So long. Farewell.

As the 2008 Iowa legislative session runs nears its conclusion, lawmakers who are "retiring" (not seeking re-election) are given a chance to give speeches.  In the House, those making such voluntary exits are given an opportunity to stand at their desk on the House floor and speak to their colleagues. Representative Clarence Hoffman, a Republican from Denison, was the first to speak last week and Hoffman concluded by telling his colleagues he was a glass half full kind of guy and he was leaving it to those who’ll serve in the 2009 legislature to tackle getting that glass full.  . 

In the Senate, other senators get up to say (almost always) nice things about the soon-to-be-ex senator and then the senator gets to speak.  Senator Mary Lundby, a Republican from Marion, is not seeking re-election after 22 years in the Iowa House & Senate.  She’s running for the Linn County Board of Supervisors.  Lundby helped orchestrate the GOP take-over of the Iowa House back in the day. Several senators got up to laud her earlier this afternoon; a few joked about her whistling; then Lundy was given her chance to speak and she didn’t take long.  "Thanks for the memories.  I had a great time," Lundby said. 

Senator Dave Mulder, a Republican from Sioux City, has decided to be a one-term senator.  Lundby spent more time talking about him today than she did about herself.

"There’s been a lot of conversation in my party about who was a Christian and who wasn’t…I met you and from what I know about my religion and about God and about family, you embody it all.  That kindness, that devotion, that ability to love everyone.  That deep-felt desire to make sure that you treat all of your brothers and sisters the same.  I would like to say that you made me gentler, but people wouldn’t believe it, but you certainly, I think, have made me kinder in the past year.  You were with me and for me and you were with all of Iowa, all of the time, and that means a lot.  It means a lot to people.  So I thank you.  I thank you for your friendship," Lundy said.  "I thank you for the fact that until today when it was printed in the resolution no one knew my middle name was Adelaide and you found candies (made in Adelaide, Missouri) and I think it made me sweeter and I think it made my cancer lighter because you brought then when I was so very sick, so I credit you and your Lord to my good health and I thank you and Dot for being my friends and for praying for me and for setting an example that no one will ever match and I haven’t cried in 40 years, but when I see you walk to your car for the last time, I might.  I might just do it. Just turn around. Take a look because you will have seen a miracle."

"My goodness," Mulder said to begin his remarks after Lundby and more than a dozen senators had praised him.  "….Boy, you’ve said some nice things…These have been four of the greatest years of my life.  You know, every period of my life has been the best and these four are now the best and that’s the way life is supposed to be.  You’re supposed to keep looking ahead because there are good things ahead and that’s coming and I’m anxious for that for you.".

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.