At last, truth
“In a way they never tell the truth until the concession speech. That’s when nothing they say can hurt them anymore. They’re worn to the bone and they’ve been in a struggle and it’s over, and suddenly some basic, rock-solid, dumb knowledge of what they’ve been involved in — a great nation’s life — comes loose and declares itself.
“Rep. Harold Ford of Tennessee, who lost his Senate race, said he’d wanted to be in government since he was 4 years old, that people had taken a risk on him, that he was grateful. ‘I love my country,’ he said. ‘Don’t lose faith in this great thing called America.’ [. . .]
“From Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a demonstration of patriotic civility. He praised his opponent as a human being — ‘a fine man, he’ll do a fine job for the state.’
“Sen. George Allen, gentleman of Virginia, said, ‘We are placed here on Earth to do something well.’ He vowed to do all he could to help Jim Webb come in and serve in the U.S. Capitol.
“Oh, that the new ones would carry in what the old ones have finally learned, or finally meant, or said.”