Neither of Kansas’ senators made the Hill newspaper’s lists of most and least partisan members of the U.S. Senate, but the bipartisan efforts of Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts were mentioned by some Democratic colleagues. Those Democrats who spoke favorably of dealings with Brownback were Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Mark Udall of Colorado. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., included Roberts among a GOP quartet of “good-natured” senators.
Brownback told the newspaper that he misses the late liberal Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn. — “one of the funniest guys I’ve worked with.” Brownback said, “He was just passionate. We’d call each other names for a little while, and then we’d go work with each other.”
The Hill’s survey found that Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, were prized by their colleagues as most bipartisan. The least bipartisan? Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Jim Bunning, R-Ky. One Republican explained that Leahy and Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Chris Dodd of Connecticut “like to wield their positions.” One less diplomatic Democrat characterized Bunning and Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina as “a bunch of 4-year-olds.”
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