It wasn’t really Harry Truman who said, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” And if he had, he would have been wrong. Though the nation’s capital has no shortage of egos, misanthropes, and bores — inside and outside the corridors of power — it has its share of engaging personalities as well. If you can’t enjoy common ground with at least a few, you’re probably not trying very hard.
Senator Daniel Inouye, a Democrat who passed away last week after representing Hawaii in Congress for over 50 years, counted more friends than most. In one of his last public appearances, he spoke a month ago at a memorial service for New Hampshire GOP Senator Warren Rudman. Their friendship was unusual, given the geography and ideology that separated the two. Yet it was emblematic of the personal bonds that used to be quite common and strong among US senators.