First it was Arlen Specter announcing that he was switching parties explicitly because he didn't think he could be reelected as a Republican. Next, of course, it was Sarah Palin eschewing politics as usual by vacating the Alaska governor's mansion eighteen months before the conclusion of her term. Now, it's Florida Senator Mel Martinez, who'd already announced he wasn't running for reelection in 2010, following Homer Simpson's immortal dictum "If at first you don't succeed, give up" by quitting office early. His reason? "[A]fter nearly twelve years of public service in Florida and Washington, it's time I return to Florida and my family." 

It seems like rather bad timing for the GOP to have arguably its most prominent Hispanic member announce his resignation less than 24 hours after Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed to the Supreme Court. More interesting, though, is what it means for Charlie Crist, who'd already announced he was running for Martinez's seat and is now in the position of having to name an interim replacement. Something tells me it's not going to be Marco Rubio...

--Christopher Orr