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Dennis Moore retires

Kansas Democratic Rep. Dennis Moore will leave the House in 2010, a decision that hands Republicans a golden opportunity for a pickup next year.

Brandon Naylor, communications director for Moore, confirmed the news, which was first reported by the Kansas City Star's Steve Kraske, and said that the Congressman would be releasing a statement on his decision later this morning.

Moore's decision is an interesting one given that he was being only lightly targeted by national Republicans after weathering a series of brutal battles earlier in the decade.

Regardless of the "why", Moore's departure makes his eastern Kansas seat a major Republican target next year. President Barack Obama narrowly won the seat with 51 percent in 2008 and then President George W. Bush carried it by 11 points in 2004.

Republicans, surprised by the announcement, were unsure of what the field would look like to replace Moore although the first name mentioned was former state Sen. Nick Jordan who took 40 percent of the vote against the incumbent in 2008. Jordan is seen as a unifying figure within a party that has seen battles between its moderates and conservative wings cost them the governorship, Moore's seat and several other races over the last decade.

It remains to be seen whether Moore's retirement is a harbinger of things to come for House Democrats or an isolated case.

To date, just eight House Democrats are retiring -- a low number that has been expected to insulate the party from massive seat losses next November.

If Moore is the first of a series of Democratic incumbents who decide to take a pass on running for re-election in what is shaping up to be a very tough environment, it will widen the playing field considerably and raise Republicans chances of winning a significant number of seats in the midterms.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 23, 2009; 8:51 AM ET
Categories:  House  
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Dennis Moore represents Johnson County, Ks. (which is mostly Republican), Lawrence, Ks. which is mostly Democrat (the Univ. of Kansas is located there), and Wyandotte County (where Kansas City, Ks. is located), which has one the highest percentages of African-Americans in the state. The Dems in Lawrence and Kansas City, Kan., are the reason Moore has been able to stay in office for all these years, added to some intelligent Republican moderates in Johnson County who can see that Moore does a good job. I'm sad that he's retiring, but perhaps he will run for governor, since Kathleen Sebelius, Kansas' former governor, is now secretary of Health and Human Services. I just can't see Moore bowing out of politics with the strong base he has built here in Kansas. --Naive Kansan and lifelong Democrat

Posted by: jeanb1 | November 23, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Chorus (sings): Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, galloping through the sward,
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, and his horse Concorde.
He steals from the rich, he gives to the poor,
Mr Moore, Mr Moore, Mr Moore.

Wha? That's not who we're talking about? This isn't the Monty Python guy?
Oh, bloody 'ell.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 23, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Barack H. Obama won the district by 51 percent in 2008? Wouldn't that be 75.5%-24.5%?

I agree, that is NOT a narrow win.

51% - 49%, however, is.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 23, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

There might be a "golden opportunity" for Republicans, Chris, but what Republican candidate could possibly be a shoo-in on account of Moore's retirement? District 3 doesn't trend like the rest of Kansas. Republicans have not been able to bring that district to heel.

Posted by: Kelly14 | November 23, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, hate to break it to the fantasy pundits out there, but Barack Obama will win a second term in 2012 with ease. You forget that Progressive leaning voters are the vast majority in this country. That's why we wiped our a** with your faces in '06 and '08. The trend away from Bush-League stupidity will continue.


This would be true even if all things remained equal but they haven't .. the GOP is fracturing into the sane and the insane and the insane are carrying the day. Democrats can look forward to running easily against a succession of green-teeth candidates, social conservative know-nothings who handle snakes and bay at the moon.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"They keep them right next to the hen's teeth and jackalope antlers, right above the lizard fur."

LOL! :)

Posted by: captainkona | November 23, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Though Moore had a fairly decent record for A Blue Dogs*it, he was still Republican Lite so losing him won't mean all that much.
Blue Dogs are a blight on the Democratic party. They have to go eventually even if it means giving up a seat or two for a while.

Oh, hate to break it to the fantasy pundits out there, but Barack Obama will win a second term in 2012 with ease. You forget that Progressive leaning voters are the vast majority in this country. That's why we wiped our a** with your faces in '06 and '08. The trend away from Bush-League stupidity will continue.

Posted by: captainkona | November 23, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"We need to send fiscally responsible representatives to office."

They keep them right next to the hen's teeth and jackalope antlers, right above the lizard fur.

Posted by: nodebris | November 23, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"Focus on jobs and the economy and not more spending and entitlement programs."

A good conservative would take responsibility for themselves rather than whining about the government not doing enough to create jobs or improve the economy.


Posted by: bsimon1 | November 23, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

their brains are not wired for irony.

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

We need to send fiscally responsible representatives to office.


I recall you to be a Bush supporter.


Guess you don't see the irony, do you.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you were on some sort of extraterrestrial journey from 2000-2008? That would be your only excuse for not knowing that the GOP did this to you, not the Democrats. Try to get past your hatred of change and your short term memory loss. Being an idiot will not be covered in the new healthcare bill, and neither will being a sore loser.

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | November 23, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"Earlier this month, hidden in the din about the HCR debate, the House quietly passed a bill that, if enacted into law, will help secure our country from terrorist attacks on chemical plants and waste & drinking water treatment plants. The bill was H.R. 2868 and is called "The Chemical and Water Security Act of 2009".

On November 6, it passed on a vote of 230-193.

Can you guess how many Republicans voted FOR it?

Can you say ZERO?

I knew you could.

Why did they vote against this vital piece of legislation? Well, it's easy to predict: it would cost the affected industries some money. The GOP clamors for protecting us against terrorists and speechify endlessly about the threat of global terrorism so that we're all SCARED!!!. But when it comes to actually taking measures to do that, well, don't be asking Big Business to have to have to spend their money on it."

whining about terrorism, but never actually wanting to DO anything about it..

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

"The Spendocrats and progressives are in for a beat down in 2010 and 2012. "

Not bloody likely, bubbette. Your Know -Nothing, Illiterate and Incompetent Party has no answers and most of us understand that.

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

How does this retirement announcement portend a trend?


Health Care Reform a Cruel Joke as Long as a...


Did this program target, and help incite, the Ft. Hood shooter?

When will Team Obama, Congress, mainstream media wake up and smell the Bush-Cheney legacy American Gestapo? OR RE: "GESTAPO USA"


Posted by: scrivener50 | November 23, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The Spendocrats and progressives are in for a beat down in 2010 and 2012. Obama is already a lame duck in record time. We need to send fiscally responsible representatives to office. No more borrowing and spending, no more debt. Focus on jobs and the economy and not more spending and entitlement programs.

2010 cannot get here soon enough.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | November 23, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Uhh, except that Dems AREN'T RETIRING in large numbers. kind of a flaw in your logic there, buddy.

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Tons of GOP moderates retired in both '06 and '08, and look at what happened to the party in those two elections. Not good for the Dems...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | November 23, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Like many cult leaders before him [Scientology leader L. ron Hubbard, the Rev. Moon, for example] Glenn Beck's 5 minutes of fame has convinced his feeble mind that he is a Messiah. Check it:

"- I have begun meeting with some of the best minds in the country that believe in limited government, maximum freedom and the values of our Founders. I am developing a 100 year plan. I know that the bipartisan corruption in Washington that has brought us to this brink and it will not be defeated easily. It will require unconventional thinking and a radical plan to restore our nation to the maximum freedoms we were supposed to have been protecting.

- All of the above will culminate in The Plan, a book that will provide specific policies, principles and, most importantly, action steps that each of us can take to play a role in this Refounding."

He has a Plan! Probably it was broadcast to him through his fillings from the mother ship. This man is certifiable. However, that will not stop him and his equally loony followers from doing significant damage to gop incumbents.

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

What? No mention of Sarah Palin in this post?

Posted by: mnteng | November 23, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

We must remember that the Kansas Attorney General tried first to tax and finally prohibit drinking on airplanes that flew through his state's airspace, so nutty stuff is a way of life there.

So far as I'm concerned, I will support the right of all mentally ill or otherwise impaired Americans to own and carry firearms, especially when driving. We all know that rational thought is not a prerequisite for firearm ownership or operation and when coupled with the same for driving, the morning commute can become quite interesting.

And, what says Christmas better than giving the mentally ill people you know a weapon? Be generous, times are tough.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | November 23, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse


Please, oh please, I hope Palin introduces a "real conservative" candidate to run in a 3rd party. It will be NY23 all over again.

Who'da thunk it? Sarah Palin = Ralph Nader


Posted by: egc52556 | November 23, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Inasmuch as Barak Obama has no answer for the staggering US economy, the greatest mistake Americans could make is thinking Republicans do. They built this disaster from the ground up. The era of American austerity is upon us, it will turn out well for us, about a full generation from now - unless you Bush Cheney voters keep making the same mistake, over and over again.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 23, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Exactly, katem. The gop cult with members like this:

"On Friday, Gun Owners of America sent out an action alert to its 300,000 members warning that the Senate health care bill “would mandate that doctors provide ‘gun-related health data’ to ‘a government database,’ including information on mental-health issues detected in patients, which could jeopardize their ability to obtain a firearms license.” The alert also warned its membership that the “wellness and prevention” provisions in the health care bill would allow the Obama administration to issue a “no guns” decree:"

The second part of this -- the 'no guns decree' is pure fictional scare-mongering. And the first part? These folks are angry because -- IMAGINE THIS! the bill would allow doctors to report the mental illness of their patients, thereby jeopardizng the nutsacks' ability to buy an arsenal of assault weapons!!!


This is a party whose idiocy has become a global laughingstock.

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I think it's funny that you're taking one guy's retirement and turning that into some mass defection. It will be interesting to see what Fringe Radical Right Wingers say when they are beaten back in 2010. I'm sure it will be somebody else's fault. It ususally is.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | November 23, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

maybe once every two weeks Chris remembers that the GOP brand is a stinker in his precious polls. And he seems to think that people have absolutely no memory of the devastation wrought by the GOP, recession, two wars, crumbling infrastucture, outsourcing of jobs, trying to sell control of US ports to government led company in Dubai, etc. and do people really want to be associated with the party that doesn't tell its' "birthers" to shut up, and it's fanatics to get a grip on their infantile anger? So far only Huckabee has had the conscience and the humanity to critisize them. All the idiots that continuely attack the Prez are doing is telling the majority of the country, "we don't accept your votes, your views, and the results of the election". Just like in the early 60's when the Deep South fought enforcement of the civil rights laws. So chris, do you really truly believe that people are that naive to actually run to that side again? Not just blacks, or latinos, but the Jewish community has written the RNC, asking for condemnation of the use of Hitler and the Holocaust signs at tea partys and other rallies. They have received no response, which I'm sure does not please Eric Cantor, among other elected Jewish GOPers. So with the Jews, the Blacks, the Latinos, gays, and all of the normal white people who aren't blinded by inane hatred, going for the Dems again in 2010, you really think the GOP can get back seats? Wow, if I were you , I'd check out what they are putting in those pumpkin lattes you drink.

Posted by: katem1 | November 23, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Any word on his horse, Concorde?

Posted by: ennepe68 | November 23, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

>>>"President Barack Obama narrowly won the seat with 51 percent in 2008"

The Fix just LOVES adjectives. They add dimension, complexity and facts not in evidence.

51 percent is not a 'narrow' win, and has never been.

51 percent is a win.

This 'narrow' analysis by Fix also refuses to accept as fact the facts that the Fix itself provides:

George W. Bush won the district by 11 points in 2004.

Barack H. Obama won the district by 51 percent in 2008.

That means that Obama and the Democrats in 2008 turned their 11-point 2004 loss into what all rational people call a confident 51-percent win.

The Fix claims to follow the trends and tell us what they are. Without tell us, the Fix as concluded that the 2008 election was a one time thing -- without presenting any evidence of that at all.

Mere supposition. Mere speculation. Mere factless daydreaming in order to spin a tale of competitive political parties, when all objective facts show that the Republicans are seriously wounded, despite the tea parties, Sarah Palin media show and the constant, factless repetition that the Republicans are in anyway competitive in the political arena.

The rational, fact-based analysis that in this district the Republicans have their work cut out for them. They haven't won the district in ages, when they tried to contest the district strongly they didn't win, they actually lost the district during a presidential election (allowing for the first split-state electoral vote in American history) and Republicans (as Fix has previously reported) don't have nearly the money, brains or muscle they had when they were barely competitive.

If it is a 'golden opportunity,' then Fix must have come up with a new definition of that term. Now, if Fix is correct, it means Republicans could very well win if the Republicans get all the breaks, somehow become smart, organized as prepared and several well known and proven facts turn out to be untrue.

The Fix's 'golden opportunity' is the color of mud.

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | November 23, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Well, he took all my lupins.

Posted by: daggar | November 23, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Daggar apparently cannot get over the fact that he and his simpering ilk could never beat Congressman Moore at the ballot box.

Posted by: soonerthought | November 23, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be so sure of a GOP pick up. Moore's district contains Kansas City and Lincoln which could make for tough environment for someone who is too conservative. I don't know who the Democrats may have waiting in the wings, but if they have someone who is a legitimate candidate he/she may just pull this one out. I'll be interested to see what he says in his statement.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 23, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: daggar | November 23, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

My favorite Dennis Moore lesson, on the difficulties of striking the right balance in redistribution of wealth: Dennis Moore

Posted by: daggar | November 23, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

A real loss to Kansas and the Congress. Moore is a man of wit, considerable intelligence and compassion. We are all poorer without him in the House.

Posted by: soonerthought | November 23, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

" a decision that hands Republicans a golden opportunity for a pickup next year."

every day, a new 'golden opportunity' for Republicans...

'If Moore is the first of a series of Democratic incumbents who decide to take a pass on running for re-election'

and if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

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