Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida is retiring after only one term. President Bush and Karl Rove plucked him from the Cabinet in 2004 to run in the Sunshine State’s competitive Senate race, helping to build the GOP’s (short-lived) 55-seat majority.
On the one hand, this looks like more of the same: Another Republican who could conceivably be reelected is throwing a seat to the wolves rather than toiling in the minority. On the other, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a Republican candidate who fires up the party’s base — still a significant force in Florida — better than Mel Martinez.
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