Married to the “Dean” of Congress, Deborah Dingell is looking for her turn in the political light. Whose seat is she gunning for? Her husband’s.
John Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress, announced on Monday that he would be retiring at the end of the year instead of running for re-election. Dingell, who is 87, told the Detroit News that he felt that it was finally time for someone else to step in and represent his district. He also noted that this “do-nothing” Congress was not the group of leaders that he knew and loved. The lack of bipartisanship was distressing.
“Let us work together. What unites us is far greater than what divides us. No President should have to tell a Congress that if that august body cannot do its task he will do it by executive order.”
His wife has stated that she is not trying to “replace” her husband, rather that she has a drive to, “serve the people” of Michigan. Can she do it?
The pundits seem to think that she has a shot. She works as a consultant to the American Automobile Policy Council, working on policy for Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors. She knows her way around a campaign, too. She chaired several political campaigns, including Al Gore’s presidential campaign in Michigan.
Her husband, who had a lot of constituent support, says that she has always been his closest confidant, noting, “To be very truthful with you, I think she would be one hell of a good congresswoman. I happen to have seen her. She’s able and decent and smart and tough as hell and she has everything that we need to have in a good congresswoman who would represent a blue-collar working district like this.”
My favorite part about this whole situation? If Debbie Dingell wins, it will be the first time a husband and wife have held a seat back to back.
Bonus points: if she wins and spends nine terms in office, then a Dingell will have held this seat for 100 years – John’s father held the seat before John did.
Talk about a dynasty.