"No One-Note Charlie"

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RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA: After 24 years in Congress, North Carolina Representative Charlie Rose announced he will not seek re-election. First elected to the state's 7th District in 1972, Rose was a staunch supporter of the state's tobacco farmers and will be sorely missed, says TIME's Lisa Towle: "The part of the state he represented was very pleased with his performance and his clout increased over 24 years in Washington. He was a strong advocate for the state's small tobacco farmers, and they'll be sorry to see him go." But, Towle notes, "He was not just a one-note Charlie. He was an effective representative for all his constituents, and also helped found C-SPAN." The 38th House member and the 25th Democrat declining to run for re-election, Rose is part of the wave of moderates on both sides of the aisle who are leaving because of the current highly-polarized atmosphere in Congress, says Towle: "For Rose and a number of retiring members, like Pat Schroeder and Nancy Kassebaum, the energy for the fight has really waned. More and more, Congress is being conducted in a kind of no holds barred atmosphere that has really alienated a number of these people who now feel that the headaches are too many and the rewards too few."