Former Massachusetts Republican Senator Edward Brooke, the first African American senator elected by popular vote, and serving from 1967-1979 in the upper chamber, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on the occasion of his 90th birthday today.
The ceremony took place in Statuary Hall in the US Capitol, and President Obama presided over the honor being bestowed. The fact that Brooke was highly respected by public figures on the left and on the right, and that he placed himself in the moderate center in his years in the Senate, makes this honor particularly appropriate at a time when his party is far from moderate.
Brooke alluded to this by saying that working together across party lines was essential, but which unfortunately is not occurring during the Obama Presidency.
If we had more people like Edward Brooke in the Senate now, it would be a better institution!