And may I say how pitifully exuberant I am about this? Yippee! These people are finally gone from the halls of power.
"...Rhode Island Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy will retire after eight terms in office, bringing an end to his House career just months after his father, legendary Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, passed away.
"My father instilled in me a deep commitment to public service," Kennedy said in a video announcing his retirement. "Now having spent two decades in politics, my life has taken a new direction and I will not be a candidate for re-election this year."
Kennedy has easily held Rhode Island's 1st district since 1994 despite the occasional attempt by Republicans to knock him off.
Kennedy's time in Congress was decidedly uneven. He was rumored to be planning a Senate bid in 2000 but decided against running. He was tasked with chairing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in that same cycle with expectations within the party that they would seize back control of the House. It didn't happen.
After his stint at the DCCC, Kennedy took on a far less high-profile role in Congress -- emerging only infrequently and not always in the best light. In the spring of 2006 Kennedy crashed his car into a police barricade near Capitol Hill; he entered rehab for addiction and depression days later. Over the summer, Kennedy admitted himself to a rehabilitation facility again.
Patrick Kennedy's retirement means that for the first time in nearly five decades there will not be a member of the Kennedy family in Congress. His father, who served Massachusetts in the Senate for more than four decades, died on August 25.
Kennedy's seat, which includes the northeastern reaches of the state, is strongly Democratic. President Barack Obama won the seat by 32 points in 2008 while Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) carried it by 26 points in 2004.
Among the Democrats mentioned as possible Kennedy replacements include: Providence Mayor David Cicilline, Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts and state party chairman Bill Lynch.
State Rep. John Loughlin was already in the race on the Republican side.
Kennedy is the 14th Democrat to announce his retirement plans this cycle. Eighteen Republicans are retiring while Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is giving up his 25th district seat to run in for the 21st district being vacated by his brother -- retiring Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart."