The Campaign Spot

He Was Always a True Friend When You Had to Be at a Fundraiser

I’m pretty sure Eleanor Clift thinks this was one of Robert Byrd’s charming attributes:

He also had a small ledger that his aides called “The List.” He had beaten back a challenge to his leadership in 1984 by keeping a running list of senators who supported him, and rewarding them with committee assignments. But the list wasn’t just a campaign tool; he kept an ongoing tally of his friends, using his power to convene and adjourn the Senate to accommodate an ally with a fundraiser to attend or, conversely, adjusting the schedule to make opponents think twice about the decision.

Aw, what a guy. Don’t we all wish we had a buddy who could adjourn one chamber of the legislative branch when we absolutely, positively had to be at a fundraiser that night?

Cue Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me . . .”


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