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John Murtha hospitalized, political future in doubt?

The news that Rep. John Murtha is in intensive care following complications from gall bladder surgery last week is sure to stoke rumors that the longtime Pennsylvania Democrat may choose to retire rather than run for re-election to a 19th full term in November.

Murtha's hospitalization, which was first reported by Politico's David Rogers, lands just days after his fourth quarter fundraising report -- just $100,000 raised in the final three months of 2009 with $388,000 in the bank -- had raised some eyebrows among national strategists about the possibility that Murtha, at 77 years old, might not be fully committed to running again.

The simple fact -- as Republicans acknowledge privately -- is that as long as Murtha is on the ballot in the western Pennsylvania 12th district, he cannot be beaten. Murtha was first elected to the seat in a 1974(!) special election and since then has rarely faced a real challenge -- with the exception of a redistricting-forced primary fight in 2002 against then Rep. Frank Mascara (D) that Murtha easily won.

Without Murtha seeking re-election, however, the district would be extremely competitive. In 2008, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) carried it by less than 1,000 votes (out of more than 260,000 cast) while Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) won the 12th by a narrow 51 percent to 49 percent margin four years earlier. The trend line in the district is not moving in the right direction for Democrats, however, as the Vice President Al Gore carried Murtha's seat with 55 percent in 2000.

Republicans believe Pennsylvania is shaping up as very friendly territory for them. The party has united behind state Attorney General Tom Corbett in the governor's race and former Rep. Pat Toomey in the Senate contest. On the House side, Republicans see Pennsylvania's 4th, 7th, 8th, 10th and 11th districts as potential pickup opportunities. Democrats see the 6th and 15th districts are chances for them to gain Republican-held seats in the fall.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 2, 2010; 1:33 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Comments

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 8, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Specter has a plan to fix Pennsylvania.
If he can put us in the same upside down financial position as California, a federal bail out will be needed. But, to the point, Murtha should be arrested for what he did to the military, in a war.

Posted by: RayOne | February 3, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Like I said, I don't like the guy, and he turned his back on the Marine Corps a long time ago. I hope he gets well so we can beat him.

What was the quote?

"When this Marine gets an order from his Commander-in-Chief, this Marine follows it, sir!"

Motivating!

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 3, 2010 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Hope you feel better, John. In the meantime, I'm turning up the Lady Gaga and partying like it's 1994.

Posted by: kenpasadena | February 2, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

What the hell did we do to deserve this "stinky coochy" troll?

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 8:53 PM


You shouldn't talk that way to your mom about your partner. You don't have to marry her (him?).

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 2, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

What the hell did we do to deserve this "stinky coochy" troll?

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

If you actually had a dog you would know that they whine and squeak all their lives.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 8:34 PM


You're confusing dogs with liberals.

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 2, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

If you actually had a dog you would know that they whine and squeak all their lives.

Speaking of having a life you should stick to one moniker.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Murtha called innocent Marines cold blooded murderers, back when the "war was lost".

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 2, 2010 6:43 PM


Karma is real!

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 2, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Murtha money, you should see the highways in that part of the state. Beautiful ribbons of well-designed roadway... with hardly any traffic at all!

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 2, 2010 3:48 PM


That's because no one has a job to drive to.

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 2, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Noacoler, when my German Shepherd, Titus, was a puppy, he whined a lot. Unlike you, he stopped doing it when he grew up.

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 2, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I'll bet Murtha is saying, thank God, we didn't pass Obama care.

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 2, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Someone please connect the dots for the poor dumb brute

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Noacoler


so you commited fraud by enrolling in the military as a gay ?

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 2, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I've been in the Marines. Many times.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse


I also don't idolize Gov. Palin.

==

BWAHAHAHAHA

oh please my ribs

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

You made it clear you don't want to argue.

I also don't idolize Gov. Palin.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

What do you think, USMC_Mike?

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Listen Jake,

You can idolize Mrs. Palin and I will idolize the USMC. If you want to argue with someone, get with USMC Mike, who is fully entitled to have an opinion of Murtha that I WILL respect.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | February 2, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse


Did you always think the best of Col. Oliver North's motives?

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 6:34 PM
-------------------------------
I don't know Oliver North any more than I know John Murtha. But, I do and did think the best of Col. North's motives. I'm not here to relitigate either Col North or John Murtha actions or words, as you seem to be. If you want to argue about the actions of either one of them, you will have to find a more willing combatant than me.

I will continue to give credit to the willing warriors of the USMC, who don't have to put themselves on the front lines, but do.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | February 2, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues:

Did you always think the best of Col. Oliver North's motives?

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Oliver North, the terrorist? Running guns to terror gangs from Reagan's basement? He was a ROGUE Marine.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Murtha called innocent Marines cold blooded murderers, back when the "war was lost".

The guy is a sleeze.

That being said, I hope he is physically OK, and doesn't retire for health reasons. I'd rather see forced retirement in a landslide R victory.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 2, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Did you always think the best of Col. Oliver North's motives?

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

No, you ARE defending Murtha, specifically by "think[ing] the best of his motives" and trying to wrap his inexusable conduct with the Flag of the United States Marine Corps. http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Customes_Traditions/Marine_Corps_Flag.htm

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

@jake,

I'm not defending Murtha. I'm defending the USMC and all marines everywhere. I am not interested in turning Murtha's intensive care into a political tit for tat contest. Like I said, I may not agree with someone's political thought, but I WILL be respectful.

If you want to hyperventilate how awful Murtha is, on what might be his deathbed, you and drivl can whip up your mutual outrage.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | February 2, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey 37th

GET A JOB!!

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

What part of Murtha accusing our soldiers of MURDER before anything about the situation was known did you miss?! They were later completely cleared of the charges, but Murtha never apologized.

I second drivl's motion amending "once a Marine, always a Marine": there should be finally, a single ex-Marine, alone and ashamed on his death bed.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Why I'm speaking at Tea Party convention

By Sarah Palin

==

I love giving passionate speeches to empty seats in my little girl voice

send money,
Sarah

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I am *defending* the USMC by putting down Murtha.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 5:38 PM
----------------------------------
Don't know how that works because "once a marine, always a marine".

I know a bunch of Korean era USMC's who have just won my heart. They purposely put themselves in the frontlines and fought in some of the most horrific combat known to man. Some were tunnel rats and some were captured. Most were Purple Hearts or more. I came to not only like them, but to have tremendous respect for them.

If I had to choose a buddy to watch over me, it would be a US Marine. And don't look for a bit of sarcasm because this is heartfelt. I may not agree with someone's political thought, but if he or she is a Marine, I'll always think the best of his motives and I WILL be respectful.

Semper fi from 12BarBlues.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | February 2, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Why I'm speaking at Tea Party convention

By Sarah Palin

Later this week I'll head to Nashville, where I'll have the honor of speaking with members of the Tea Party movement. I look forward to meeting many Americans who share a commitment to limited government, common sense and personal responsibility. This movement is truly a grassroots, organic effort. It's not a top-down organization; it's a ground-up call to action that already has both political parties rethinking the way they do business.

From the town halls last summer to the protests and marches in the fall to the game-changing recent elections, it has been inspiring to see real people — not politicos or inside-the-Beltway professionals — speak out for common-sense conservative policies and values. As with all grassroots efforts, the nature of this movement means that sometimes the debates are loud and the organization is messier than that of a polished, controlled machine. Legitimate disagreements take place about tone and tactics. That's OK, because this movement is about bigger things than politics or organizers.


The soul of the Tea Party is the people who belong to it — everyday Americans who grow our food, run our small businesses, teach our children how to read, serve the less fortunate and fight our wars. They're folks in small towns and cities across this nation who saw what was happening to our country and decided to get involved. Thank God for them. Many of these good Americans had never been involved in their government before, but now they attend town hall meetings and participate in online forums. They write letters to the editor. They sign up to be precinct leaders and run for local office and support other independent patriots. They have the courage to stand up and speak out.

http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2010/02/column-why-im-speaking-at-tea-party-convention-.html

(So, which one is it? "Palin isn't going to bed with you" or "Few more months and she'll be taking it up the dirt road from anyone willing to give her some attention. Bring a video camera and you'll have an excellent chance of scoring"?

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

". . . putting down Murtha."

(snicker)

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I am *defending* the USMC by putting down Murtha.

==

you're doing what you always do, slack-jaw.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Wwll with the Army filling it's ranks with bottom of the barrel redneck dropouts it's not like we can expect the exemplary behavior we did in the past, now, is it. Illiterate X-signing bumpkins carrying guns in war, just ro populate Bush's wars of choice.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I am *defending* the USMC by putting down Murtha.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

then I presume you detest Murtha. He accused our soldiers of murder before anything about the situation was known. they were later cleared of the charges completely. Murtha never apologized.

I suggest there should be finally, a single ex-Marine.

Posted by: drivl | February 2, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

One thing I WON'T stand for is to put down the USMC. They are the best! Semper fi.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | February 2, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

With CC panting with excitement that Murtha
might die so his beloved GOP can find a way back to
power without earning it in any fashion, let me wish Murtha a speedy and complete recovery.

Posted by: Noacoler
----------------------------------------
Just like Obama came to power in IL.

Posted by: leapin | February 2, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

mbc is on to something. In an anti-incumbent environment even a guy who brings big money back to the district can be hard to vote for. The Democrats should be able to find someone great to take Murtha's place on the ballot.

Speaking of Murtha money, you should see the highways in that part of the state. Beautiful ribbons of well-designed roadway... with hardly any traffic at all! The same down around Altoona, where Bud Shuster used to build highways. There's nothing new under the sun.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 2, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

This one is for drivl and his preoccupation with gay men.

In other news, Adm, Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are seeking to end the 16-year-old Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy of requiring gay servicemembers to keep their sexual orientations secret.
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/03/us/politics/03military.html?hp
 
The timing is on their side; Republicans are too busy standing in the way of everything else to have a lot of remaining bandwidth to express their squeamishness.  With two wars, a military already stressed with repeated deployments, and a culture that has largely moved past the bigotry of the 1950s, this would not be a winning hand outside the 17-percenters.  It’s noteworthy that other countries have lifted the same ban and not had any mass heterosexual exodus from their militaries. 
 
But the USA is not Canada or Australia.  The USA is different from most other industrialized nations in suffering from a bigoted religious conservative underclass, the American Heart of Darkness, and when high school dropouts from the rural south find themselves in the showers with gay men they’re going to have fits.  Just imagine what a better place we’d be without the “social conservatives” and all the hate and division they spread.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

77-year-old lawmaker "underwent a scheduled laparoscopic surgery to remove his gallbladder last week 77-year-old lawmaker http://usspost.com/john-murtha-www-usspost-com-4854/

Posted by: susan166 | February 2, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

77-year-old lawmaker "underwent a scheduled laparoscopic surgery to remove his gallbladder last week 77-year-old lawmaker http://usspost.com/john-murtha-www-usspost-com-4854/

Posted by: susan166 | February 2, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Beyond the obvious hope that Murtha's health recovers, it's a little hard to figure the politics here. Yes, if Murtha were to retire, Republicans might get the seat, making things worse for Democrats in terms of vote counting. But on the other hand, Murtha has gained something of a national reputation for being a serious old school pork belly, the kind that is now perceived as representing a lot of what's wrong with how things are done in Congress. It can be argued that Murtha, fair or unfair, is contributing to a larger narrative that's hurting Dems nationally. If that's true, while his retirement might tangibly cost the Dems one seat in the House, it might help them save a few more around the country if Murtha's ways are no longer on the stage.

Posted by: mbcnewspaper | February 2, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Few more months and she'll be taking it up the dirt road from anyone willing to give her some attention
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

no matter how much we try, the ped always returns to talking about herself. Is it that lonely in your world ped? did your last true friend spring a leak and deflate? Maybe the shiny penny/playground gambit again????

Posted by: drivl | February 2, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Move along, folks. Nothing to see here except banned trolls.

Posted by: Blarg | February 2, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"peloony"

I'm figuring that zouk is about 12 years old.

Feminizing, infantilizing, diminutive name-calling; derisive and mocking rage, over the top stuff like pedophilia... can anyone imagine this guy having a job, being given responsibilities, working with people?

When I say he's institutionalized it's not a goad. I really can't imagine him living any other way.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Better stick to trying to get her in the sack, you have a much better chance. Few more months and she'll be taking it up the dirt road from anyone willing to give her some attention. Bring a video camera and you'll have an excellent chance of scoring.

Glad to see you finally caught up to her resignation. Now you need to catch up to the present, where only about 20% regard her as fit for public office.

It's over, Jake. Accept it.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't want Palin in bed. I want her in the Oval Office.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't matter how many threads you hijack to express your devotion, Jake, Palin isn't going to bed with you.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2010/02/02/palin_vs_rahm/index.html

Finally, liberals and Palin agree on something: Fire Rahm

The former VP candidate issues a Facebook call for the White House to fire chief of staff Rahm Emanuel

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

With CC panting with excitement that Murtha
might die so his beloved GOP can find a way back to
power without earning it in any fashion, let me wish Murtha a speedy and complete recovery.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

He may have no choice in the matter. Couldn't have happened to a nicer Marine (GO ARMY!!!)

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Murtha is in the same league as Strom Thurman, they would elect them if they were dead.
He can run with no gallbladder, and a monkey heart and still win by 20 points. Plus Murtha is fighter through and through, I don't see him quiting no matter what.

Posted by: AndyR3 | February 2, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Darn! We should have moved to Pennsylvania ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

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