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Rep. Pickering Rethinks Spending More Time With Family

When up-and-comer Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.) made the shocking announcement last summer that he was retiring, he said he wanted to spend more time with his family. It was just as shocking yesterday when the congressman disclosed he has filed for divorce.

"My decision to initiate a divorce proceeding has been difficult, and not one that I have entered into lightly," the 44-year-old Pickering said in a statement. "This decision is both personal and painful for me and my family."

Pickering, 44, even after he announced his retirement, was viewed as a top contender to replace his mentor, former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), who resigned last year to become a lobbyist.

The congressman cited irreconcilable differences with his wife of 20 years, Leisha Pickering. They have five sons.

"I hope people will understand that this is a private matter, and for the sake of our boys, will respect our privacy during this difficult time."

As the Jackson Clarion-Ledger notes in its story about the divorce, President Bush, at a 2002 fundraising event, said of Pickering: "He's a star today, he's going to be a bigger star tomorrow because he's a man of principle ... and he stands strong on those principles. He believes in faith and family and Mississippi, in that order."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  July 2, 2008; 5:53 PM ET
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He believes in faith and family and Mississippi, in that order."

I'm falling over! another Repub hypocrit

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Another republican knucklehead... people in their districts must be pretty niave or brainwashed or something...

Posted by: Ed | July 3, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Hey, it is like there is double standard about being to get a divorce and still be a Republican? Good grief, sometimes a marriage is not going to be fixed, mended, or bandaged. For whatever reason, it almost sounds as if a Republican must remain married but Democrats are allowed and no one says BOO. Sorry, I think Congressman Pickering is helping to care for his sons and will be a good father regardless of whether he stays with his wife or not. The appointed Senator, Wicker, will be seen as doing his job and therefore be elected as the new Senator in 2008.
Divorce is not news unless there is an intern or a minor being used in a romp.

Posted by: Republicans Are Good | July 3, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

In 2002 what Bush of Pickering may well have been true. Conditions change all the time: sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse

Posted by: Bill | July 3, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I happen to know Mr. Pickering and his boys very well, and he is a wonderful father, not a hypocrite, and we should all pray that this doesn't hurt his boys.

Posted by: John Doe | July 4, 2008 2:10 AM | Report abuse

At the risk of stating the obvious, a divorce is always sad especially when there are children involved. The point is that the Republicans continue to hold themselves above the rest of us! They are more religious, more patriotic, more family-oriented, just all-around better. Even as a registered Independent, I am just sick of it.

Three members of my family are military. All are registered Democrats. I am offended when I hear blanket comments that assume that all "Democrats" are weak, immoral, anti-God and that all "Republicans" are strong, moral, God-fearing Christians. Plus how Christian is all this name-calling?

That kind of arrogance should not be surprised when confronted by ridicule.

Posted by: oligar0601 | July 4, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

re: Republicans are Good

"Divorce is not news unless there is an intern or a minor being used in the romp."

Or unless it involves a rich model involved in an adulterous affair with a Senator who then leaves his crippled wife (who steadfastly stuck by him while he was a prisoner in Vietnam) and mother of his children. The Republicans lost their ability to play the "holier-than-thou" card long ago.

Posted by: no they aren't | July 4, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

didn't pickering cheat on his wife through the years like a fornicating rabbit? he might be a wonderful father but not a good husband and in that, he's been a hypocrite.

Posted by: frieda406 | July 6, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I happen to not care about Mr. Pickering's marital infidelities and don't know if he is a good father or an absent one. He is a hypocrite for using family values as a part of his campaign platform.

Posted by: Joe Schmo | July 6, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Why is this story worth covering, unless it's another chance for WaPo to take another cheap shot at a Republican?

-Wm Tate,

Posted by: Wm Tate | July 7, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Just curious as to what "believing in Mississippi" could possibly mean -- ?

Posted by: mj | July 7, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Isn't this the jerk who appeared in "Borat" at the fundamentalist service where Borat was "saved" and inspired so he could continue his quest to marry Pamela Anderson? Perhaps Chip was similarly inspired. Is there even one "family values" politician who isn't a hypocrite?

Posted by: RC | July 7, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

At this point you may notice quite a few members of the Republic party(since we've changed the name of the Democratic party I've decided to return the favor) responding that assorted news items "aren't news-worthy". What they are really saying is that they are tired of having thier noses rubbed in thier own shi#. I suspect this also accounts for many of them who are now calling themselves Independants. It won't wash. You're not fooling anyone at this point.

Posted by: mike | July 7, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Vote for me!

I'm an Indy Republicrat and I believe in my faith, my country, my wife and my state; just not necessarily in hat order...

...and I will not submit to ridicule.

Posted by: Indy-republicrat | July 7, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JUNIOR | July 7, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

It's just wonderful when stuff like this happens to one of these GOP holier-than-thou types. I'm so sick of hearing pure spiel regarding "family values" from members of the GOP that I want to puke. One needs only look at McCain's own marital affairs to see what a sorry example of human beings these people inevitably turn out to be. It must be in their genes.

Posted by: caliguy55 | July 8, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I personally think you people with the exception of a couple[those who stated knowing Pickering & the party who said this was not Republican only]must have a lot of time on your hands.
Why don't you try to make this country an evem better nation instead of posting only silly, child-like criticisms.

Posted by: MS Lady | July 8, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Junior, I have lived long enough to have known many Democrats who have been caught with their pants down. I don't think either party can make a claim for purity. It seems to be a human weakness.

Posted by: Anne | July 8, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Sure, it's a whole lot of fun to pile on yet another "family values" crash-and burn GOPer, and with all the mindless GOP posturing on that essentially meaningless concept, who can resist?

Still, putting all the petty politics aside, I feel for those five boys. THEY didn't sign up for all this nonsense, but they'll be the ones hurt the most by their parents' split, and by the noise it generates.

Take your shots at Pickering, by all means, but hammer him for his lockstep support of Bush's endless string of failures, and his own laughable hypocrisy. Leave his family out of it, folks.

Posted by: Waiting For Godot | July 9, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Here's to the state of Mississippi,
For Underheath her borders, the devil draws no lines,
If you drag her muddy river, nameless bodies you will find.
Whoa the fat trees of the forest have hid a thousand crimes,
The calender is lyin' when it reads the present time.
Whoa here's to the land you've torn out the heart of,
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of!

Here's to the people of Mississippi
Who say the folks up north, they just don't understand
And they tremble in their shadows at the thunder of the Klan
The sweating of their souls can't wash the blood from off their hands
They smile and shrug their shoulders at the murder of a man
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

Here's to the schools of Mississippi
Where they're teaching all the children that they don't have to care
All of rudiments of hatred are present everywhere
And every single classroom is a factory of despair
There's nobody learning such a foreign word as fair
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

Here's to the cops of Mississippi
They're chewing their tobacco as they lock the prison door
Their bellies bounce inside them as they knock you to the floor
No they don't like taking prisoners in their private little war
Behind their broken badges there are murderers and more
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

And, here's to the judges of Mississippi
Who wear the robe of honor as they crawl into the court
They're guarding all the bastions with their phony legal fort
Oh, justice is a stranger when the prisoners report
When the black man stands accused the trial is always short
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

And here's to the government of Mississippi
In the swamp of their bureaucracy they're always bogging down
And criminals are posing as the mayors of the towns
They're hoping that no one sees the sights and hears the sounds
And the speeches of the governor are the ravings of a clown
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

And here's to the laws of Mississippi
Congressmen will gather in a circus of delay
While the Constitution is drowning in an ocean of decay
Unwed mothers should be sterilized, I've even heard them say
Yes, corruption can be classic in the Mississippi way
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

And here's to the churches of Mississippi
Where the cross, once made of silver, now is caked with rust
And the Sunday morning sermons pander to their lust
The fallen face of Jesus is choking in the dust
Heaven only knows in which God they can trust
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

- Phil Ochs

Posted by: billp | July 9, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are so stupid. I hate Republicans.

Posted by: Mary Ann | July 9, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

To Mary Ann -- in your message you reveal your bias by condemning people of one party as all being stupid. Also what we do not need is more hatred -- of anyone or anything. I feel sorry for you.

Posted by: Ellen | July 10, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

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