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The second diary covering the Senate; this one is a bit shorter, since the next part will have the rest of the section and it's mostly big paragraphs, so the material's hard to split up evenly. Enjoy!

Ted Kennedy served longer in the Senate (by a few months) than his brother John Fitzgerald lived.  November 7, 1962 to August 25, 2009 is approximately 46 years 10 months, while May 29, 1917 to November 22, 1963 is approximately 46 years 6 months. Furthermore, from June 6, 1968 (Robert F. Kennedy's assassination) to his own death, he was without his three brothers. (Joseph Kennedy was killed on a mission in World War 2.)

New Jersey's Senators were born thirty years apart, both Democrats: Frank Lautenberg was born in 1924, while Bob Menendez was born in 1954. Arlen Specter and Bob Casey, Jr. (whose father was governor of Pennsylvania) were born six years after them, respectively, though Specter is no longer serving. Daniel Akaka and and Don Inouye of Hawaii were born four days apart in 1924, but Akaka's been in the Senate about twenty-five years longer.

New York is typically seen as a very blue state nowadays: two Democratic Senators (and Schumer won every county but one and over two thirds of the vote in 2004), a Democratic Governor, and an overwhelming majority in their House delegation. However, from 1947 until 1998, when Chuck Schumer defeated Al D'Amato, New York had at least one Republican (or Conservative, when James Buckley served one term in the early seventies, since the Democratic and Liberal Parties of New York chose different candidates, and thus split 60% of the vote on two people) Senator, and often two. Additionally, the state senate has been controlled by Republicans since 1939, except for 1965, 2009, and 2010, about which more later, and currently have a razor-thin 32-30 majority; evidently, Carl Paladino's landslide loss to Andrew Cuomo didn't hurt them. That's hardly surprising, given that they retained control in the nineties and after 2000, when New York started going dark blue more often (with the exception of George Pataki's three terms as governor from 1995 to 2003).

Hawaii is the youngest state, but it's represented by two of the oldest Senators; Pennsylvania was one of the original colonies, but Pat Toomey and Bob Casey, Jr., are just barely on the sunny side of 50. Which I grant you is usually considered to be distinctly middle-aged, but for government in general, and the Senate in particular (average age: 61ish), it's awfully young.

There are currently 17 women in the Senate, five of them Republican: Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer of California, Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) of Texas, Lisa Murkowski (R-ish, since she lost the nomination but won the election) of Alaska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Anne Klobuchar of Minnesota, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Jean Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte (R) of New Hampshire, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and Susan Collins (R) and Olympia Snowe (R) of Maine. That makes four states with two female Senators, nine with one, and 36 states with two men. New Hampshire is also the first purple state to be represented by two women.

During Reconstruction, Mississippi's state legislature elected black Senators – two Senators, to be specific: Hiram Rhodes Revels, who served first, although not a full term, from 1871 to 1873, and Blanche Bruce, from 1875 to 1881. They would be the last black Senators until 1966, when Edward Brooke was elected (also as a Republican) from Massachusetts, the last Republican Senator from Massachusetts (until 2010, when Scott Brown narrowly beat Martha Coakley for Ted Kennedy's old seat) as well as the last black Republican Senator, though Michael Steele made a spirited attempt in Maryland in 2006, and was for a while the (not terribly successful) chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Anyway. Brooke was elected to two terms, and was counted among the liberal wing of the Republican Party, which consisted of more than two people at that point. Richard Nixon campaigned for then-candidate Brooke in Massachusetts in 1966, which may even have helped Brooke; it did not, however, particularly help Nixon, since Brooke frequently opposed him, and was the first Republican in the Senate to call for his resignation. Sen. Brooke was defeated in his attempt for a third term by Paul Tsongas, who later ran for President in the 1992 Democratic free-for-all.

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