Former House Speaker Said to Leave Seat Before End of Year...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2007, 8:12pm PT  

Says Roll Call late tonight:

Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) is expected to announce Thursday that he is resigning his seat in Congress effective later this year, eventually setting up a special election to succeed him, knowledgeable GOP sources said late Wednesday.

Gosh, we hope it doesn't have anything to do with this old chestnut, which we updated a bit yesterday, along with a promise of more to come soon. But who knows?

Swing State Project offers a bit more detail from the RC article which hides behind the pay curtain:

Rumblings have persisted for months that Hastert, who announced this summer that he would not seek re-election in 2008, was unlikely to complete his current term.

This week Hastert met with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and was making calls to tell people of his decision on Wednesday morning.

They're just dropping like flies aren't they? Answer: Yes, but not nearly enough of 'em, and not nearly fast enough.

(Hat-tip for all of the above to our buddy Arlen Parsa over at The Daily Background.)

UPDATE 10/19/07: Hastert announced he will not run again, but has yet to give official word on whether he'll leave early or not. AP reports the delay in stepping down may be due to a fear that a Special Election during the February '08 primary may have a huge Dem turnout due to Illinois' favorite son, Barrack Obama, on the Presidential Primary ballot.

But with no official announcement yet, MSNBC asked after a flurry of "Hastert to Resign" reports, "Is Hastert really quitting?". "Not at this time," they are told, but adding that another source says otherwise:

The source says that Hastert is "definitely going to resign," but that it won't happen be announced [sic] officially for a couple of months or so.

Incidentally, Hastert has lost about 60 pounds and looks like a completely different person.

True. See the photo at left!