Marc Ambinder thinks that Ohio Senator George Voinovich’s not-unexpected decision not to seek a third term in the Senate could be liberating:
Voinovich’s retirement clears the way for him to vote his conscience over the next two years without much regard for the exigencies of party discipline. Democrats believe that he might be willing to part company with GOP orthodoxy on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), although the ideological tincture of “Voinovich Unfettered” is unknown.
Voinovich has always been pretty independent-minded–frequently parting ways with his party over tax cuts, for instance. (In April, 2000, he was also one of only two Republicans to vote against the GOP budget; a few months later, he was one of only four who voted against repealing the estate tax, and the only one to oppose marriage penalty relief.)
But Ohio Republican sources are skeptical that he would ever support the Employee Free Choice Act. “Not in a million years,” one of them told me. More likely, they say, this decision could make it easier for Voinovich to support Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan.
UPDATE: From commenter Kathy: aaagh: “Voinovich’s retirement clears the way for him to vote his conscience ” What a lot is said in that statement.