The Long Goodbye to Byrd

Jockeying begins for the Senate majority leader's job

When Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd announced last week that he would step down next January from the post he assumed a decade ago, relief among many Democrats was palpable. Senators appreciate Byrd for his obsessive attention to their personal needs, but little else. Increasingly, he has seemed unable to control his flock. None of the Government's 13 appropriations bills came to a vote last year, forcing the adoption of an omnibus spending bill whose full content was not known to a single Senator; in February, Byrd's own campaign- finance bill could not make it through the Senate. Moreover, with his...

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