August 30, 2009
COLUMBUS: Will Rogers would have enjoyed talking and joking with Senator Kennedy, just as he did Huey Long, Reed Smoot, Joe Grundy, Jim Reed, and all the other humorists in the Senate.
One thing in common all the speakers said about Ted Kennedy was that he liked to laugh. It seemed that he treated debate in the Senate like a mock debate in college; when it was over he would hug his “opponent” and joke about how they had done.
The quotes below were not about Ted Kennedy, but they probably could have been.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
“You know I like to make little jokes and kid about the Senators. They are a kind of a never ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement. But the Rascals, when you meet ‘em face to face and know ‘em, they are mighty nice fellows. It must be something in the office that makes ‘em so ornery sometimes. When you see what they do officially you want to shoot ‘em, but when one looks at you and grins so innocently, why you kinder want to kiss him.” WA #345, Aug. 4, 1929
“Well, visited the Senate Saturday and renewed many pleasant acquaintances. They are a fine bunch of fellows when you take into consideration the amount of things the people lay onto ‘em. They rant at each other in there, then come out and are good friends.” DT #2336, Jan. 28, 1934
“Funny thing about being a U. S. Senator, the only thing the law says you have to be is 30 years old. Not another single requirement necessary. They just figure that a man that old got nobody to blame but himself if he gets caught in there.” DT #2770, June 21, 1935
“We lost a mighty good ex-Senator out here this week. James Phelan, a philanthropist, a scholar, a patron of the arts and a gentleman; with these qualifications, naturally a Democrat.” DT #1262, August 11, 1930
“There is an old legend that years ago there was a man elected to Congress who voted according to his own conscience.” Notes, 1919
“You may ask: Isn’t the Presidency higher than Senator? Well, no! The Senate can make a sucker out of any President, and generally does.” Republican Convention, Article #6, June 8, 1920
“The trouble with Senators is that the ones that ought to get out, don’t.” WA #323, March 3, 1929
“The Senate opened at twelve o’clock. Huey (Long) grabbed ‘em by the ears at 12:05 and shook ‘em till four o’clock. Well, when he turned ‘em loose they was ready to go home and behave themselves.” DT #2637, Jan. 17, 1935
Randall Reeder is Will Rogers Today
Need a Speaker? Hurry up and hire me before I die... again.