Drunken senator’s outburst brings life

James Carville

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., was verbally reprimanded by the Senate Sergeant at Arms Friday for making an outburst during a filibuster by Sen. Rod Grams, R-Minn.
Thurmond, the Senate’s oldest member at 95, decried legislative lobbying efforts by the American Association of Retired Persons, calling them “the most despicable special interest group in the country.”
The association has been lobbying members of Congress to increase funding for Social Security benefits and include “recreational medications” such as Viagra under Medicare plans.
“When you’re my age, it don’t matter any … what the hell was I saying?” Thurmond said.
The outburst occurred after the Senate debated a bill proposed by Thurmond to reinstate the wine industry’s labeling of bottles with the positive health benefits of consuming the alcoholic beverage.
“How do you think I’ve lived so long?” Thurmond asked.
When a fellow Republican asked Thurmond to expound on his claim, Thurmond responded that he only recently found out what those benefits were — but he couldn’t recall specifics.
Senate officials removed a plastic container from Thurmond’s overcoat and confiscated it under suspicion of consuming alcohol on the Senate floor.
Officials refused to comment on whether or not the suspected alcoholic beverage was wine or hard liquor.