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(43,864 posts)
Mon Aug 18, 2014, 03:22 PM Aug 2014

Former Sen. James Jeffords (I-VT) has died

Former Sen. James Jeffords (I-VT) has died at 80, the Burlington Free Press reports.

"Jeffords was regarded as a maverick in Washington even before he split from the Republican Party in 2001, decried the party's rightward shift and criticized what he saw President George W. Bush's political intransigence on a number of issues... Jeffords' decision to become an independent in 2001 rocked the nation by giving control of the Senate to the Democrats, costing his Republican colleagues their committee chairmanships."


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Former Sen. James Jeffords (I-VT) has died (Original Post) wyldwolf Aug 2014 OP
RIP, good man Warpy Aug 2014 #1
Good man who was in the wrong party for years; he got it right in the end agbdf Aug 2014 #2
Sad to hear...you will be missed Mr. Jeffords. Avalux Aug 2014 #3
That's sad...RIP joeybee12 Aug 2014 #4
RIP JI7 Aug 2014 #5
He woke up in the middle of the night, yelling to his wife: Watch out! The machine guns are firing! wyldwolf Aug 2014 #6
Rest in peace shenmue Aug 2014 #7
RIP to a man of integrity CatWoman Aug 2014 #8


(110,588 posts)
1. RIP, good man
Mon Aug 18, 2014, 03:26 PM
Aug 2014

He was the one man between Stupid and dictatorship. The House ran away from the anthrax scare. Jeffords kept the Senate open for business and the committee chairmen Democrats.

He was a hero. I wish we had been free to honor him as one.


(35,015 posts)
3. Sad to hear...you will be missed Mr. Jeffords.
Mon Aug 18, 2014, 03:28 PM
Aug 2014

I remember when you broke ranks with Republicans and followed your conscience. Thank you.


(43,864 posts)
6. He woke up in the middle of the night, yelling to his wife: Watch out! The machine guns are firing!
Mon Aug 18, 2014, 03:35 PM
Aug 2014
He woke up screaming in the middle of the night, yelling to his wife: "Watch out! The machine guns are firing!" Jim Jeffords's nightmare then was about impeachment. As a friend of Bill Clinton's, he was tormented by his duty to sit in judgment of the president, voting first with his GOP colleagues to move ahead with the trial, then with Democrats against Clinton's conviction and removal from office.

Two years later the senator's sleepless nights were back. In anguish, he informed a group of longtime Republican colleagues last week that his differences with his party on fundamentals were so great that he was leaning toward leaving the GOP. "It was the most moving meeting I've ever had with anyone," Jeffords told NEWSWEEK. "There were tears from me and tears from them because we'd worked so hard on so many things together. And to know they had dreamed of chairmanships and now they wouldn't keep them..." Here his already-soft, docile and unsenatorial voice trails off further.

Yet despite those personal bonds--and a lineage in the GOP that stretched back nearly 150 years to the party's founding--the 67-year-old senator believed he must bolt into the breach. Even if he hadn't tilted the balance of power, he told aides, it was time to go. Peering across the aisle at Democrats talking about using the surplus for children's health and early education while Republicans like Phil Gramm sought even deeper tax cuts, he felt hopelessly out of place. "I was not elected to this office to be something I am not," he said after making his momentous announcement in Burlington, Vt., last week. "This comes as no surprise to Vermonters, because independence is the Vermont way."

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