TENNESSEE'S HOWARD BAKER, JR: A PROFILE IN COURAGE
Huntsville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we received an email from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation which included a letter from Cissy Baker, the daughter of the late Tennessee Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr.
Miss Baker writes...
"Last year my father was the subject of the winning submission for the Profile In Courage Essay Contest. He embodied America's spirit of individualism and dissent, but it came at a price."
As minority leader in the U.S. Senate in 1977, Senator Baker "chose to work with Democrats across the aisle" to get the controversial Panama Canal Treaty enacted. That treaty resulted in the transfer of control of the Canal from the United States to Panama.
Miss Baker says that her father took this potentially career-ending position because "it was the right thing to do." While it did not end his political career, it did cost him any chance to be elected POTUS.
Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr.,* known as the "Great Conciliator," died at his home in Huntsville, Tennessee, June 26, 2014, at the age of 88.
Although he lost in his first attempt for the Senate in 1964, Senator Baker, described by CNN as... "a towering political figure in Washington," won two years later becoming..."the first popularly elected Republican senator from Tennessee in United States history."
A graduate of the University of Tennessee School of Law, Howard Baker was Vice-Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Watergate, Majority Leader 1981-1985, Chief of Staff for President Ronald Reagan 1987-88, and Ambassador to Japan under President George W. Bush.
Current Tennessee Senator Bob Corker said...
"When I think of the ultimate statesman, the very first person who comes to my mind is Howard Baker."
Bust of Senator Howard Baker, Jr.
"My father embodied courage," by Cissy Baker, November 28, 2016, John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
Howard Baker, Jr. & John White