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Clock Strikes 13: Special Delivery from Krone

Phil Krone 30 June 2010 No Comment

I had the privilege of knowing Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, though he did not come to the Senate until two years after I served as a Page. But in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s I had many communications with him relating especially to Illinois. He had a great friend, Bill Perkins, one of the most effective, intelligent and honest lobbyists who divided much of his time between Washington and a few state capitols, Illinois being first and foremost.

From sometime in the 1980s until June or July of 2006 I had absolutely no contact with Senator Byrd, but on one day in the late Spring or early Summer of 2006 I had one conversation with him sandwiched between two with Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, that might have had an important behind the scenes role in the eventual nomination and election of Barack Obama. I will tell that story at a future date.

His historic passing as the oldest Senator in point of service was something he wished for and succeeded. He was that rare combination of a person with a view of the larger picture and attention to the smallest detail. He believed in the importance of substance, but also loved the value of symbolism.

His goal of being the longest living senator exceed that of being the oldest person to serve in the Senate, and while I believe he would have loved a vote to confirm Elena Kagan be his last hurrah, he achieved his major objective.

He will be succeeded but never replaced.

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Phil Krone is a special correspondent for the Chicago Daily Observer.

image Positively 13 O’Clock taken while playing at the world famous Lou Ann’s Teen Club in Dallas TX.

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