The one thing missing from U.S. Rep. Dan Boren’s announcement that he won’t run again for his congressional seat in 2012 is a credible reason for why he made the decision.
Here’s Boren, in his own press statement, about his decision:
I have made the decision not to seek re-election next year for another term in Congress. This is not an easy decision for me. It was based on the demands of constant campaigning, and most importantly spending too much time away from my family which includes two very young children.
The standard “spend-more-time-with-my-family” line has been used so much by “retiring” politicians and other public leaders it should demand immediate scrutiny by the corporate media here. This especially holds true in this case. Boren, a Democrat, is only 37 and just in his fourth term. He has two small children, including an eight-month-old, but surely he has the physical energy and campaign apparatus to run again and also have quality family time.
So it comes down to this: Either Boren believes it’s highly unlikely he can win in 2012 or there’s some other reason he’s not running.
Boren told the media he would have been “successful” had he decided to run again. Is that really the case or just political hyperbole? As we know, 2012 is a presidential election year, and the anti-Obama hysteria, fueled by the biased corporate media here, will bring out the Republicans in droves. Still, given that Boren is a leading Blue Dog Democrat, voting the same as Republicans on many issues, one wonders if it really matters. Boren also has name recognition and the advantage of an incumbent. In the end, he could have always switched parties.
Is there another reason he’s not running? This is the interesting question. Giving up one of the most interesting and powerful jobs in our society can’t be an easy thing to do. Does he have a job lined up?
No matter what his reason, Boren is really at the center of what perplexes Democrats in Oklahoma. Boren’s positions on most issues, including health care, are essentially Republican stances. For Democrats, the question becomes whether it’s worth trying to elect a Republican posing as a Democrat in District 2 or run a more progressive candidate, who will probably lose. Boren is the lone “Democrat” in Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation.
Brad Carson, who held the seat before, says he’s going to run. Former state Sen. Kenneth Corn has also been mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate for the seat. Pete Regan, who once ran for lieutenant governor here, and state Sen. Jim Wilson have been mentioned as well. But no matter who runs or who is still standing after the primaries, it will divide Democrats. The Republican Party, which won every statewide office last election, marches on.