Former Majority Leader Sees Personal Animosity Affecting Senate

Chattanooga (AP) -- Former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker says President Bush and the new Democrat-controlled Congress will need to find areas where they can compromise.

Speaking at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Baker said there is more personal animosity among officials in Washington than in times past.

Baker also served as Chief Of Staff under President Ronald Reagan and was US Ambassador to Japan.

He recalled being a young lawyer and visiting his father-in-law, Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen, in his office when President Lyndon Johnson walked in. Dirsken was a Republican leader in the Senate and Johnson was a Democrat.

Baker says he doesn't know what the men discussed, but he's sure they accomplished something during that visit. He told his college audience it's that cordiality and those personal relationships that lubricate successful public governance.

Baker says the Senate largely mirrors the House these days and needs to re-examine itself to focus on national and international issues.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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