No gold here, just the Vermont Democrat’s 14,000th “yea” or “nay” in the chamber — a milestone that puts him in an elite club. Only six other senators have reached that marker: Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), former Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.), and the late Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), and Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.).
In an odd coincidence, the vote happened to be the 13,000th for Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.). And in another happenstance, Vice President Biden was presiding over the chamber for the historic moment.
Leahy was modest about the occasion, issuing thanks to his staff and to colleagues in a brief speech. “I value the Senate, I love the Senate,” he said, but added that credit for his career went to his wife, Marcelle.