Tuesday, December 17, 2002

What’s Byrd Got to Say About it

Trent Lott justifiably caught hell for his remarks at Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday party. But what did the other celebrants have to say?

I’m thinking in particular Senator Robert Byrd, the “Conscience of the Senate.”

Byrd is well known for his reverence of the U.S. Senate and those who serve in it. Surely he had something to say about the Senate’s longest serving member.

As it turns out he did speak on that occasion. According to The State in South Carolina, Senator Byrd expressed regret that Thurmond, the former Democrat, switched parties in 1964:

"Our loss, your gain," Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., told Republicans in the chamber.

And there’s more, although no transcript seems to be available. According to the paper Byrd offered one of the most emotional tributes to Thurmond of the evening. You don’t suppose there were some comments that, in the harsh light of day, might sound a bit . . . say, out-of-date?

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