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The Absence of an Akaka: Quorum Calls Won't Be the Same The Absence of an Akaka: Quorum Calls Won't Be the Same

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The Absence of an Akaka: Quorum Calls Won't Be the Same

photo of Michael Catalini
November 14, 2012

C-SPAN 2 watchers, this one's for you.

Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii is leaving the Senate at the end of this term after more than two decades in the upper chamber.

And the quorum call will never be the same again. 

Aside from being known for his veterans affairs credentials and support of native Hawaii issues, the junior senator from the Aloha State is known to Senate watchers as the first name the clerk reads out when a lawmaker calls for the dilatory motion.

The ritual goes something like this: "A senator says, Mr. President, I note the absence of a quoroum." The presiding senator bids the clerk to "call the roll," and the clerk, typically in a hushed tone, starts, "Mr. Akaka ..." 

Cue the classical music. 

But when the 113th Congress convenes in January, the clerk will begin the call with Senator Lamar Alexander's name.

That's sort of strange to think about, isn't it? Like if Law & Order's closing credits did not start with "Executive Producer/Dick Wolf."

Still, Alexander's staff is taking it all in stride. 

“It’s very rare thing to be first on anything in a chamber of 100 equals so this is a unique event,” said Alexander spokesman Ryan Loskarn.

Chris Frates contributed to this post.

 

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