Thomas Foley

Paragon of bipartisanship

There was something especially poignant about former House Speaker Tom Foley's passing shortly after the bitter hostility of the government shutdown. Foley believed in negotiating. He had negotiated as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. As he rose in the House Democratic leadership, he was consistently the least partisan member. Part of his conciliatory approach was personality, part geography, part what he learned from his mentors, part legislative experience.

Foley, who died on Oct. 18 at 84, was a great storyteller and could keep his fellow legislators relaxed and laughing through an extended series of anecdotes. Many of his stories involved...

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