Outgoing Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is in a league of his own and therefore will be almost impossible to replace when he retires from public life in a few weeks. Not only is he a very conservative lawmaker, especially on social issues, but unlike many of his Republican colleagues, he's somewhat amazingly struck up a strong and lasting friendship with the President of the United States.
Yesterday, 60 Minutes did a wonderful profile on him, which covered both his life before politics and some of his later accomplishments. To name just a few, his related crusades to raise awareness and end government waste, cronyism, and careerism are well-known. A few select quotes from the must-see interview:
On his friendship with Barack Obama:
“My relationship with Barack Obama isn’t based on my political philosophy or his…it’s based on the fact that I think he’s a genuinely very smart, nice guy. I just love him as a man.”
On the 2008 election:
“I’m proud of our country that we elected Barack Obama. It says something about us nationally. You know, it’s kind of like crowning your checker when you get to the end of the checkerboard. Here’s another thing that says America's special.”
On firing all members of Congress:
“If you want to fix things, that’s what I would do. If I was king tomorrow, that’s what I would do.”
On mortality and his prostate cancer diagnosis:
“Everybody’s gonna die from something. And so the deal is how do you use each day to move things forward for both you and the people you love, but also the country you love?”
And finally, his response when asked: “Did you know anything about politics [when you first ran for Congress]?"
Interesting stuff. Do yourselves a favor and watch the full clip below: