhite1 | October 14, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Goodbye, good luck, God speed you in your important work, Congressman Wexler.

Posted by: Vickie803 | October 14, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

What kind of group is the Center for Middle East Peace & Economic Cooperation? Is it a pro-Israel lobbying group?

Posted by: Itzajob | October 14, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Wash Po--headline typo, it should read

"Wexler immersed in Septic Tank"

Posted by: JaxMax | October 14, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

rats leaving the sinking Dem Ship in 2010.........

Posted by: JaxMax | October 14, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Wexler, like R. Emanuel, is an unregistered foreign agent (spy) working withing our government. He's also a member of the JDL terrorist organization.
I'm glad to see him leaving our government. Unfortunately he's moving into a position where he can more easily corrupt many others in Congress.
This treasonous terrorist belongs behind bars alongside J. Pollard.

Posted by: brattykathyi1 | October 14, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if he will still seek out publicity? Seems to just love the camera. And also no more inconvenient questions about why he lives year round in MD. with a fake Fla. address.

Posted by: dbunkr | October 14, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't blame him, I don't like his politics but he is a staunch Israel Supporter and the leftist democrats are the most anit-semitic group I have seen.

Posted by: robtr | October 14, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I hope Mr Wexler will extend an open hand to the Palestinians and not a clenched fist like so many other Jewish leaders have done.

Posted by: cestlavie579 | October 14, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Since when has Congress been a "career" option? It's a two-year term, for God's sake.

Surely our system of basically re-electing "Congressmen for life" is a recipe for corruption.

Posted by: DupontJay | October 14, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Rep, Wexler deserves our sincere appreciation for the service to the nation that he has already rendered and Godspeed in his new task. There are people out there who do things because of heart-felt concerns for their fellow man regardless of what others may think. Just imagine a person yielding a very special seat in Congress for reasons other than scandal, defeat, retirement, and other political appointments. Wexler will be missed in Congress. Hopefully, he wwll use a level head and be fair to all the parties involved in the resolution of the conflicts in the Middle East.

Posted by: EarlC | October 14, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like conservatives still need to go to college and work on their logic courses.

I need to figure out if Wexler is as liberal as they come and Obama's "boy" or if he's really a staunch Israeli supporter and not part of the "leftist" democrats.

Come on! Get your stories straight or is that high school education really starting to show? Heck, go grab your unemployment check and then hit up the creationism museum for your entertainment (or you Tom DeLay fans can go watch Dancing with the Stars (that won't tax your IQ).

Posted by: bhuang2 | October 14, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Think tank my eye!! This is preemptive tactic to diminish the negative effects on his party of some yet unknown scandal he has been involved in.
Someone as egotistical as Wexler does not walk away from a Congressional seat, give me a break!
We'll have to wait awhile to learn what or who he did because the media tends to not cover these stories since he is a Democrat.

Posted by: joschle3 | October 14, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that the Post missed Mr Wexler's real problem, he has no real residence in Florida. (He lists his "residence" as mother-in-law's apartment!)

The Constitution requires Members of Congress to maintain an actual residence in the State represented.

The opposition understands this whilst Mr Wexler's Town Hall "performance" (a good word for it!) revealed considerable arrogance. His reelection next year was anything but assured.

Not to mention many, many others, large numbers of Hindus have established themselves in Florida, including Greater Boca Raton. People want lawful, not spurious or casual, representation.

Indeed, a passage in the Mahabarata translates loosely "He who lives falsely among others destines himself to a homeless reincarnation."

At least for the moment, that could be the "think tank" to which Mr Wexler is headed.

Posted by: surendranathyogi | October 14, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that he wants the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.....

Posted by: WildBill1 | October 14, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"Think Tank?" Given his Quixotic views on the Middle East while opposing security for Americans against Al-Qaeda (Does he think it's a Greek restaurant?), a "Stink Tank" would be more appropriate.

The Post made no mention of his opposition in 2010 by a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel. That's probably the key to his stepping down.

As I've heard said, "Tis better to step down than to (continue to) step in."

Posted by: surendranathyogi | October 14, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Wexler's name and the phrase "think tank" in the same sentence? The editorial staff obviously stayed up late coming up with that oxymoronic tag line. Just what the cause of Mideast peace needs, another bombastic cameraphilic blowhard.

Posted by: Quizzical | October 14, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but what was th reason you ran for office, asking your constituents to support you and not the other person? What was the reason you asked people to contribute to you, as an incumbent, their money supporting your positions?

I'm not trying to tell the Congressman to not take an opportunity that he believes is more worthwhile or more important or more anything than what he was elected to do. However, chose to run for office to represent a constituency; it would be more understandable if he choose to run for higher office than it is to understand his turning his back, in a manner of speaking, on those he asked to vote him into office to pursue the agenda he sold to his constituents. Or, int his case, back into office to continue that agenda.

dungarees@gmail.com

Posted by: Dungarees | October 14, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Thhis is the slug who supposedly is a Florida Congressman but actually lives in Maryland, right?

Good riddance to his stupid liberal views.

Maybe Floridians will wake up and elect someone who is actually from their state, and isn't a loudmouth bore.

Posted by: LarryG62 | October 14, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse


itzajob

Re your question: Yes, the Center for Mideast Peace is an Israli lobbying group.

One of the countless such heavy on the public tax teat with "think tank" access to press.

Wexler maybe is gonna shepard the new law suits Madoff's poor clients are going to
file against the SEC, the US government, to get their money back.

US Taxpayers will get to pony up for them...and their "philanthropy funds" that
were to go to Israel.

Such a joy, isn't it?

Posted by: whistling | October 14, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

brattykathyi1 wrote- "Wexler, like R. Emanuel, is an unregistered foreign agent (spy) working withing our government. He's also a member of the JDL terrorist organization.
I'm glad to see him leaving our government. Unfortunately he's moving into a position where he can more easily corrupt many others in Congress.
This treasonous terrorist belongs behind bars alongside J. Pollard."

Posted by: brattykathyi1

Is anyone else getting concerned by the increase in psychopathic nut job posts like this one? This is pathetic and alarming that the low IQ population, lacking in discernment skills, falls prey to the rants of skinheads, KKK, nazis, Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, Bachmann, Colture, and all the other paranoid voices of insanity representing the Republican party. Lady (brattykathyi1)
....you are sick and require treatment. Do the rest of society a favor and get some mental health help. Do your soul a favor and get rid of your venomous hatred. Hell is full of people like you.

Posted by: vintel7 | October 14, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Bye, can you go sooner?

Posted by: affirmativeactionpresident | October 14, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

He is running ahead of the torch and pitchfork crowd's arrival.

He is listed in this Petition.

BEAR REVOLT was started by Veterans ( Czar nick named terrorists) seeking to empower the active troops with a clear documentation of the majority's will of the people, via petitions (signatured by all men, women, and children who have No Confidence this 2009 Federal Government). The signed petitions are being entered into County recordations offices as a "recorded document", then pooled and placed as a" Document" into the Library of Congress by the people of each State.
The well documented majority with " no confidence" can allow the defenders of the US Constitution the ability to carry out the "will of the majority", and allow an emergency election to void all signatures of the current Fed 2009..
This Redress call was named when Pelosi went to THE BEAR REPUBLIC of California , threw imported ACORNS at their heads,
then called them astroturf and walked on their backs with her spikey heels out the door absolutely refusing to listen to them saying NO.

PETITION:

The REDRESS of the 2009 Federal Government of the United States of America
For NO CONFIDENCE
By the recall of :
The Congress, (all names listed both Partys)
The Hill , ( all names listed both Partys)
The Cabinet, (all names listed)
The Czars, ( all names listed)
Barack Hussein Obama ( all "currently" known names listed: Barack Hussein Soroeto, Barack Hussein Dunham )

Posted by: dottydo | October 14, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Representative Wexler has chosen to resign at the same time that Gov. Christe has announced a grand jury investigation of criminal activity by southern Florida politicans, huh?

Posted by: 4heyjude | October 14, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Enmasse the TEA PARTY revolt people are screaming: Can you hear me now????
NO

I guess he heard them.

Posted by: dottydo | October 14, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Think Tank? Is that what the zionists call their multiple fascist occupation lobbies located here in Washington and the world. Let me guess... killing Arabs and Shia and the people who love them.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | October 14, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey vintel7....let the people post. Everyone has an opinion. don't go slamming people for their views. I certainly don't agree with yours but I won't call you a moron. Look at it as entertainment.

Posted by: dowking | October 14, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Wexlar, see ya! You belong in DC. You never lived in the community that you represented anyway. What a farse!

Posted by: EvreeMan | October 14, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

So, do any of you commenters actually work DIRECTLY for Fox or are you all volunteers? Such a spewing of anti-Semitic anti-Liberal filth could hardly be any better coordinated than this.

As for his constituents inability to vote, could it be a Republican Secretary of State who was intent on not COUNTING said votes.

I keep thinking any moment now we will qualify as a civilization but then this sort of thing keeps popping up.

As for the anti-Semitic part, I would suspect you don't much like the other Semites (Arabs, Palestinians) either. It doesn't just mean Jews.

Posted by: malette | October 14, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Angry dog and others:

The Center in question is defined in the link as follows:

"[founded] 1989 by the late Utah Congressman Wayne Owens and then-Slim Fast Foods Chairman S. Daniel Abraham, the Center is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization."

Why speculate when it's easy enough to find out about a Connecticut Ave lobby organisation? Doesn't sound particularly Zionist in its orientation. If you think otherwise you'll have to come up with better info than your instincts.

CB in Hamburg

Posted by: chrisbrown12 | October 14, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

ChrisBrown12,

Of course I saw what Mr. Wexler put in his press release, and of course, the group itself has an About blurb on its website. But is there any objective information out there about?

I'm a registered Democrat myself, and just curious. I don't like the way politicos recycle themselves into these lobbyist/think tank jobs, making a fortune off the influence trade. And something seems odd about this particular situation. So I asked.

Posted by: Itzajob | October 14, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

ChrisBrown12,

Of course I saw what Mr. Wexler put in his press release, and of course, the group itself has an About blurb on its website. But is there any objective information out there about it?

I'm a registered Democrat myself, and just curious. I don't like the way politicos recycle themselves into these lobbyist/think tank jobs, making a fortune off the influence trade. And something seems odd about this particular situation. So I asked.

Posted by: Itzajob | October 14, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Something fishy going on here. Why no reporting on the real reason he is resigning in the middle of a term from a very powerful career position?

Check out Politico. Its starting to come to the surface.

Posted by: Parker1227 | October 14, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Sure...let's look at it as entertainment. There is nothing entertaining about people spewing hateful violent comments. That is not an opinion my friend...that is fear mongering and inciting violence. Somehow people get Freedom of Speech confused with being a responsible person. The founding fathers certainly did not have this in mind when penning the Constitution. Hate crimes are up in this country and it is people like Beck, Limbaugh, Colture, and irresponsible hate filled Skinheads, KKK, Bigots and other Republican buffoons that are spreading it. Sooner or later the Universe will correct them as everything we give out is eventually returned to us. We will each be individually held to account for what we contribute to or take away from humanity.

Posted by: vintel7 | October 14, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

This will help him figure out what State he actually lives in.

Posted by: menopausequeen | October 14, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse


Wexler, one of the boldest Israel Firsters
in the US congress?

Oh, yes, let him go. America first.

Posted by: whistling | October 14, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

One down and 534 to go. Time for term limits for the professional politicians who scavenger off the public. Goodbye and good riddance.

Posted by: marine2211 | October 14, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

West Palm is pretty corrupt. One may well wonder if Wexler has been caught and dragged into the cesspool that passes as politics in West Palm.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | October 14, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

your accusations are vulgar as well as pitiful. why put down someone who has only done what he thought was best for his constituents? If any of you actually live in district you will realize that everything he has done in his 12 years as been for the betterment of south floridians, and even the whole country. May we not forget the chinese drywall that he alone brought publicity to.

on another note, specifically the residency issue, people need to be more sympathetic and realize that even a politician can identify with the stuggles of an average man. Congressman Wexler has 3 children and a wife who need him around full-time, if this means that he has to live in maryland to be able to take care of his family as well as perform to the fullest his tasks as a representative, so be it. Moreover, it is even possible that the congressman maybe couldn't afford having 2 homes (one in maryland for voting, one in florida for residency). Isn't it an affront to democracy to require a person running for office to be able to have the means to pay for two homes? If they dont have it and they are capable without out it, who needs it?

Congressman wexler can run for any position and I would vote for him. i am looking forward to reading about his progress with the middle east peace corporation.

Posted by: franco561 | October 14, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I guess he feels that he is doing something vital, but he is leaving his constituents in the lurch.

Better to have finished his term of office and then go to the other position.

Posted by: abbydelabbey | October 14, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

yea right, an Isreali "peace" think tank. 1984. How many women and children were hunted down with tanks in Gaza and blasted to smithereens? Pure evil on earth.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | October 14, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I guess lobbying probably pays more than congress.

Posted by: postfan1 | October 14, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Dear Robert,

With great sadness I learn you are leaving Congress in January to accept the position of President of the Center for Middle East Peace, a non-profit institute devoted to achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East

I am sure this decision was not easy because our relationship has shown me your love of the job and your loyalty to devoted staff. You have like minded constituents – many of whom you have served for nearly 20 years.

Throughout your 13 years in Congress, you have sought to be an advocate for democratic values and provided a voice to important progressive causes. Whether it was working to end the use of torture by the Bush Administration, fighting for a legitimate vote during election 2000 or successfully pushing for a voter verified paper trail in Florida, I am proud to have known you and worked to support you.

With warm regards,

Mark Golding
Chair
Children of Iraq Association
LONDON

Posted by: coiaorguk | October 14, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Who knew Robert Wexler could THINK??!!

Posted by: Sandra11 | October 14, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Now his bogus address won't matter.

Posted by: ddnfla | October 14, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey - right wing nutjobs who can't read. There is nothing in the Constitution requiring someone to live in the district they represent. Of course, it can become a campaign/political issue, but it's not a legal one. You whacks can't ever get your facts straight. Must be too much Fox.

Posted by: isthisajoke | October 15, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

And just to be clear - Politico doesn't say anything about a Wexler scandal - there are, however, accusations in the COMMENTS section. One would have to buy the BS peddled in this comment section to give this reference any credence. Never let the facts get in the way of a right-wing Republican cheap shot...

Posted by: isthisajoke | October 15, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

"Rep. Wexler Resigning for Think-Tank Job"

.....You mean "Rep. Wexler (Democrat) Resigning to Make Millions for Think-Tank Job"

.... Yep your typicial self-righteous self-serving (obviously) rich white liberal elite going for more bucks.

Posted by: allenridge | October 15, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

does anyone know what his congressional pension will be once he leaves office...
isn't there a time period between leaving congress and being able to lobby congress...
anyway...
he won't be missed...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 15, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Don't be too sure, WaPo, that a Republican won't take this loonylefty's seat - - there are an awful lot of senior citizens in Boca Raton who are fiercely opposed to obummercare and to any Dummycrats who will vote for it.

Posted by: segeny | October 15, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations Mr. Wexler!! The Congress, American people along with his constituents should be saddened about his decision to leave Congress. What a breath of fresh air on the issues that benefit everyone in this country not just the privileged few. Best wishes in the future. God bless us all

Posted by: dalelewis50 | October 15, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The founder of the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation, the late Congressman Wayne Owens from Utah, was one of the fairest-minded legislators to ever attempt to improve the situation in the intractably contentious Middle East. He did so through the simple premise of greater economic engagement and shared resource management between Israel and its neighboring countries. Wayne Owens was friendly with several Israeli Prime Ministers, but was also one of the rare congressmen twenty years ago to meet both Yassir Arafat and Syria's Hafez Al-Assad in an attempt to reach out and broach the formidable barriers to communication. The Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation is no more pro-Israeli than it is pro-Palestinian, and is, as its name states, a pro-peace and pro-cooperation organization. I am pleased that someone of Congressman Wexler's caliber would agree to head it and I wish him success in helping the Center ultimately achieve its twenty-year-old mission.

Posted by: scottndi | October 15, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Wait, who else recently resigned a government job for a more lucrative career in the private sector? Sarah Palin! I remember Mr. Wexler as something of a publicity hound, much like Mrs. Palin. So it's good to know that this is a bipartisan way of thinking. Good luck and fat bank accoutns to both of them.

Posted by: greyK | October 15, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the Florida ballots confused seniors in 2000, but bush/cheney still managed to steal the election with help from "Big Tony" Scalia.

foxwhite1: you may one day be able to write legibly and logically with several semesters of remedial English.
jaxmax, sadly, is totally braindead and works as an extra in Mexican zombie films.

Posted by: tontosage | October 15, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see this ultra Zionist exit the House and serve his true masters - Israel. He was basically a Knesset member taking up space in our Congress.

Posted by: broodingcynyc | October 15, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

He was such a negative, surly, arrogant Clinton/Gore supporter, he became the poster boy for everything that's gone wrong with our political discourse in recent years.

Maybe his successor, even if it's a sure bet to be another liberal given that district will it least be a civil person.

Posted by: tfrielin | October 15, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Is it just coincidence that the remarks are 90-10 anti Waxler (10% being idiots)? Hopefully, this is an indicator of conservatives again taking over Congress and this time not acting like Democrats!

Posted by: dlgriz | October 15, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Wexler is leaving Congress to promote peace in the Middle East ??? Wow ! Another congenital liar .
Israelis,like Wexler,are the major obstacle for peace in the ME !

Posted by: editor4tonio | October 15, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

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