Delaware Senator Kaufman delivers farewell address

    Senator Ted Kaufman says goodbye to the Senate just one month before he will be replaced in a special election.

    Speaking on the Senate floor for what will likely be the last time, U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman (D) reflected on his brief time as a member of the chamber.  You can watch Kaufman’s speech in its entirety online at

    Kaufman, who will be replaced by the winner of  a special election held November 2nd, highlighted some of the work he was most proud of during the 21 months he filled the shoes of Vice President Joe Biden who resigned his Senate seat to become VP.  He was appointed by former Governor Ruth Ann Minner.  When he was named to the seat Kaufman said he would not run for the seat on a permanent basis.  The conventional wisdom at the time was Kaufman would keep the seat in the hopes that Delaware Attorney-General Beau Biden would run.  Kaufman has said that was never the case.  Kaufman has said in the past to WHYY that he believed the younger would run, but the Attorney-General took himself out of consideration in December 2009.

    During his farewell speech, Kaufman urged Senators to preserve the 60-vote filibuster rule, something he says keeps the majority party from steam rolling the minority.  “The existence of the filibuster remains important to ensuring the balanced government the framers envisioned,” he said.  “This is the place where we protect political parties.”

    As he wrapped up his remarks, Kaufman highlighted the improbability of his transition for Senate staffer to Senator, “I will always cherish the unlikely opportunity I had to serve Delaware as its Senator.”

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