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Robert Byrd gir seg aldri

I USA er det svært vanlig at politikere i Representantenes Hus og Senatet fortsetter lenge etter at de er fylt 70 år, eller som i Robert Byrds tilfelle, rett og slett aldri gir seg. I år stiller Byrd til valg for sin 9. periode i Senatet, i en alder av 88 år!

Fra biografien siterer vi: "Byrd is currently serving his eighth six-year term in the Senate, which ends in January 2007. He will become the longest serving Senator in American history on June 10, 2006; passing Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. He already holds the record for the longest unbroken tenure in the Senate (Thurmond served 48 years, but stepped down from April to November 1956). Byrd announced on September 27, 2005 at the State House in Charleston that he is running for a historic ninth term in 2006; should he win re-election and continue to serve through 2011, he will pass Carl Hayden of Arizona as the longest-serving member of both houses of Congress. Hayden served 57 years in Congress (in the House from 1912-1927 and the Senate from 1927-1969); if Byrd wins reelection and serves the full term, he will have served 60 years (and he will be 96 years of age at that time, which would make him the second oldest Senator in US history). Byrd has cast a total of 17,509 votes as of December 31, 2005 far and away the most of any senator in United States history."

En annen legende i Senatet stiller også til gjenvalg i år, seniorsenator fra Massachusetts, Edward Kennedy, som har vært senator siden 1962.

Politisk pensjonsalder er det ingen som snakker om i USA, og etter å ha sett Byrd i aksjon i Senatet må jeg si han virker langt mer oppegående enn våre hjemlige og mye yngre stortingsrepresentanter. Politikere holder rett og slett høyere standard i engelsktalende land.


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