McConnell called Alexander “one of the most brilliant people” he has ever met.
Just moments later McConnell began to tear up as he discussed Alexander’s character.
“I myself have leaned on Lamar’s wisdom for many years, but I think I’ve learned just as much on his optimism, his can-do spirit, his ability to look on the bright side and then discern how some more hard work could make it brighter still,” McConnell said as he began to choke up.
He explained he is going to miss their “regular dinners” and “official one-drink limit.”
Mitch McConnell chokes up while honoring retiring Senator Lamar Alexander:
"I myself have leaned on Lamar’s wisdom for many years, but I think I have learned just as much on his optimism, his can-do spirit, his ability to look on the bright side." pic.twitter.com/T7l28gbKZ0
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) December 2, 2020
McConnell mentioned Alexander’s wife and recognized her as a “remarkable woman” and a “force of nature.”
He struggled to make it through his farewell to Alexander.
“I’m sorry that in a few more weeks it will just be the rest of us left, but you’re leaving this body and those of us in it and the nation it exists to serve stronger and better because you were here,” McConnell said.
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stepped in to offer his words of encouragement to Alexander.
“Senator Alexander and I have not always agreed, but what an amazing and capable legislator and true statesman he has been,” Schumer said.
He praised Alexander for being someone “who has been always willing and insistent on reaching across the aisle.”
During his farewell speech, Alexander focused on encouraging his colleagues to maintain the traditions of the Senate and defending the filibuster.
“Ending the filibuster would destroy the impetus for forcing the broad agreements I’ve been talking about and it would unleash the tyranny of the majority to steamroll the rights of the minority,” Alexander said.
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