In Memory Of Ted Stevens

DannyG | November 19, 2008
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By K. Daniel Glover Sen. Ted Stevens has been the bane of many a conservative's existence ever since the Alaska Republican's name became synonymous with the plan for the infamous "bridge to nowhere" in Ketchikan, Alaska. His reputation tanked even further last month when Stevens was convicted of seven felony counts in a corruption case. That explains why few conservatives are concerned with yesterday's news that liberal Mark Begich will replace Stevens in the Senate come next year. Some conservatives are eager to see Stevens go. But it would be a shame for him to go without a proper video send-off because Stevens is one of the first stars of the online video era in politics. With that in mind, I spent some time searching YouTube today to compile a video collage of sorts in his memory. I couldn't find a stand-alone video of the 2005 speech where Stevens vowed to resign if the Senate killed funding for the bridge to nowhere -- he could have saved himself plenty of political embarrassment over the next three years if he had kept that vow -- but I found other great clips. One nugget that escaped noticed back in 2007 features Stevens making this confession about the "hundreds and hundreds and hundreds" of earmarks he has funneled to Alaska over a 40-year career: "It's sorta hard to keep track of 'em. ... It's even harder to keep track of whether they were used the right way." Two interviews that Stevens granted to the Anchorage station KTVA this year yielded some interesting nuggets, too. In one of them, he tries mightily but fails to get the reporter to admit that Stevens is the only candidate who can solve problems in Washington. In the other, he boasts that Alaskans "will still have that say" about spending federal money in his state.
Or you can travel back in time to the summer of '06, when Stevens said the Internet is "not a big truck. It's a series of tubes." That quote sparked a flurry of remixes of Stevens' statement. The one linked above quickly went viral in the early days of YouTube politics. I also found a goofy yet somehow entertaining "Ted Stevens Song." And soon after Stevens' defeat made the news, one of his critics compiled a farewell mash-up. Look for more of those in coming days, as Stevens is once again a fresh target for ridicule. In fact, make one of your own and upload it to
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