In just about 20 minutes, at 3:30 pm EST and 1:30 pm in New Mexico, Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, is going to announce on KOAT that he will not run for his Senate seat again.
Jeff Bingaman was my former boss in a good chunk of the 1990s, and I’m very sad to see him leaving the Senate. He was in my estimation the most intelligent and deeply analytical US Senator in the lot. He hated media, and part of my job was to gin up policy stuff he was working on and get media for it — and force him to smile.
Bingaman knows the inside and out nuts and bolts of technology policy, innovation dynamics, health care policy issues, nuclear energy and weapons issues, actually everything. He’s so smart, has a wry wit, runs everyday.
He really is the living embodiment of Jimmy Stewart’s “Mr. Smith”, in all of the good ways and without the whining and theatrics.
Congratulations to Jeff Bingaman on this decision — but as a friend, former employee, and long time observer of his work — the Senate is losing someone who let lots of others take the credit while he did some of the only serious thinking.
— Steve Clemons