Kent Conrad Calls For Putting The Country First In MSNBC “Exit Interview”
MSNBC is doing a series of interviews with members of the US Senate who are retiring from office after this term. Last night was Senator Kent Conrad’s turn with Chuck Todd, and he used the time to resort to cliches about partisanship and “getting results” and “putting the country first.”
Which are a little hard to buy from a guy who, on his party’s orders, hasn’t produced a budget as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee since 2009.
Conrad’s put-on of middle-of-the-road fiscal hawkishness has worn a little thin given his actions in recent years. Conrad is the “deficit hawk” who went from railing against Bush-era deficits that were measured in the hundreds of billions to rationalizing Obama-era deficits which have been over $1 trillion every single year of his term. Twice in his career Conrad was a deciding fact in the Senate on a balanced budget amendment, and twice he helped kill it.
And while Conrad railed against the national debt, he made a career out of larding up the national budget with all sorts of pork to gratify special interests here in his home state and keep the wheels of his re-election campaign greased.
It’s clear that Conrad desperately wants as his legacy the image of a fierce fiscal warrior. Unfortunately, the reality is that he’s spent his last years in the Senate as a loyal foot soldier for his party’s free-spending, big-government agenda. In actions, if not always in words.
I’ve said for some time now that the Senate’s budgeting process will be better off without the likes of Kent Conrad standing astride it.Tags: election 2012, Kent Conrad, North Dakota News