Statement by CIA Director Leon E. Panetta on the Passing of Senator Robert C. Byrd
June 28, 2010
Senator Byrd taught us all what it means to be a faithful servant of our democracy. I was honored to know him for more than 40 years, having first met him when I came to Washington as a legislative aide. In the 1980s and 1990s, I worked closely with him on economic and budget issues. This man of humble roots was an eloquent orator, skilled legislator, unrivaled master of Senate rules and traditions, and staunch defender of the role of Congress in our three-branch system of government. He deeply believed that the responsibility of elected officials was to govern. In Washington, few people are irreplaceable, but Senator Byrd is one. He will be greatly missed and long remembered as both a champion of the poor and a true giant of the Senate.