Tuesday was a difficult evening. Many of my friends and colleagues will not be returning to Washington. There are dynamics in each of their own districts that caused that to happen. I do not mean to question the voters, only to say that it has been an honor to serve with some of these men and women, and I will miss some friends.
Chief among those is my friend, Congressman Ike Skelton. Many times in this newsletter I have talked about his friendship and counsel. He is the Dean of the Missouri delegation, and is respected and admired by soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines across the globe.
He is a kind and gentle man. He is a man whose 34 years of service to our nation should be revered and understood for what it was --- heroic.
Ike was unable to serve in battle like so many of his peers, because polio had crippled his arm when he was a child. His father, also named Ike, and President Truman were friends, and the President called him “Little Ike”. I performed the funeral for his late wife Suzie, and was able to perform his wedding to his longtime friend Patty a few years later.
Our politics were not always the same, but he is a good friend and I will miss sitting next to him on the floor.
In reflecting on Tuesday, that is perhaps what strikes me the most. So many were turned down not because of who they were or what they stood for, but because of their party.
We all need to do some soul searching over these results. Democracy works, although not always easily, and a new path will be found. I stand ready to work, as always with my friends on the other side of the aisle. Luckily, they all know that about me so this is not something new to any of them.
Thank you to all who came out to vote, regardless of who you voted for on Tuesday. I continue to be honored to serve each of you in Congress.
Friday, November 05, 2010
Cleaver pays tribute to Ike Skelton
In his weekly EC from DC column, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., pays tribute to long-time colleague Ike Skelton, who lost his re-election bid Tuesday night: