Thank you, Frank Lautenberg. For so much. For meeting a blustering Chris Christie with characteristic gristle when so many other younger but not stronger Democrats were unable to. For leading the fight for common sense policies on some of what threatens us – including high-capacity gun magazines, and the chemical alleyways that line some of our highways. The chattering class pegs Chris Christie as typical of New Jersey – brash, a little rude, powerful. But I think you’re a better emblem for what we really are, and not what reality TV simpletons and misguided columnists make New Jersey out to be. No, I’ll choose you – a tough old bird, decent and still quick, kicker of cancer ass, who’s had the time of his life in Congress – twice. Lucky man. Lucky us. Thank you, Senator.
“I am not announcing the end of anything. I am announcing the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey,” Lautenberg told the Star-Ledger. “While I may not be seeking re-election, there is plenty of work to do before the end of this term and I’m going to keep fighting as hard as ever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.”
Lautenberg’s statement, just sent to press, includes more on his plan to formalize this announcement: “I will be traveling to my hometown of Paterson tomorrow to announce that I will not seek re-election in 2014.”