Senator George Voinovich, the senior Republican Senator from my own state of Ohio, will apparently announce his retirement from the Senate at the completion of his term. His term expires in 2010, which makes him a lame duck for the next year and half, but also gives the Ohio GOP enough of a heads-up to vet a field of reasonable candidates.
I don’t recall much from Voinovich’s tenure as governor of Ohio – I was pretty much a kid, and I guess he did an OK job, but nothing terribly earth-shattering. My family was staying at the cabins at Old Man’s Cave State Park when he landed at the main lodge in a helicopter to tour the area for some sort of legislative effort. At the time, it was a brush with gubernatorial power that impressed me, if not merely for the sake of my youth and the “I saw the governor!” cool factor at the time.
His tenure as an Ohio Senator has left me even more nonplussed. Some might use the term RINO to describe him. I have been chastised before for using that term, so I’ll simply say I’ve been let down by some of his policy decisions. But mostly I was embarassed when he made like a drama queen and broke down in tears despairing over the John Bolton nomination. Michelle Malkin has more on his term and its disappointments.
At 72 years old, he has certainly earned a retirement, and I hope he enjoys it with his family. It’s too bad that makes Sherrod Brown our new senior Senator, but that’s life, I suppose. As we’re such an important swing state, and as the mood of Ohio echoes the mood of the country, the battle for Ohio’s Senate is going to begin in earnest and will get ugly. Let’s hope we get a decent choice in 2010.