After 28 years, John Warner will call it quits in 2009, after his fifth Senate term. The GOP stalwart who recently parted ways with President Bush on Iraq strategy announced his retirement today, sending Virginia Democrats and Republicans alike into a tizzy, the Washington Post reports. "I'm going to quietly step aside," said the 80-year-old military-policy expert.
Warner, who said he made up his mind "in the last day or two," did not comment on the mayhem his retirement is causing. Having captured a Republican seat in 2006, Democrats are eager to turn the red state blue. They immediately criticized the GOP hopefuls—including an ex-governor and a current Congressman—expected to vie for Warner's seat.