Monday, 19 November 2007
We knew that the former Speaker was not going to seek re-election in next November's elections, and there had been hints that he would retire earlier. Last week Dennis Hastert announced that he would stand down, probably before the end of December.
His announcement can be found in the Congressional Record http://www.gpoaccess.gov/crecord/index.html for 15th November. Hastert was Speaker from 1999 to 2007. He had previously been Tom DeLay's chief vote counter as the Chief Deputy Whip (1995-99)
It is claimed that in "West Wing", the powerful and very conservative Speaker, Glen Allen Walken was very loosely based on Hastert. Hastert may have been referenced in the episode "War Crimes" [Season 3 Episode 5] when Sam Seaborn stated that the Speaker was from Illinois (though Walken was revealed to have subsequently taken over from the nameless Illinois Speaker, and that he himself was actually from Missouri).
Hastert's autobiography "Speaker" is very readable!