Torricelli's Anniversary: A Speech for the Ages
It's been six years to the day since former New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Torricelli resigned his seat, delivering one of the most memorably bad speeches in modern American political history.
Thanks to the Post's Paul Kane, who observes this day each year by sending around the text of the Torch's resignation speech to a handful of folks who followed his career closely, we never forget to honor what is -- without question -- our favorite address in the decade or so we have been covering politics.
The New York Times -- bless them! -- still has the full speech online but we have excerpted the best of the best below for the consumption of Fixistas. It was tough to leave anything from this incredibly good/bad speech on the cutting room floor but that's why they pay The Fix the small bucks.
• Torricelli's recounting of running into Egyptian President Anwar Sadat as a young man: "He said, 'Son, who are you?' I said, 'I'm Bob Torricelli.' And he said to me, 'What is it you want to do with your life?' I said, 'Mr. President, I'm going to be a member of the United States Congress.'"
• His "self deprecation" about elected office: "In public life, if you actually seek more than satisfaction for yourself in the things you achieve, you will always be frustrated. I've never been frustrated, because it's enough for me."
• A recitation of his accomplishments -- a long list: "Somewhere today in one of several hospitals in New Jersey, some woman's life is going to be changed because of the mammography centers that I created for thousands of women. Somewhere tonight in Bergen County, if a women is beaten, if she fears for her child, she'll spend the night in a center that I created for abused children so they can be safe. Somewhere today, because I changed the gun laws, a man who would abuse his wife will never own a weapon, and somebody will live. Some child in Bergen County will play in a park that I funded, in land that I saved. Somewhere all over New Jersey, some senior citizen who doesn't even know my name and nothing about what we're going today will live in a senior center that I helped to build."
• A Life-Changer: "That's my life. Don't feel badly for me; I changed people's lives. I'm proud of every day of it. And I wouldn't change a bit of it."
• Torch and Bubba: "President Clinton called several times today from Great Britain. We recalled all the fights that we were in together, all the times I went to the White House and told him in the darkest days that what I admired about him is that 'You never give up. You never compromise, you never stop, you never give up.' The phone connection wasn't the best, but I could hear his voice crack. I admire that man so much."
• Forgiveness: "When we did become such an unforgiving people? How we did we become a society when a person can build credibility your entire life to have it questioned by someone whose word is of no value at all? When did we stop believing in and trusting in each other?"
September 30, 2008; 5:55 PM ET
Categories: Democratic Party , Senate
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