Stuff I Wrote Elsewhere: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

I had the distinct privilege yesterday of sitting down with my ABQJournal Washington bureau colleague Mike Coleman (the sitting was virtual – Coleman was in DC) and penning a quick look at Jeff Bingaman’s remarkable career (sub/ad req) on the occasion of his announcement that he will not run for a sixth term in the US Senate.

We open with the signing ceremony for the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which Bingaman wrote:

When the big moment came, though, you had to look hard to find Bingaman in the ceremonial crowd — behind Bush, behind the other dignitaries, standing in the back, a shy grin on his face.

“He’s got the lowest ego quotient of just about any senator I’ve ever run into,” said Robert Simon, head staffer for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the longtime Bingaman aide who helped craft the 2005 energy bill.

I know, I know, people say stuff like that at times like this. The thing is, I’ve covered Bingaman for 20 years, and I can tell you Simon knows whereof he speaks.