January 22, 2007

In case you missed it: R.I.P. Senator Smathers

I assume you missed the obituary pages this weekend and thus might not have noticed that George A. Smathers, former Senator from the State of Florida has died. Smathers took a lot of very conservative positions regarding Civil Rights and in noting his passing I am in no way endorsing his positions. But he did do two things we should note.

First, we should all be thankful that he insisted that all federal holidays be moved to Mondays. He created the modern three day weekend! Thanks, George!

Second, he said the funniest thing I have ever seen in politics and I reproduce it here. He denied saying it by the way. But, it was reported that in the middle of a contentious race for the Senate, he used to say of his opponent, Claude Pepper, to some not terribly well educated audiences, the following:

Do you know that Claude Pepper is known all over Washington as a shameless extrovert? Not only that, but this man is reliably reported to practice nepotism with his sister-in-law and he has a sister who was once a thespian in wicked New York. Worst of all, it is an established fact that Mr. Pepper, before his marriage, habitually practiced celibacy.

Politicians were so much more clever in the really not too distant past.

I had trouble not laughing I was re-typing the quote, by the way.

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