Just got around to seeing this, but it’s something that’s been happening all day long from the Baker Center at UT. Our live blog from there had an interesting anecdote from Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett about an interaction with the Senator:
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett recalled Monday a time when he was sitting with Sen. Howard Baker and a citizen approached them.
“I hate to bother you boys. …” she said.
“But?” Burchett and Baker replied at the same time.
That’s when Baker told him: “Timmy, the longest word in American politics is ‘but.’”
“I told him that’s why I never eat a hot shrimp dinner at Red Lobster, because someone’s always coming up saying, ‘I hate to bother you, but…’ ” Burchett said.
Burchett said he admired Baker in large part because of his willingness to reach across the aisle and get things done. He once complimented Burchett, then a state senator, on getting a bill through a democratic legislature.
“He brought a certain civility to politics, and everyone talks about national politics, but you don’t see it at the local level,” Burchett said.
“He was bigger than life figure on a national stage, but when he was here, he was one of us,” Burchett said.
Lots more to come out of there. Go check it out here.