Friday, July 02, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1226, July 2nd, 2010



Thousands of mourners gathered today commemorate Robert C. Byrd, the iconic West Virginia senator who was celebrated as a student of history, devoted lawmaker and erudite orator whose history-making decades in office would serve as an example for generations. Former President Bill Clinton gave a rousing tribute that explored Byrd's onetime association with the Ku Klux Klan, saying it was the part of the life of someone who "was a country boy." "And maybe he did something he shouldn't have done. And he spent the rest of his life making it up. And that's what a good person does," Clinton said. "There are no perfect people. There certainly are no perfect politicians." Vicki Kennedy, the widow of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, praised Byrd for the evolution of his views over time. "Robert Byrd moved with our country, and he moved our country forward," Kennedy said. When he voted for the health care bill last year, and said on the Senate floor that he was doing so for his recently deceased friend, tears streamed down her face, Kennedy said, "Someone will take Robert Byrd's seat, but no one will ever fill his place," Kennedy said.
Byrd and Ted Kennedy were one time rivals in the Senate. Byrd defeated Kennedy for the position of Whip in the early 70s mainly because Kennedy was not paying attention to the details of the job. However through the years they became great friends. Every year on Byrd’s wedding anniversary Teddy Kennedy would trudge to the Senator’s office with a bucket of roses. When Kennedy died last August Byrd was inconsolable on the floor of the Senate. Many people, many in talk radio this week criticized Byrd’s contributions to the residents of West Virginia. But Byrd believed that government was supposed to help those who were disadvantaged. And if you ever traveled through some parts of West Virginia like I did when I was a boy, you knew those people, steeped in poverty, decimated by the mining industry needed someone’s help. Robert Byrd did the job. Well done. Rest in peace.
*Washington Post/LuLac combined.


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