Tuesday, February 16, 2010

#2: Robert Byrd

Well kids, it's time for another exciting edition of "Meet the Congressor!" And, since I've decided I care more about the Senate than the House, it's time for another Senator, and we're starting from the top!

This week, we're learning about Mr. Robert Byrd, the oldest and longest-serving current member of Congress. Hailing from West Virginia, Bob was born while World War I was still in full swing, and has been serving in the Senate since 1959-- the first person to have broken the 50-year mark in Congress.

To put this in perspective, Byrd's been serving in the Senate since before the Kennedy assasination, the moon landing, and the Cold war. When he was first elected, President Obama hadn't even been born yet. Yea. It's been a long time, which makes me wonder why we don't have Senatorial term limits.

Currently, he serves as both the Dean and the President of the Senate, which places him 3rd in line for Presidential succession, behind Joe and Nancy. Although seeing that he's 92 years old, I seriously doubt we'll see the day he makes it to the Oval office. Sorry Bobby.

As a Democrat, Byrd has served as a whip, minority leader, majority leader, as well as other party leadership positions. Byrd also held leadership roles in the Ku Klux Klan, of which he was a member as a younger man, reaching the title of "Exalted Cyclops." I don't know what that means, but it sounds creepy and makes me think of this guy:Yech John Goodman is so scary in that movie! Seriously, seriously bad news.

Anyway, to round things off, here is a list of bonus factoids about Senator Byrd:

1. Often called the "King of Pork," for the billions in Federal funds he's routed to pork projects in home state.
2. Served as Senate president pro tempore 4 times
3. Named PETA's 2007 person of the Year for his speech against dog-fighting.
4. Married to his high-school sweetheart, Erma, for nearly 70 years until her death in 2006.
5. Filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Amendment with other southern Senators, something he now claims to regret.
6. Strongly opposed the Iraq war from the beginning.
7. Played the fiddle in a square dance band.

A complicated guy huh?

And yes, this did all come from Wikipedia.


  1. Love this. Thank you! And seriously--how in touch are these senators that have been in office for 50 years? Geez.

  2. Crazy, third to the president and I did not even know who he was. I wonder if he stays in just to set a record?