Luther Strange, who rose to the status of U.S. Senator less than a year ago, said his goodbyes to the chamber Thursday in a 25-minute address that urged more bipartisanship from a bitterly divided body of lawmakers.
Strange's tenure in the Senate was short. The man who appointed him has since resigned from the governor's office and Strange, himself, has found his own days numbered after being defeated in a special election primary for the Republican nomination.
His speech, titled "A return to the Marble Room", touched on Strange's growing up years including his childhood in marble-rich Sylacauga, his political life, the history of the Senate, and its future without him.
Here are some of the excerpts from his speech:
“The idea that the chaos and upheaval that we see today are somehow unique falls flat in the face of monumental history. Pundits and politicians are too quick to speak in superlatives, but chaos and change are nothing new. The Senate was designed to endure, and rooms of marble are built to last.”
“Our generation of leaders will be judged by history on whether we strove to heal the divisions of this body and our nation. … And yet, compromise has become a dirty word in American politics, and it’s a serious threat to our hopes of advancing meaningful policy.”
“It is easy for those outside this chamber to insist that they know what should be done. As long as we remain so deeply divided, these outside voices will always win."
"I am convinced - the worthiest cause we can join today is a return to the collegiality, the pragmatism, and yes, the compromise, of the Marble Room.”
In less than a week a new man will be elected to fill the seat Alabama's former attorney general had hoped to hold.
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