The drama over the fiscal cliff and the familiar up-against-a-deadline dysfunction of Congress has largely overshadowed the leave-taking of some Capitol Hill originals. A look at the legacies of Barney Frank, Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Olympia Snowe, Richard Lugar and Joe Lieberman.
Despite what has been called a status quo election, the 113th Congress will bring with it generational changes and some history, including the first all-female delegation for a state, and the fewest number of military veterans since World War II. Here are some of the noteworthy newcomers.
The 2012 Republican presidential nominee had to be convinced by his family to get into the race, his son tells the Boston Globe. "He wanted to be president less than anyone I've met in my life," Tagg Romney says.
If John Kerry leaves the Senate to become secretary of state another Kennedy could fill his Senate seat — at least on an interim basis. And ousted Republican Scott Brown could have fighting chance of returning to the Capitol.
President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner held another closed-door meeting Monday. If that secrecy troubled anyone, you'd expect it to be open-government watchdogs. But they have few objections. "Sometimes compromise has to be reached behind closed doors," says one.
In the category of unintended consequences, Susan Rice's announcement about her future plans could mean a Republican in President Obama's inner circle, decorated Vietnam veterans overseeing the nation's military and foreign policy, and another special election for Senate in Massachusetts.
Michigan this week provided more shock treatment for organized labor and, by extension, the Democratic Party. And a lame-duck Legislature showed that elections do have consequences. But in this case, it was the election two years ago — the one that swept out Democrats in key statehouse races.
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