Posted: Aug. 29, 2013


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

Chris Coons is morphing into a man of the Senate.

This is not just a reflection of the assignments he has, although they are good ones, as a subcommittee chair on African affairs for the Foreign Relations Committee and as a new member of the influential Appropriations Committee, which determines where the money goes.

It is more about outlook.

Now in his third year as Delaware's Democratic junior senator, Coons is talking like a member of the World's Greatest Deliberative Body.

Here he was Saturday at the Sussex County Democratic Jamboree at Cape Henlopen State Park, as he spoke about the House of Representatives, or as senators call it, The Other Body.

"Do they have a printed agenda in the House of Representatives that runs something like this?" Coons asked.

"On Monday, de-fund Planned Parenthood, on Tuesday, de-fund the EPA, on Wednesday, repeal Obamacare, on Thursday, double down on tax cuts for the oil companies, and on Friday, knock off for drinks and golf?"

This is more than just about the way a Democratic senator looks at the House Republican majority. This oozes with age-old institutional attitudes.

The Senate has little time for the House, because Senate members think House members are wrapped up in their own little parochial worlds, and the House has little time for the Senate, because House members think Senate members think that!

# # #

What a coincidence that John Carney decided to go to school on college tuition and become an advocate for bringing the costs down.

Could it be that his son just went to school, too? To Clemson University, to be precise.

It looks like a classic case of the personal being political.

Carney, the Democratic congressman, convened a round table discussion on rising tuition rates last week with representatives from Delaware's public and private colleges -- namely, the University of Delaware, Delaware State, Delaware Tech, Wesley, Goldey-Beacom and Wilmington University -- shortly after he took his son Sam to begin his freshman year.

Sam Carney is the firstborn of two sons for John and Tracey Carney. It was a jolt.

"That was one of the hardest things I had to do," John Carney said during remarks he gave Saturday at the Sussex County Democratic Jamboree.

This, from someone who stood tall and gave a gracious concession speech after a heartbreaking loss in the 2008 primary for governor?

"I was all choked up the whole way down, and it was a long way to Clemson in South Carolina. It was like 11 hours," Carney said.

"That's a long time to be choked up. He wasn't choked up. He was happy!"