Oklahoma's Inhofe delivers farewell speech to Senate
(KTEN) — Retiring Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe delivered his farewell address to colleagues on Wednesday afternoon.
He said as a Republican, he made friends and enjoyed working with several Democrats throughout his career, and encouraged his fellow senators to do the same going forward.
"In Senator Hatch’s farewell speech in 2018, he reflected on the striking shift in polarization and partisanship of the Senate, and he yearned for the days of members finding common ground and breaking bread together," Inhofe said. "Conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats come together today — all the time and will in the future — but you may not hear about it, because it is not newsy."
Inhofe, who celebrates his 88th birthday on Thursday, shared a story about his youth.
"When I was about six years old, my dad was a claims adjuster in a building where Ronald Reagan was an announcer for WHO radio, a sports announcer in Des Moines, Iowa. My dad and Ronald Reagan played the pinball machine together. He would come out to the house. I always thought he was an uncle or some relative," Inhofe recalled. "We would drive—I remember one time it was way down in Durant, Oklahoma, and that was before turnpikes — we drove for hours to watch a Dutch Reagan movie."
In his address, Inhofe pointed with pride to Oklahoma's five major military bases.
"From training pilots to building bombs, each is unique in its missions to support our military," the senator said. "We were successful because our communities support our bases, and the men and women that serve there. Yeah, I’m not embarrassed about that at all. I’m proud that my state of Oklahoma has done well."
Inhofe announced his retirement in February, saying "the time has come to stand aside and support the next generation of Oklahoma leaders."
He has been a senator since November 1994, and served earlier in the House of Representatives from 1987 to 1994.
Watch Sen. Inhofe's complete farewell address: