A Fitting Senate Tribute to the Kennedy Brothers

Dodd, Kerry would rename the Russell caucus room in honor of the three brothers.

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By Peter Roff, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

In a fitting and most appropriate tribute, Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and John F. Kerry, D-Mass., introduced a resolution Thursday to rename the elaborate and hallowed caucus room inside the Russell Senate Office Building in honor of three brothers, each of whom served in the United States Senate.

According to National Journal, the room will be rechristened the "Kennedy Caucus Room" in memory not only of Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy, who died last month from brain cancer, but of his brothers Jack, who later became president, and Bobby, who represented New York in the Senate in the years between his departure from the Johnson administration and his murder at the hands of an assassin the night he won the 1968 California Democratic primary.

"It is there that Sen. Kennedy's brothers each announced their run for the presidency of the United States," the magazine quoted Dodd as saying. "And it is there that I propose we affix the Kennedy name, not just as a monument to the things that the three senators Kennedy have done, but to the spirit of compassion and compromise, fierce advocacy and tender friendship, that Teddy embodied perhaps more than any other senator of our time."

The room, formerly known as the "Russell Caucus Room," is one of the largest on Capitol Hill. Located inside the Senate office building named for the late Sen. Richard B. Russell, D-Ga., a segregationist and Lyndon Johnson's mentor during that future president's years in the Senate, the room has been the site of a number of important political events including the Senate Watergate hearings and the confirmation hearings following the nomination of Clarence Thomas to a seat on seat on the United States Supreme Court.

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