It’s being reported that Sen. Max Baucus will not run for re-election in 2014.

Politico reports:

Montana Sen. Max Baucus will not seek reelection in 2014, becoming the latest senior red-state Democrat to bail out of a potentially difficult reelection campaign, a senior Democratic official confirmed to POLITICO.

Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, had nearly $5 million in the bank at the end of the first quarter but was expected to face a tough fight in his GOP-leaning home state.

Democratic strategists say that former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a populist two-term statewide official, is leaning toward running for the open seat.

According to Charlie Cook this moves the seat into the toss-up category. Philip Klein looks at the electoral implications of Baucus’s retirmed.

The Fix looks at a possible consequence of the Baucus retirement:

The Baucus retirement also could have dramatic policy ramifications. No longer bounded by his own 2014 re-election, Baucus can now push for comprehensive tax reform without concerns about the political ramifications, his allies say.

He and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), the term-limited chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, could jump-start tax reform with both men looking toward their legislative legacy rather than their political fallout within their respective caucuses.

Whether it was principle or contrarianism, Baucus lately found himself at odd with the Democratic majority in the Senate. According to the New York Times:

As recently as Friday, aides to Mr. Baucus indicated that he had no intention of retiring. He had amassed a $5 million campaign treasury and was in New York last week meeting with donors. His votes against gun legislation promoted by President Obama and against the Democratic leadership’s budget plan seemed calculated to appeal to conservative voters in his state.

But those votes isolated Mr. Baucus from other members of the Senate Democratic Caucus in ways reminiscent of 2001, when he infuriated Democrats by working with President George W. Bush to pass a 10-year, $1.35 trillion tax cut.

This week, over Mr. Baucus’s fierce opposition and without the Finance Committee’s imprimatur, Democratic leaders forced Internet sales tax legislation to the Senate floor. Montana is one of four states without a sales tax, and Mr. Baucus has tried to rally opposition to the Internet bill, which is championed by Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat.

Though Sen. Baucus helped introduce ObamaCare to the United States, he made news last week with his critique of Obamacare.

Baucus was involved in a scandal in late 2009 when he recommended his girlfriend for a job as U.S. Attorney.

There’s much more at memeorandum.


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