Kyl Retiring

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Politico reports that Jon Kyl won’t seek re-election in 2012.

If true, this is a big loss for the GOP in the Senate, as Kyl is one of their toughest cross-aisle knife fighters. It’s also a loss for conservatives, as Kyl has overtly and covertly advanced their cause as effectively as any Senator over the last 15 years.

Re-election wouldn’t have been a problem–Kyl won in the Dem wave of 2006 with 53% of the vote. So the question is why give up the GOP’s number two-spot in the Senate? He made a two-term promise when first elected, then broke it to serve his current third term. His agenda, including repeal of the estate tax and other classic conservative measures, is far from complete. He’ll be 70 in Nov. 2012.

Perhaps he just wants to retire. Or maybe he has a better job lined up. It’s hard to picture him as a lobbyist. Governor of Arizona I could see but Jan Brewer just won re-election. Given his mastery of the behind-the-scenes maneuver–he was behind the demise of Harriet Miers’ Supreme Court nomination–anyone in a job Jon Kyl wants should watch his or her back.