McConnell Mourns Former Senate Parliamentarian Bob Dove
‘Bob Dove knew this body’s history and its rules to the tenth decimal place… His love for the Senate was tangible. It was palpable. And it was not only a love for the institution itself, as an abstraction. It was also love for the human beings who comprise it.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the death of former Senate Parliamentarian Bob Dove:
“For the second time just this week, the U.S. Senate family must bid a sad farewell to a member of its alumni society.
“Only six different individuals have served as Senate Parliamentarian since the position was formally established in 1935. It is a unique and remarkable position that seems to require unique and remarkable people.
“Bob Dove served two stints as Parliamentarian from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. He passed away yesterday at the age of 82 after a long illness.
“I was just a rank-and-file Senator during Bob’s stints on the dais. But everybody in the entire Senate knew all about Bob’s brilliance and his incredible spirit.
“Bob Dove knew this body’s history and its rules to the tenth decimal place. He was also a constantly jovial person, as approachable as he was smart.
“His love for the Senate was tangible. It was palpable. And it was not only a love for the institution itself, as an abstraction. It was also love for the human beings who comprise it.
“I understand that back in the day, Bob had a go-to one-liner to help himself and his fellow professionals here on the floor through the tougher days. ‘You may love the Senate,’ he would drily declare, ‘but the Senate may not love you back!’
“But a little gruff sarcasm couldn’t conceal Bob’s true affection. In fact, his enthusiasm for this place was so contagious that it’s swept up multiple generations of his family.
“About a year and a half ago, we said goodbye to Bob’s daughter Laura Dove, herself a long-serving, well-loved, and widely-respected Senate staff leader, as she left the post of Secretary for the Majority.
“Even now, two of Bob’s grandchildren are spending their summers here in the Senate, helping out in different positions.
“Either Bob Dove’s brood just cannot quit this multigenerational addiction to public service — or perhaps it’s the Senate that cannot quit them.
“Our condolences and our prayers go out to Bob’s wife Linda, to Laura and her brother and sister, and to Bob’s grandchildren and extended family.”
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