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Sen. Warren Rudman, Dead at 82

Sen. Rudman got his start in Nashua – and left an indelible impression on U.S. politics.

Warren B. Rudman, Nashua native, longtime U.S. senator, combat veteran and founding co-chairman of the Concord Coalition, died Nov. 19. He was 82.

Reaction from Rudman's New Hampshire contemporaries came quickly, once news began circulating of his passing Tuesday morning.

Gov. John Lynch, posted on his official state landing page:

"Warren Rudman worked tirelessly to serve the people of New Hampshire and the nation. As a leader in the U.S. Senate, he was someone who stuck to his principles, yet was able to reach across the aisle to work toward a bipartisan resolution on the issues of the day," Gov. Lynch said. "His long public service and statesmanship are examples for us to follow and he will be missed. My thoughts and prayers and those of my wife, Susan, are with the Rudman family at this time."

Governor-elect Maggie Hassan released this statement on behalf of herself and husban, Tom Hassan:

"Tom and I are saddened to hear about Senator Rudman's passing. He was a true statesman for the people of New Hampshire and he will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rudman family."

From Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who currently holds the senate seat Rudman held from '80-'93:

“Warren Rudman was a national leader who made New Hampshire proud. He was tenacious about reducing our debt and he worked tirelessly to support our men and women in uniform. Warren was a fighter who had the courage of his convictions, and he always stood up for what he believed was right regardless of the consequences.  

“Before his time in the Senate, he was an extraordinary attorney general for our state who modernized the office and made it what it is today. A combat veteran, he showed bravery and courage as a platoon leader during his service in Korea.

“Warren was a role model who raised the bar for public service. I join citizens across New Hampshire in mourning his loss.”

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, via Twitter:

"NH lost a friend with the passing of Warren Rudman. He put principle over politics & did what was best for our state."

Raymond Buckley, Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, released the following statement via email, on Rudman's passing:

"Senator Rudman was a tireless public servant throughout his decades-long career which included service in the United States Army during the Korean War, serving as New Hampshire's Attorney General and as then as United States Senator. Senator Rudman will be deeply missed by the people of the Granite State and by all those his service touched. My thoughts are with his family at this time."

Congresswoman-elect Annie Kuster, via email:

"New Hampshire mourns the passing of U.S. Senator Warren Rudman, a leader in bipartisan deficit reduction and good government. His greatest achievement was the confirmation of David Souter to the U.S. Supreme Court, ushering in an era of equality and liberty for all New Hampshire citizens."

Longtime Senate colleague, Gordon Humphrey, who now owns WKLX, ConcordNewRadio:

"Senator Rudman had a reputation for a toughness, and tough he was in some matters, but underneath he was a likable guy, and I enjoyed serving ten years with him in the United States Senate.  We had an excellent personal and professional relationship.  He served our state and our nation well, and I am saddened at his death."

Wayne MacDonald, Chair of NH GOP, released this statement Tuesday afternoon:

"With Senator Rudman's passing, we have lost a great public servant. Sen. Rudman's distinguished career ranks him among the finest U.S. Senators in New Hampshire history. Of his many legislative successes, the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget Act is the most notable as bi-partisan legislation that served the core principles of the Republican Party. In addition to his U.S. Senate service, he proudly served our nation in the Army during the Korean War, and later as New Hampshire's Attorney General. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family as we enter the holiday season."

Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau, in a statement issued Tuesday evening:

"My condolences and sympathies to the family of Sen. Warren Rudman.

Senator Rudman was a thoughtful and outspoken advocate for the people of New Hampshire and the United States.  He was also a kind and caring individual.  Sen. Rudman was always willing to take the time to listen, offer advice when asked, and willing to be mentor to those interested in doing the right thing.

He was a well respected representative, friend and neighbor in Nashua.  It is a great loss to all of us that a man of his caliber and dedication to the matters of the nation he loved is no longer with us.  Considering the times and financial situation facing the nation, we would do well to honor his memory by considering what action and direction Sen. Rudman might have offered."

About Senator Rudman:

Born in Nashua on May 18, 1930, Senator Rudman was a life-long New Hampshire resident. He received a B.S. from Syracuse University in 1952 and served in the U.S. Army as a combat platoon leader and company commander during the Korean War. In 1960 he received his LL.B. from Boston College Law School.

Rudman began his career practicing law in his hometown of Nashua. In 1970, he was appointed Attorney General of New Hampshire. He later joined the Manchester, N.H., law firm Sheehan, Phinney, Bass, and Green.

See Sen. Rudman endorsing colleague from Nebraska, Sen. Bob Kerrey, via YouTube on Oct. 24, 2012.

He became a partner in the international law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison after serving two distinguished terms as a U.S. Senator from New Hampshire. He was first elected to the Senate in 1980, and was overwhelmingly reelected in 1986.

During his 12 years in the Senate, Rudman established a record of independence by refusing to accept out-of-state political action committee donations. Perhaps his best-known accomplishment came in 1985, when he co-authored the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction law, a historic step that imposed discipline and accountability on the chaotic budget process in order to reduce the federal deficit.

You can view some highlight reels from Rudman's career in Washington via this C-SPAN library link.

In December 1986, Rudman was appointed to serve as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Select Committee investigating arms transfers to Iran. He also served on the Ethics Committee and presided over numerous investigations, including the Keating Five. Rudman served on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and was active on the Subcommittees on Defense and Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary, where he served as Ranking Republican. While supporting a strong military, he actively opposed expensive weapons that were not cost effective. He also served on the Intelligence Committee, the Governmental Affairs Committee, and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Rudman's inside account of his career in the Senate is detailed in his book, "Combat: Twelve years in the U.S. Senate," published by Random House in 1996.

From an Amazon review of his book:

"In his 12 years as a Republican senator for New Hampshire, 1981 to 1993, Warren B. Rudman demonstrated the effectiveness of pragmatic, moderate politics. While ideologues from both the left and the right bantered back and forth, Rudman held strong in the center, forging coalitions to try to actually get something done. The landmark act for which he's best known, the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit-reduction law, was a classic example of his ability to join opposite sides together in a sense of fiscal responsibility. His story is also one of the changes in the Republican Party. Socially liberal, he eventually decided not to seek office, feeling out of step with the party's rightward swing. In all, a political story from the 1980s and 1990s from a unique elected official of the era--one respected on both sides."

President Clinton appointed Rudman as a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board in the fall of 1993, where he served as Vice Chairman. In addition, he was appointed by the President to serve as Vice Chairman of the Commission on Roles and Capabilities of the U.S. Intelligence Community. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Boston College, Valley Forge Military Academy, the Brookings Institution, and the Aspen Institute. He was also a member of the Senior Advisory Committee of the Institute of Politics and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Rudman was one of the few Jewish politicians elected in New Hampshire. He spent his final years as a resident of Hollis.

[Biographical information from the Concord Coalition website]

Andrew Tarsy November 28, 2012 at 11:49 PM
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate released the following statement about the passing of Senator Warren Rudman: "Even though two decades have passed since he retired from elective office, Senator Warren Rudman's influence is still felt in the United States Senate today. The steps he took to bring discipline and accountability to the budget process created an enduring legacy. The Senator was also known for his fierce independence and bipartisanship, always seeking compromise to reach solutions. We honor his service to the U.S. Senate, admire the impact he had on the nation, and express our condolences to his family." http://emkinstitute.org/updates/entry/statement-on-senator-warren-rudmans-legacy-of-public-service
Efstathia Booras February 03, 2013 at 08:20 PM
Deepest condolences to the Rudman's Family. God Bless his Soul, and May his Memory be Enternal.

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