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Mikulski another Dem retirement? Not likely.

By Lee Hockstader

The Maryland political blogosphere has gone berserk in the last 24 hours with the rumor that Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) is planning to retire, adding to the Democrats’ headaches about keeping control of the Senate.

I’m not going to link to the blogpost fueling the rumor, out of some quaint, antiquated, antediluvian notion that spreading rumors -- particularly the anonymously sourced type, to which this one belongs -- is scurrilous. It’s easy to find, so knock yourself out. Suffice it to say, it starts by citing an “impeccable source,” and then goes on to peddle a dog’s breakfast of unconfirmed, unsubstantiated and untrue information.

A Democratic source close to Milkulski says she is definitely running for reelection, and her actions seem to support that -- raising money, setting up a campaign office, making appearances. Mikulski, who won reelection in 2004 in a cakewalk, probably would do so again, Republican tide or not.

Still, you never know. The senator, who will turn 74 this summer, broke her ankle badly last summer. She had a plate and screws inserted in surgery. She gets around well these days -- no cane, no crutches, no wheelchair -- and says she has no pain.

You could speculate that she would be more tempted to retire if she thought the Dems were really at risk of losing their majority in the Senate. On the other hand, she has no immediate family, and her life is the Senate. As far as I can tell, Democrats who would love to replace her believe she is running again -- and none is likely to challenge her in a primary.

Don’t count her out just yet.

By Lee Hockstader  | February 16, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Hockstader  | Tags:  Lee Hockstader  
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Comments

I would say you are probably correct in your assessment BUT we do have a great competitor in Maryland and he has been making the rounds and laying the ground to face off with her in November - apparently whether she stays in the race or retires. Eric Wargotz, a physician, county commissioner and on the republican team is finding widespread appeal not just in his own party.

Posted by: addictedtopolitics | February 16, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Dear Barbara, we community organizers don't give up that easily. As your co-graduate, I need to tell you that, I, too, broke my ankle (awhile ago) while walking in my woods. I crawled back and now still have 2 plates in my foot. It doesn't even hurt when it rains - It works fine - and I hope you stay in the Senate as long as I intend to stay here at La Paix. Joy, Peace Myra Bonhage-Hale MSW

Posted by: lapaix1 | February 16, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

By the way ... Ezra Klein is full of crap .

Posted by: lagnafrah | February 16, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Who? I mean seriously, addictedtopolitics, the only time Republicans won a state-wide office in Maryland in the past 25 years it took pretty much the entire Baltimore metropolitan Democratic machine not participating in the election to protest being ignored by the suburban-DC Democratic machine, and the election was still close.

Do you see a similar situation arising in November? If not, then why will this be any different than 1994 (the great Republican wave) when Sarbanes won with ~60% of the vote?

Posted by: orgbluspider | February 16, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

should not the voters put her out like she helped put us out...

Posted by: DwightCollins | February 16, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

It is a joke to think our wonderful Senator Mikulski would retire. She is doing a fantastic job, will surely be re-elected this year and I anticipate she will run for re-election again in 2016. After all, even then she will be younger than Sens. Lautenberg, Inouye, Akaka, and Byrd are now!

Jeffrey Slavin
Mayor/Town of Somerset, Maryland
a Montgomery County municipality

Posted by: jzslavin1 | February 16, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Another Democrat retire ??
We have 14 republicans also retiring, yet the talk is all about the left. mm mm

Posted by: shipfreakbo214 | February 16, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

If this is true, it is welcome news. It's time another career politician leaves Washington. The only way the gridlock in D.C. is going to end is to infuse fresh eyes on the problems plaguing this nation. The mentality of the voters is throw the bums out, and I am glad of it. It's time these incumbents realize they are replaceable, and this year will prove that.

Posted by: jeiken | February 16, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Maryland is so lucky to have Senator Mikulski, whose unflagging, smart, responsive service long predates the "Year of the Woman" when so many other female Senators (of both parties) came in. I can't tell you the number of times I have talked to someone in Maryland about some issue or another and they say, you know, Senator Mikulski solved that or Senator Mikulski wrote the law that let elderly spouses of Medicaid recipients keep their house and car (it used to be that all joint property had to be liquidated for a spouse in a nursing home to get any aid). I am sure she is running for reelection as a proud daughter of Maryland and the state is very fortunate to have her and her lifetime of experience.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | February 16, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

All of the Republicans in the Senate and the House should Retire, they are useless to the forward progress of this Nation. The Party of NO IDEAS, NO MORALS, and NO BRAINS are a Drag on this once Great Nation.

Posted by: austininc4 | February 16, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Mikulski is the real deal. I hope she stays.

Posted by: Super_Grover | February 16, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Please get this Libitard out of office. She is a complete and total failure to Marylanders. She wants abortion funding in the Healthcare bill, a total abomination to the morals of society to use tax payer dollars from the Pro Lifers to pay for abortions. She is Old, Senile and above all, an Obama butt kisser. Illegal Alien Lover, Pork Provider and Spender. She needs to go and is a perfect example of what is wrong with the Establishment. Retire Babs, Please, we are on knees begging.

Posted by: coastersgr8stang | February 17, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

One thing I will give Babs is that she really believes the benefits of all of the things she has "given us". The latest manifestation of this is the attempt to get federal aid to help in the cleanup from the snow storm. There is one problem with this. The federal government has no money and has spent 1.5 trillion more than they have taken in this past year alone. In addition the borrowing continues for many years. This is the equivalant of me asking my children to take a second mortgage on their homes to pay for the shoveling of my driveway. Babs, Am I missing something.

Posted by: millelect | February 17, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"She has told her physician that she does not desire to seek reelection"

Now THIS is interesting... I think we found the source of these rumors.... her physician.

Which, coincidentally, if turns out to be true, would be gross violation of HIPAA regulations regarding patient privacy.

If I were someone on Senator Mikulski's staff trying to figure out the source of these false rumors, I'd be looking very carefully at her physician.

Let's look at some the commentary allegedly supporting this rumor.

Every time someone mentions why this rumor about her retirement is true, it has to do specifically with the Senator's health, and contains claims/information all of which very easily could have been provided by her physician.

For example:

1. "seriously fractured her right ankle" - something her physician would know;

2. "had to have open reduction surgery" - something her physician would know;

3. "included the insertion of pins" - something her physician would know;

4. "the use of special surgical boots, during recovery" - something her physician would know;

5. "Her recovery has been exceptionally slow" - something her physician would know;

6. "she is evidently still in a great deal of pain" - something her physician would know;

7. "she has told her physician that she does not desire to seek reelection" - HELLO!?!? Could you BE MORE OBVIOUS?

8. "she has been forced to use a wheelchair, a walker or a cane in order to get around." - something her physician would know;

9. "One of her complaints is that the health insurance that is provided for Congress is "poor" with high deductibles and "limitations" on coverage" - something her physician would know;

10. "she told an aide that she should have inserted in the ObamaCare bill an amendment to improve Congressional health insurance" - something her physician would know.

Posted by: PolitickerMD | February 17, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

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