Monday, July 5, 2010

Sen. Byrd

Craning their necks and clapping to Appalachian music, West Virginians bid farewell Friday to Robert C. Byrd, their beloved senator who rose from childhood poverty in a coal-mining town to become the nation's longest-serving member of Congress.

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton and other dignitaries watched as Byrd's casket was carried down the red-carpeted steps of the state Capitol, where he began his political career in 1947. Byrd, who died Monday at 92, never lost an election.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader Byrd changed his publicly espoused views on race only because he wanted to remain politically viable.

There can be no doubt that he would have stuck with his original racist views had the Nazis won World War II.

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