August 11, 2009

What's Up With Mel?

Cassy's post reminded me about an odd piece of news out of Florida the other day: namely that Mel Martinez wouldn't be returning to his seat in the Senate after the August recess. While she, and others, are rightfully thinking about the implications for Charlie Crist who is the current governor and has already stated his intention to run for the Senate seat, I'm simply struck by the oddity of the announcement itself.

While some people may immediately draw a parallel to Sarah Palin, I fail to see any similarity other than the obvious one that they both resigned their offices after announcing that they would not seek another term. Palin was being subjected to an abuse of the ethics complaint process and had much brighter prospects outside the governor's office anyway. Martinez, on the other hand, has no such prospects and has not been the subject of anything other than the normal level of abuse one would expect as a national officeholder.

It does beg the question: why? I have to believe that he did so for family reasons of one type or another. Whether it was due to the threat of an affair being revealed, an illness or other personal problems, it would be pure speculation to hazard a guess. No matter the reason, he decided that he could no longer do the job that he was elected to do and stepped down. Too bad more politicians don't have the decency to do the same.

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