On Friday, January 17, the United States Senate lost one of its finest members when Senator Tom Coburn [R-OK] announced he would not be able to serve out the rest of his second term due to his recurring battle with prostate cancer. Elected in 2004, the senator has spent the last ten years fighting on behalf of the American taxpayer — rejecting every bill he believes is unworthy of their hard-earned dollar — so much so that he earned the moniker “Senator No.”
A notoriously hard worker, Coburn has been known to arrive to work at 4:30 a.m. —long before his staff. His senatorial office spends hours upon hours researching governmental fraud, saving millions of dollars. His consistency and unwavering determination to do what is right for the United States regardless of political consequences stands as a model for all other senators and representatives.
Yet what makes Coburn such an intriguing character is not just his dedication to conservative principles, but also the distinguished way he carries himself and his ability to make friends on both sides of the aisle. In fact, Coburn shares an atypically personable relationship with President Barack Obama. Both entering the Senate in January 2005, Coburn and Obama struck up a collegial rapport that, though it has waned in warmth in recent years, exists to this day. After hearing of Coburn’s plans, Obama said, “Those of us who have had the privilege of serving with Tom Coburn will be sad to lose him as a colleague here in Washington… And even though we haven’t always agreed politically, we’ve found ways to work together — to make government more transparent, cut down on earmarks and fight to reduce wasteful spending and make our tax system fairer.”
Sen. Tom Coburn is truly one of kind. Very rarely are we blessed with a leader who displays such principled dedication, hard work and class. We can only hope that his medical problems are cured with speed and ease. No less is deserved from a man who has worked so hard to ensure the prosperity of the United States.
THE EDITORS: Bravo, senator.
—Davis Parker is a junior studying economics, political science and mathematics
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