Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Lloyd Bentsen, a former congressman, senator, vice presidential candidate and treasury secretary, died Tuesday at his home in Houston, Texas, his family announced. He was 85.
Secretary Bentsen was an expert on such bread-and-butter issues as tax legislation, interest rates and health care. After retiring from the Senate in 1993, Bentsen joined President Clinton's Cabinet as treasury secretary. He held the job for two years, during which he advocated for the North American Free Trade Agreement, cutting capital gains taxes and making the country more competitive in the international marketplace.
Politic's is a tough profession. Secretary Bentsen was considered by friend and opponent alike as a decent man.
A friend of mine who was intimately involved with Democratic politics throughout much of the last thirty years, a former Congressman, spoke nicely of him and of the legacy Bentsen left. I wonder about that word, its implications for our current politicians, as well as an electorate that is increasingly more partisan and bitter.