After all of the posturing and invective, it all came down to a videotape.
Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay announced via videotape this morning that he will be vacating his suburban Houston House seat and will not seek re-election in the fall. This is an election for which he has already won the Republican primary.
Was this because he is going into the private sector? No, because people under indictment usually aren't at the top of the list for private sector jobs. Did he want to spend more time with his family? No, as he will more than likely see the inside of a courtroom more often than the Delay clan in the coming months.
The reason he quit was political cowardice. Instead of suffering the indignity of losing an election based on TX-22's view of his shady dealings with Jack Abramoff and Co., he decided to take his political marbles and go home. He chose the "honorable" path of political suicide rather than see his seat, with him sitting in it, be turned over to a Democrat by the voters of the 22nd District. To demonstrate the point, he quit via videotape, thereby insuring that he never had to face the media and answer a question honestly.
For someone as haughty and arrogant as DeLay, it is indeed ironic that he chose, in the political equivalent of the 11th hour, to take the coward's way out. Apparently, the smile on his mugshot was not enough to convince the voters of his district that he has no character flaws.
I would be completely naive if I believed that Tom DeLay's PAC largesse towards the Republican Party is suddenly going to stop given this announcement. His videotaped message came very close to stating that it would be business as usual with regard to GOP fundraising, and that's a business that currently finds him squarely in Ronnie Earle's crosshairs.