I’d always admired former House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill for returning to Massachusetts after he stepped down as Speaker of the House. That move showed that he saw himself as serving the people who first elected to Congress rather than as a part of a permanent Washington establishment. While an accomplished politicians, politics was not all there was to this very liberal man.
Indeed, the last picture I recall seeing of the Democrat was enjoying a Red Sox game with his grandchildren shortly after his retirement.
I’ve often wondered how many of his fellow partisans follow his example when they lose (or otherwise leave) office. While the first Republican to succeed O’Neill as Speaker seems to have made the nation’s capital his home, I’ve often thought that a greater percentage of former Republican lawmakers return to their jurisdictions than do Democrats. It’s just a thought, but given our philosophy that government should play only a limited role in our lives.
But, then again, given how Republicans of late have lost sight of that philosophy, maybe they remain in the nation’s capital, still sucking at the political teat.
It would be interesting to see if anyone had ever studied this. For now, I’ll just put the thought out there for discussion — and perhaps some diligent reader can google to see if there’s any date to support (or dismiss) my notion.
(BTW, this idea crossed my mind as I was pondering the post which should lead this on the first Monday of June, hence the absence of links and the question mark in the title. It’s more a question than a conclusion.)