tv Senator Mitch Mc Connell History Lecture CSPAN August 8, 2015 9:05am-10:01am EDT
lady and their influence on the presidency. sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. >> coming up next, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell , a kentucky republican, on the career of john sherman cooper who represented kentucky in the u.s. senate between 1946 and 1973. senator mcconnell talks about cooper's personal life and his impact on the state. this 55 minute program was hosted by somerset community college in somerset, kentucky. rep. rogers: senator mcconnell president jill, distinguished guests. jill marshall did a great job introducing me. she went above and beyond the truth, but like mae west said one time, too much of a good thing is simply wonderful.
some of you have heard me tell this in doing introductions. i was doing town meetings shortly after being elected. we were doing 27 counties in 20 days. it was a real whirlwind. we would ask a local person to introduce me and one of the ladies that was so designated called the office to find out what to say. i learned all this later. they told her to be brief. it was a really fast-paced tour. we need to keep it short. besides that, this county is next to his county so people already know. she said she was very pleased to present to you hal rogers. you all know him, so the less said, the better. [laughter] jill marshall has done a fantastic job at this school. she now has six campuses throughout the region.
she has done a fantastic job of building and growing and polishing this institution. thank you for doing a great job. [applause] figure we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of this school. i was shocked a moment ago when we were talking about it backstage. i was here when the first lecture series occurred 50 years ago. there could not be a better supporter of this lecture series than the current holder of that
office, senator mcconnell. words fail me to describe the awe and inspiration that senator cooper gave to all of us and still does. his legacy lives on. but you could not be better served than to have mitch deliver this address. i got to know him in the 60's as a young republican. a young lawyer in louisville who went on to serve as an intern. later, as an assistant to the other u.s. senator at the time.
he also in that time not only was the intern for senator kirkland but he also later was deputy assistant attorney general under president ford. and then my friend from those days ran for county judge of jefferson county. very few of us thought he had a prayer to win. but he did. and served with great distinction as the county judge of kentucky's largest, most populous county. i think probably the signal event in his career was his election in 1984 to the u.s. senate. he was the only republican challenger that year in the country to defeat the incumbent
democrat. he was the first republican to win a statewide race since 1968. i remember at the time, we did not think he had a prayer to beat lee houston, an incumbent long-termer in the state. he told me later that he and his mother were the only two people that thought he could win. but do you remember the hound dog commercials? i think they went a long way towards his election that year.
there are six things that i think make him special. one, he is the majority leader of the united states senate. you are looking at the highest ranking republican in the united states. [applause] he is only the second kentuckian to serve as a majority leader. before he was elected majority leader, he was the republican leader for eight years. before that, i think four years as the republican whip in the senate. he has been elected by his colleagues in the u.s. senate for a long time. he serves with great distinction and had a great week this past week in passing the trade bill which the president signed yesterday.
he is kentucky's longest-serving senator. he beats henry clay, wendell ford, senator morton. he served longer as kentucky senator than anybody in our history. and then in 2014, his last year, he won a resounding victory. that is no small achievement. i went with him a long time in my district at the coal mines and riding vehicles that could only get to some of those places.
never tiring, always on the hunt. a great campaigner. mitch is a graduate with honors from the university of louisville undergraduate school and u.k.'s law school. as an omen for things to come, he was elected by his fellow students as student body president and president of the student bar association. the biggest and best thing about him is that he is married to elaine. what a gracious lady. and a great leader in her own right as you know. she was the former u.s. secretary of labor, former president of the united way of america, director of the peace corps. he did well.
he walks with kings and the rest of us. he is in the field doing the work and there is something that i can't say better than kipling says about mitch mcconnell. if you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with kings nor lose the common touch, if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, if all men count with you but none too much, if you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run, yours is the earth and everything that's in it. which is more, you will be a man. senator mitch mcconnell. [applause]
sen. mcconnell: thank you very much. i kind of hated for hal to stop. let me first thank you so much for that overly generous introduction and to remind all of you what you obviously already know which is what an extraordinary leader hal rogers is. you may or may not know he is the longest-serving republican u.s. house member in kentucky history. [applause] he is no small powerhouse
himself as a chairman of the house appropriations committee. in addition to being a great friend and colleague for a very long time, he and i were both inspired by the subject of my talk today. it's great to see you again and thanks for the wonderful job you have done, jill. i think i was the first speaker of this series 10 years ago. hal has been a speaker at it as well and you have had a number of other distinguished folks along the way. i am here today to talk about one of my favorite subjects. one of my very favorite subjects. the man we are going to talk about today is truly unique. you have seen his family here,
my good friend cornelia cooper who was already introduced whose late husband dick was here at the first lecture 10 years ago. neil and derek i have been friends with for decades and other family members. any time i put together one of these speeches on former kentucky senators, we obviously have some help from others. a professor at georgetown who is sort of the kentucky historian laureate these days. retired or current professors at various places who steep themselves in kentucky history and we wanted to make sure we had all of our facts correct. the 50th anniversary of this
great college is something to celebrate as well. as i indicated, this afternoon's speech will continue a series of talks i have made on prominent u.s. senators from kentucky. our commonwealth has a rich heritage and has contributed much to the nation's development. as such, i hope to convey a bit of that political history through the lives of some of the individuals who have served as senators from our state. 66 individuals have been chosen as senators from kentucky going back to 1792 when we came into the union. some are more distinguished than others shall i say. some enjoyed really outstanding careers. calvin barkley, the other majority leader from our state. but there are two to me, and i have looked at a lot of these folks over the years, two that
really stand out for me. the first won't surprise you henry clay. many would argue he was the greatest lawmaker in american history. his body of work continues to set the standard for achievement in congress today. the second is the subject of today's speech. the man rightly termed by one biographer as the global kentuckian. he is a man whose bus sits in the state capital in franklin and whose portrait sits downtown. cooper had a profound and personal impact on my life, and i know i am not alone in that regard. there are others in the room who had a similar experience. those he touched in kentucky and
in congress will all long remember his strength of character and his kindness. as i have said many times before, he was my hero in all my years of public life. there has been no one from whom i learned more. in fact, to this very day, his picture hangs above my desk in the senate majority leader's office in the u.s. capital. today, i would like to discuss the life and career of this most remarkable man. he was born right here in somerset on august 23, 1901. his father, also named john sherman, was an attorney, county judge, and political appointee of president theodore roosevelt. and head of the county republican party. he was among somerset's most
prominent citizens. young john sherman cooper inherited much of his generous spirit from his father. his mother, helen carter, was an educator. according to his siblings, john was their mother's favorite. one of john's brothers said there were three sons in the family, john, john, and john. [laughter] his mother's family boasted of a political pedigree. as a boy growing up on harvey's
hill, cooper was an avid reader, reflecting the influence of both parents, and he was an outstanding student. he attended center college and then at his father's suggestion transferred to yale where he compiled an exemplary academic record and captained the basketball team. he graduated from yale in 1923 and then began law school at harvard. everything seemed to be going his way. in 1924, tragedy struck the cooper household. his father suffered a stroke and died. the death of a father is never an easy thing for any family. but besides the personal loss to the coopers, john senior's passing also revealed that the family was in dire financial straits.
as the oldest son, responsibility fell to john. he dropped out of law school and assumed leadership of the household, helping support his younger brothers and sisters. john went even further, assuming liability for his father's death. for john, it was a matter of principle to pay back his father's creditors. it would take him a quarter of a century to finally pay off what his father owed. but he considered it a matter of honor that this be done. this sense of duty would prove to be a hallmark of cooper's life and career. even though he had to leave harvard after his second year and return home, he continued legal studies on his own and was soon admitted to the kentucky bar. the young man's law practice started rather slowly. he waited in vain for clients.
finally, a longtime friend visited his office. the man had recently been in an automobile crash with the other party conceding they were to blame. at long last, cooper had a client. after some initial hesitation, his friend began to pose his first questions. in anticipation, cooper leaned forward, prepared to bring all of his newly acquired skills to bear on his friend's query. his friend finally asked, we have been friends for years, tell me straight, where can i find myself a good lawyer? [laughter] despite the slow progress of his law practice, cooper made rapid strides in politics. he was aided by his maternal uncle, roscoe carter, who had been the alaska county judge. in 1927, john sherman cooper was
elected to the kentucky general assembly. in 1929, he followed a family tradition and was elected a county judge, serving until 1938. he was sworn in by his uncle and was the seventh member of his family to hold this position. it was his tenure as county judge that perhaps had the most significant impact on his outlook on public life. as county judge, during the depths of the great depression he regularly encountered impoverished constituents who desperately needed help and had nowhere else to turn. cooper's generosity of spirit knew no bounds. he would find lodging for the
homeless and food for the hungry. his sister described his office as functioning like a hotel and a cafe. he would write notes for his impoverished constituents to take to nearby diners. they served as chits for meals paid for by cooper. the strain of trying to help so many was exhausting. as a result, he suffered a serious prolonged bout of depression. characteristically, he persevered. after his two terms as county judge, his standing in the state republican party had grown to the point where he was able to pursue the gop nomination for governor in 1939. he mounted a spirited race in the primary but in the end, he
came up short. swope took the nomination so he lost the general election. fate would soon intervene, however, and take cooper in a totally different direction. in december 1941, the japanese attacked pearl harbor, throwing the united states into world war ii. he again showed the premium he placed on duty this time in the army at age 41 and he did so as a private. soon, he was sent to officers' candidate school and became an officer. he served four years, much of it in general george patton's third army, first as a courier in a military police unit and later as a legal advisor. one mission involved his trying to find the whereabouts of a missing italian princess who was
the daughter of italian king victor emmanuel iii. this mission not only did not have a happy ending, cooper later learned the princess had perished in an air attack, but caused the future senator to witness the work of humanity at its very worst. during his search for the princess, he was told she may have been taken to buchenwald, the concentration camp. there, he went and saw firsthand the unspeakable images of the holocaust. seeing scores of its victims in camp, it was a moment seared into his memory forever. after the war, he stayed in europe, working to establish a revamped judicial system in the
german province of bavaria. he was also responsible for helping to carry out ally treaty obligations by returning refugees to their countries of origin. during the war, numerous refugees had married individuals from other countries. as the allies tried to repatriate refugees, the soviet union cruelly interpreted its treaty obligations to mean that soviet citizens and only soviet citizens could be accepted back into the ussr. this meant that scores of refugee families would be permanently divided. cooper elevated the issue all the way to general patton's executive officer and helped get the soviet posture revised sparing scores of families from being broken up. if any experience rivaled that of his tenure as county judge, it was his service in europe during and immediately following world war ii. it reinforced his humanitarian instincts and taught him the importance of active american
influence overseas and the folly of isolationism. at the end of world war ii, his status was such that he was elected circuit judge while he was still serving overseas. imagine that. upon returning stateside, he took up his judicial duties with typical gusto, but soon one issue became his top priority and subsequently a defining aspect of his legacy. civil rights. as judge, cooper insisted that african-americans be permitted to sit on juries. it's hard to imagine today, but this was groundbreaking at the time. in 1946, not long into his judgeship, he decided to run for the u.s. senate to complete the term of happy chandler who had left the senate to become commissioner of major league baseball.
cooper, aided in the race by a dispute between chandler and an opposing faction of the democratic party, was elected. thus began his memorable senate career. to say that john sherman cooper enjoyed an unorthodox senate career would be an understatement. after two years completing chandler's partial term, he was defeated for reelection in 1948 which was a strong democratic year. truman was at the top of the ticket and barkley was running for vice president. senator cooper was swept out in 1948. he never wanted to give up. he was elected to another unexpired term in 1952. his campaign in 1952 was run by
a future senator. then he was up for reelection in 1954. that year, it was a clash of the titans. john sherman cooper squared off against former majority leader and former vice president alben barkley. he did not like private life. he went out of office as vice president after the end of the truman administration and wanted to get back in. senator cooper became ambassador to india. a couple years later, alben barkley died, setting up another race for a partial term.
here are three partial terms to begin his senate career. that was the last time he had to serve a partial term. he was elected in 1956 for a term ending in 1960. he was there continuously until 1973. he at last had found his footing, finally landed in the senate in a way that he would be there for a while. he even ran for republican party leader in the senate in 1958. he was defeated by everett dirksen from illinois. i have often wondered given the constraints that are often imposed on those in party leadership positions such as the one i have, one wonders how the trajectory of cooper's career might have been different had he become republican leader.
despite being rebuffed by senate colleagues, the people of kentucky reelected senator cooper to a fourth term in 1960 and then again in 1966. he would be reelected by a very large margin in 1966 and then retired in 1972. in all, senator cooper spent 20 years of frequently interrupted service in the senate representing the commonwealth. throughout his time in the senate, on and off until 1973, john sherman cooper was a republican in an overwhelmingly democratic state. the question is, how did he do it? how did he get elected? how did he stay in office? he came from a prominent family and he was highly intelligent. both of those factors were important in his electoral
success. and of course, happy chandler inspired splits among democrats which was helpful as well. there was cooper's speaking style. to put it mildly, he was not known for booming oratory. his style on the stump was unconventional, partly because it reflected another important and endearing cooper trait. modesty. as senator j william fulbright once said, “seldom have i served in the senate with one as modest and self-effacing. this is a body not known for such characteristics.” cooper's speeches were not fire and brimstone, but rather candor and humility. a reporter described cooper on the stump, “watching him in
action it is easy to sense but hard to explain why john cooper is a formidable campaigner. he is not a dramatic speaker his delivery is halting, he violates all the rules, he tells jokes on himself, and not very good jokes either. apologizes for not being able to please everyone, and even admits he has made mistakes. yet, to all of this, there is an agonizing sincerity. in the sad soft smile and the slow soft speech that enraptures audiences and infuriates his opponents.” if cooper's unconventional style frustrated many democrats, his voting record frustrated many conservatives.
both sides still voted for him in droves. one constituent remarked, “i don't agree with one vote in a hundred of his, but i am with that boy every time.” another kentuckian tried to describe cooper's bond with kentuckians. “they want a man they can revere and depend on and one who looks like a statesman. they also like someone who can't easily be criticized and one who can whip hell out of anyone if he has to, and that is john cooper.” so despite this widespread sentiment, john sherman cooper faced his share of challenges while campaigning in a democratic state. on one occasion, he was out in western kentucky when he came across an older constituent named john cooper.
he greeted the elder constituent who was a democrat and who was wary of the man from somerset. the constituent asked the senator his religion and party affiliation. the candidate responded, badly and republican. the old man looked at the candidate slowly and then remarked, “you have a good name very little religion, and no politics at all.” [laughter] noted political scientist john lauer matthews outlined the conflicting matters for those running for office. he wrote, "the candidate should be above petty politics but he should bring home the bacon. he should run a clean and dignified campaign but he should be a fighter. he should bring his campaign to
the voter but he should not spend money doing so. he should frankly state his own convictions but represent his constituents." amazingly enough, senator cooper seemed to satisfy these contradictory ideals. he also succeeded in politics because he spent his time and his energy wisely. i have been involved, not always as an office holder, but now in public life in one way or another for 50 years and i have witnessed a number of promising careers get derailed by endlessly trying to settle scores. cooper realized you needed to be able to work with others. today's opponent might be tomorrow's ally so there is no use in holding grudges and burning bridges. to that end, he was the consummate bridge builder. he did that both in the state
and in the senate. at the time of his retirement, senator james buckley of new york remarked, “no member of this body has more friends and fewer enemies than john sherman cooper.” one of those close friendships was with a young senator from massachusetts named john f. kennedy. they both served together in the senate and their wives had known each other previously. despite partisan differences and a 16-year age gap, the bond between the two senators proved enduring. according to the future president's brother, cooper was one of his brother's best friends. in fact, the first dinner the kennedys took part in after the 1961 inauguration was with john and lorraine cooper. at kennedy's first bill signing at the white house, he made sure
to invite cooper. kennedy had great faith in cooper's judgment and discernment. he asked cooper to go on a sensitive diplomatic mission to the soviet union. the president wanted to get a better sense of the soviet intentions and trusted cooper to carry out the delicate mission. kennedy also urged others to seek cooper's advice, including his own brother. as senator ted kennedy recalled, “i arrived in the senate at the ripe age of 30 years old. i was looking for counsel, advice. after talking to my brother, he mentioned to me that someday when i'm in the u.s. senate and an issue comes up for me and passions are aroused and voices are high, if you really want to know the unvarnished truth and you want the facts on the issue, go to john sherman cooper and you will receive them.” jackie kennedy shared her husband's admiration for
cooper's judgment. she marveled at how often there would be a point hotly argued or a bind you could not see your way out of and how often his voice was listened to and how usually his view was the path that turned out to be the obvious right one. sadly, john cooper would also have experiences with kennedy he would have gladly forgone. he was chosen by lyndon johnson to serve as one of the seven imminent americans on the warren commission to investigate the kennedy assassination. during his time in the senate, senator cooper established an enduring legacy. in my experience, i have found that there are simply two types of people who enter the senate. those who want to make a point and those who want to make a
difference. john sherman cooper always wanted to make a difference. in 1960, a survey was taken of 50 washington correspondents about the most skilled senators of the day. cooper was ranked first among all republicans, even besting the man who had defeated him for republican leader two years before, everett dirksen. newsweek wrote that, “the senator from kentucky has long impressed unbiased onlookers with his quiet confidence.” following his retirement majority leader mike mansfield mentioned him as a possible vice president to replace agnew.
that same year, his name was floated as a special prosecutor in the watergate investigation. he was highly regarded in the senate in large part because of his principal stance on the issues. more than any of us, senator john stennis of mississippi said, “he has really made an extraordinary effort to cast every vote and every speech on the basis of what he believed to be right and just and the best thing for the country as he saw it.” for instance, cooper opposed fellow republican senator joe mccarthy. he was also an early and vigorous supporter of civil rights legislation at a time when that cause was not a popular one in many parts of our state. i can speak to this firsthand. while i was an intern for senator cooper in 1964, the only intern in the office, i processed the senator's mail.
even though polls showed that overall, kentuckians favored the civil rights legislation that year, i saw that those who wrote the senator were overwhelmingly opposed. senator cooper was undeterred. he actively lobbied his colleagues to get them to oppose the filibuster being carried out against the civil rights legislation. i can tell you, i was exhilarated watching him take this stand. but i was apprehensive about his political future in light of the deep opposition he was facing. i could not resist asking him how he decided to take such a stance even though it was deeply unpopular with at least a number of his local constituents. his reply was something i have never forgotten. he said, “i not only represent
kentucky, i represent the nation. there are times when you follow and times when you lead.” in this regard, john cooper took an edmund burke-like approach to his job. cooper led in many areas of public endeavors besides civil rights, including federal assistance for local schools environmental protection, and creation of the appalachian regional commission. in all the areas on which cooper left an imprint, his work in foreign affairs is perhaps best known. in this frame, cooper's expertise was such that his counsel was sought by senior members of both parties. as many of you know, the senate plays or is supposed to play a significant role in foreign affairs. the senate provides advice and consent to treaties as well as appointment of ambassadors.
they consider bills to fund departments of state and defense. senate powers are not self-executing. senators must assert those powers and they have to do so against the tendency of the executive branch to overstep its bounds. john cooper played a major role in defending the prerogatives of the senate and of congress, a principal near and dear to my own heart. his best-known forays into foreign affairs in the senate bear his name. the cooper amendment of 1969 and the cooper-church amendment of 1970. in 1969, cooper crafted a groundbreaking amendment that limited american military commitment in thailand and laos. the next year, he worked in tandem with frank church to use the power of the purse to try to collect funding for u.s.
military operations in cambodia. the resulting measure known as the cooper-church amendment was debated for seven weeks. it passed the senate. though the amendment failed in the house, a similar version became law following the american pullout from cambodia. not only were these amendments an important watershed in reflecting congressional opposition to the war in southeast asia, they also represented a historic reassertion of congressional prerogatives in the face of the imperial presence. they marked the first time congress had restricted military funding during wartime, setting a precedent that would be used in other contexts in later years. john cooper was not only a highly influential senator, but also an accomplished diplomat.
he was consulted by leaders of both parties. between senate terms, he was named by president harry truman to serve as a delegate to the general assembly of the united nations and as an advisor to the secretary of state on nato matters. he also served as a u.s. ambassador. but he was not your typical political appointee. big campaign donors were sent to london or to paris. he was an ambassador sent to two challenging posts in the midst of the cold war. in 1955, between the senate terms, president eisenhower sent cooper to india. galbraith noted that the indian prime minister respected cooper more than any other american. galbraith also recalled that nehru regularly began conversations with the phrase “ambassador cooper once told me.”
following his senate tenure in 1974, president ford made him the first american ambassador to east germany. the cold war was still there. cooper was even recommended to fill the post of ambassador to israel in 1982 but declined the opportunity. we have seen that john sherman cooper was a highly effective legislator and diplomat. how was he able to be so successful? there are a number of factors that certainly contributed. we have already spoken of his intelligence. another key to success was his wife, lorraine, who was a cosmopolitan hostess in the georgetown neighborhood of washington. senator cooper had been briefly married during the war but it ended shortly thereafter in
divorce. in the years that followed, he was married to his work and few foresaw a second marriage. after all, he routinely worked 11 hour days every day of the week. moreover, john and lorraine's first meeting was inauspicious. it took place in washington at a dinner party. lorraine, who is decidedly not from kentucky as you all will recall, tried to make small talk with cooper. she asked, how is the burly cotton crop doing in kentucky this year? [laughter] while lorraine may have confused cotton with tobacco, it was a rare misstep for her. the two were wed in 1955. she proved to be a great help to his career. her keen mind, charm, humor, and
skill as a hostess helped cooper develop and cement important friendships that would aid his rise on the national and international scene. another vitally important reason for cooper's rise in public life was his character. he was fundamentally a decent person who treated all with respect. i can't say it any better than w. r. mundie. “for senator cooper, everybody is somebody all the time.” i can personally attest to his sentiment. i will never forget the kindness cooper extended to me as a young man. in august 1965, this is the year after i was an intern, i visited senator cooper after finishing my internship the year before.
at the time, i had just completed my first year of law school. i was waiting in the senator's reception room when all of a sudden, he emerged and beckoned me to follow him. i had no earthly idea where we were going. we walked together briskly from the senate office to the capitol rotunda. there, i was confronted with more security than i had ever seen before. it was only then that senator cooper told me what was going on. president johnson was going to sign into law the voting rights act of 1965 that senator cooper had worked to pass. i was literally awestruck by witnessing such a historic event. i was deeply moved that my hero had invited me to join him on this occasion. another important character
trait cooper displayed with honesty. his colleague, senator morton recalled how earnest seemed to radiate from him. he described him as having an “affidavit face.” cooper's own probity was key to establishing the committee on ethics. following a scandal about an aide to lyndon johnson, cooper successfully pushed the senate to set up a committee to investigate wrongdoing in the body. finally, john cooper brought a constructive problem-solving approach to public policy. his entrance into senate debate, no matter how partisan or divisive it may have become, commented senator gordon of colorado, meant that his fellow
senators lowered their voices and listened instead of just attacking. another senator observed that he always brought light to the problem rather than heat which was a distinguishing characteristic. i don't want all of you to leave here thinking senator cooper was infallible. he was not. he had many foibles. for one, he was always running late. in fact, the only time he carried a wristwatch was when he served in the army. he did not drive an automobile. people just took care of him and helped him out. whether it was driving him around or assisting him with some other mundane task.
his family members are shaking their heads yes. i'll give you another experience i had that illustrates this point. it was 1980, the republican convention in detroit which subsequently nominated ronald reagan. senator cooper flew to detroit with no clue of where to go or when to be there. i just happened to bump into him in the men's room. true story. [laughter] it was immediately apparent to me that he had no idea where he was supposed to go. obviously, it was my responsibility to take care of him, right? [laughter] so i took him around. i essentially helped staff senator cooper at the convention. he had that impossible to explain quality that made you want to help him.
he was also notoriously absent-minded. as one reporter observed, he looked like a man who has misplaced his train or plane ticket. which usually happened to be the case. he always seems to be vaguely hunting for something, rumbling through pockets. it might be anything from an elusive idea to a missing shoelace. senator morton recalled how he and cooper went campaigning in fulton, kentucky. that's right next to tennessee and missouri. the two men decided they would cover more ground if they split up. after a full day of campaigning, when the two men linked back up, morton discovered that cooper had campaigned all day on the tennessee side of the border. [laughter]
despite morton's frustration, these character traits were part of what made john sherman cooper so human. and so compelling a public figure and which endeared him to so many, including me. toward the end of his career, he became lionized by fellow kentuckians. he was put alongside colonel sanders. after leaving east germany, john and lorraine lived happily together for many years until her passing in 1985. he followed her in 1991 and was buried in arlington national cemetery.
upon his passing, former president ronald reagan called him one of the most beloved and compassionate american statesmen of this or any other century. i would wholeheartedly echo his sentiments. john sherman cooper was everything you would want in a public servant. a rare combination of high intelligence, sound judgment unquestioned probity, and notable achievement. he was also a man who we can all rightly feel proud to call our own, a kentuckian through and through and a man for whom the term statesman seems an understatement rather than an exaggeration. thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute,