Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Jovial Democratic Senators Greet Obama

By Paul Kane
For last year's state of the union, the Senate was a twitter with the reverberations of Edward M. Kennedy's (Mass.) endorsement of then-Sen. Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential primary. As senators gathered last Jan. 28, 2008, to walk over to the House together, Obama made a B-line for Kennedy's side so that they could be next to each other during the last of George W. Bush's presidential addresses to Congress -- leading to questions about whether Obama snubbed his rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

It was a much different atmosphere tonight as the senators gathered in their chamber: no tension, no pressure, just jovial talk and the cobbling together of little sub-cliques of lawmakers that resembles something akin to junior high school.

At the front of the line were all the smart kids, otherwise known as the bipartisan leadership of the Senate, such as Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). In the middle of the pack are the over-achievers, the savvy veterans who are chairmen or top Republicans on committees, such as Sen. John "Jay" Rockefeller III (D-W. Va.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

And then in the back of the pack were the new kids on the block, laughing and giggling but trying not to get in trouble, the classes of 2006 and 2008. There at the back of the line Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), elected in 2006 and on his way to his third such presidential address, was bellowing out instructions to the newest crop of senators -- Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Jean Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), all elected last November and attending their first ever presidential address to a joint session of Congress.

Finally, Vice President Biden, acting in his capacity as president of the Senate, arrived just before 8:40 p.m. and led the pack of his former colleagues across the Capitol for Obama's speech.

Several senators were not present, most prominently Kennedy, whose battle with brain cancer has made his appearances in the Capitol sporadic.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 24, 2009; 9:46 PM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama Moves from the Abstract to the Particular
Next: Obama and Hillary Bury the Snub Once and For All

Comments

"... Obama made a B-line for Kennedy's side so that they could be next to each other..."

I think that's supposed to be "bee-line."

Posted by: nathanirwin | February 25, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company