Barbara Boxer Picks a Hilarious Way to Retire – With a Rhyme

PHOTO: Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., talks with Senators during a meeting of the Senate Climate Action Task Force prior to taking to the Senate Floor all night to urge action on climate change.Evan Vucci/AP Photo
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., talks with Senators during a meeting of the Senate Climate Action Task Force prior to taking to the Senate Floor all night to urge action on climate change, March 10, 2014, in Washington.

When Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, steps down, here’s hoping she’ll spend a bit of her newfound free time writing verse. And if the rhyme she used to announce her planned exit from the Senate in 2016 is any indication, she probably will.

Here’s how Boxer announced that after 22 years in the Senate she won’t run for a fifth term:

“The Senate is the place where I’ve always made my case for families, for the planet, and the human race. More than 20 years in a job I love, thanks to California and the lord above. So although I won’t be working for my Senate space and I won’t be running in that next tough race, as long as there are issues and challenges and strife, I will never retire, cause that’s the meaning of my life.”

A longtime supporter of the environment, gun control, and abortion rights, Boxer says partisan gridlock wasn’t a factor in her decision – nor was her age.

“Here’s the thing: Some people are old at 40 and some people are young at 80. It depends on the person. For me, I feel as young as I did when I got elected,” Boxer, 74, said in a video starring her eldest grandson, who she appointed to “sit in” for the reporters who have been hounding her on Capitol Hill.

Though the veteran California Democrat said she would not be running for re-election in 2016, she hinted that her work would go on: “I am never going to retire.”

Boxer’s announcement caught even prominent Democrats by surprise like House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, also from California, who seemed startled.

“What?” she exclaimed. “It’s funny, she called me and said she wanted to talk to me personally. I thought maybe she wanted to have dinner tonight or something. Oh my.”

“She's really a great leader for our country – small in size but a giant in terms of her contribution to the country,” Pelosi added. “I wish the best for her in that regard personally. Officially, I think it’s a big loss for the country. But she knows her timetable."

Boxer’s announcement precedes what will likely be an all-out brawl in the Golden State, which hasn’t had an open Senate seat in over two decades. (Dianne Feinstein, California’s senior senator, has been in office since 1992.) The 2016 contest promises to be the greatest test to date of California’s jungle primary, a system the state adopted in 2010 that mandates the top two candidates – no matter what party they support – face off in the general election.

But let’s save the politics for later. In honor of Boxer’s announcement, we wrote a poem of our own.

She has a knack for poetry and served the Senate notably. It’s not that she’s a senior, or that Congress has gotten meaner. But from what we have seen, Boxer’s not running in 2016.