A rare breed just got rarer. Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina, one of the few remaining white Southern Democrats in the House, has announced he will retire rather than run in what was expected to his toughest race yet.
Shuler is a leader of the so-called Blue Dog Democrats, a shrinking coalition of moderates who were known for, among other things, causing headaches for Nancy Pelosi during her years as speaker.
Shuler launched a doomed bid against the California Democrat for the minority leader post in 2010. He got 43 votes.
The Heisman Trophy runner-up and former Washington Redskins quarterback was first elected to the House in the Democratic wave of 2006. But he...