TRIBUTE TO SENATOR JOHN WARNER -- (Senate - September 27, 2008)
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Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I am deeply humbled like my dear friend, PETE DOMENICI. I don't know if I am going to measure the courage to say goodbye to the Senate, but that will wait until next week.
But I remember going back to a day when the Republican leader, then Bob Dole, came to me. I adored him, as I do to this day. He said to me: You need to do something for the Senate.
I said: What is that?
He said: I want you to give up your seat on the Rules Committee because the Senate has been joined by a young man who I believe can best serve the Senate--because of the complexities of the rules of the Senate, because of the problems that face the Senate--if he were to serve on this committee. Senator Dole said: I will assure you if you wish to return you may do so without loss of seniority or otherwise.
So I said: Who is this man?
And he described him.
I said: Well, if that is for the best interests of the Senate, I will step down.
I did, and you, MITCH McCONNELL, joined the Rules Committee. Not long after that, Dole again expressed his appreciation to me, and he said: You
know, I predict that someday that man will become the Republican leader of the Senate.
I was a bit taken aback. I hadn't been here that long, but that is quite a prediction for someone to make.
Well, it has come true. It is almost as if the hand of Providence has directed it because here, in these final hours, these final days that my dear friend, Senator Domenici and I will serve in this institution, we will be a part of making a decision, a decision with regard to the future of America and our economy. It is a decision of a magnitude that I am not sure any other Senate has made in its 218-year history, save perhaps during the Civil War, a decision that this body will make affecting every single American--every single American.
I just say in concluding, the Senate, the country is fortunate to have you and others in the leadership role in this institution today, on both sides of the aisle, to guide us through to make that decision. That comes from my heart.
Good luck, God bless you, bless the leadership of the Senate and every Member of this institution as we assemble within the coming days, each of us in our seat, to cast this most important vote.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.