The retiring but hardly shy Christoper Dodd is one of several poster boys for those who stay too long in Washington. He is a prime argument in favor of term limits. Dodd, the former drinking and carousing buddy of the late Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, got sweetheart mortgages and plenty of other personal perks as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Had it not been for this and other questionable acts, Dodd would no doubt have pursued a sixth senate term.

Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota is another Democrat who is quitting. In his case, as well as Dodd's, polls showed that both men were likely to lose in November. -- At least they didn't use the tired explanation that they were leaving to spend more time with their families. Although, Dodd did give it a nod when he spoke on the front porch of his home in Connecticut today.

Republicans will find it a nearly impossible task to win Dodd's seat, because Connecticut is a very blue state, but they might do better capturing Dorgan's seat. Both parties have senators who are leaving or must defend their seats in the next election. The public mood is sour and those in charge tend to suffer more than the out of power party. It's a long way to the next election and anything can happen. It probably will.

Cal Thomas is the nation's most widely syndicated newspaper columnist and a Fox News contributor.