The cry was heard far and wide throughout the election season (no one who draws breath could have avoided it, it seems): It is time for change and a departure from the old ways in Washington.
Well, President-elect Barack Obama aside, there has been change in D.C. — but it was due to outside factors like the actuarial tables and the criminal courts.
The Senate’s longest serving Republican, Ted Stevens, lost his bid for re-election, saving his colleagues from expelling him for his conviction on corruption charges. Stevens is 85.
Sen. Robert Byrd, 92, no longer up to the duties of running the powerful Appropriations committee, stepped aside as chairman. He will be replaced by Sen. Daniel Inouye, 84.
The House removed another long-serving lawmaker, Rep. John Dingell, 82, as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he had been either chairman or ranking minority member since 198l. He will be replaced by Rep. Henry Waxman.
Reporting on the change, The Washington Post enthused that Waxman’s “victory signaled the rise of a young, more environmentally conscious party.” Waxman is 69.
Change? Yes. Shift from old ways? Depends on what you consider “old” …