Morgenthau running for re-election in 2009 at age 90, is it time for him to retire?
Legendary longtime Manhattan (New York Co.) District Attorney Robert Morgenthau is raising money for yet another re-election in 2009. By election day 2009, Morgenthau will be 90 years old. He is expected to again face pro-death penalty Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder. The question is how old is too old? Is it time for Morgenthau to retire? Is it responsible to have someone ninety years old running the largest D.A's office in the country?
When you have an office that is not term limited and you have incumbents whose re-elections are almost automatic, you end up with people who have lifetime jobs. Strom Thurmond was South Carolina's U.S. Senator until he was 100, and got re-elected the last time at 94 even though he was wheelchair bound much of the time and on a respirator. Edward Kennedy and Robert Byrd, similarly, have their jobs for life if they want them. This regardless of whether they ever get in poor health, go blind, senile or get dementia.
I think Morgenthau has had a great career and I supported him last time even though he was 86. But he really ought to retire. The older Morgenthau gets, the more people are going to wonder who is really doing the work and making the decisions in his office. There is also the question of how entrenched in power he has to be after all these years, with people who have worked for him down at the D.A's office for decades. I'd think that it is healthy to have change and turnover now and again.
The problem is that Leslie Crocker Synder wasn't all that appealing of a candidate last time and I doubt she could win if she runs again. I wonder if someone else would dare to run, and buck the system, against the almighty Morgenthau. He shouldn't expect to have this office until he dies.
What is needed is someone well known to run against Morgenthau. On another site, it was mentioned that Norman Siegel might run for Public Advocate again. Maybe he ought to run for D.A. instead. Anyone have any other ideas?
But it is probably moot, Morgenthau will be getting re-elected again in ten years when he's a hundred. Incumbents don't lose and he is too powerful.