In another of those odd moments where one thing leads to another during lunchtime reading, I came across the biography of Stuart Syminton. Symington was the first secretary of the Air Force and a U.S. Senator. He was famous for having stood up to McCarthy and was Truman’s pick to be the Democratic presidential pick in 1960 — interestingly, unlike Kennedy and Johnson, he refused to speak before segregated audiences. Perhaps most importantly, when his time as a senator came to an end, he resigned a few days early so that his Republican successor, John Danforth, would enjoy seniority in the next Congress.
In an era of political grandstanding and partisan hackery, we need a Stuart Symington. Wherever you, Mr. Symington, know that we need you.