Congressional farewell speeches are somewhat like Academy Award acceptance speeches. The speakers laugh, cry, reflect on their work and thank their friends and family for their support.
Members of the 113th Congress said goodbye to their jobs through speeches on the House and Senate floors today and in recent days. But some speeches were more emotional than others.
Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, openly wept and even pulled out a handkerchief on the Senate floor while saying thank you to his wife.
“She has been incredible. She has allowed me to do my public service, to fly those 20 hours every weekend to and from Alaska. She has taken care of Jacob when I couldn’t. I love her dearly. Thank you,” Begich said of his wife Deborah Bonito and son while wiping away tears.
Begich wasn’t the only crier. A lot of Congressmen fought back tears when it came time to thank their spouses, families and staff.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who is retiring two years early while fighting a recurrence of prostate cancer, got teary when thanking his family and staff, mentioning in particular his former Chief of Staff Mark Schwartz, who passed away from Lou Gehrig's disease last year.
Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., got choked up after thanking the “love of my life,” and admitted,“Maybe this is going to be harder than I imagined.” Turns out it was. He also was emotional after thanking his long-time Deputy Chief of Staff Anne Belser. “I said I wasn’t going to do this.”
Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., confessed he has a problem with controlling his emotions, joking that he shares the issue with Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
“I did not want to do this. I did not want to give this speech not because I have any regrets, I just have this problem, said McKeon. “Thankfully the speaker has it a lot worse than I do and he gets all the attention, but I have the same problem.”
McKeon tweeted about his farewell speech, poking fun at himself.
After 22 years in Congress, here's my farewell to the House and the troops. Forgive me, I had something in my eye. https://t.co/GmYJt1ooWR— Buck McKeon (@BuckMcKeon) December 5, 2014