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1) Durbin rooms on Capitol Hill with fellow Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Rep. George Miller of California. From The New York Times:
Think MTV’s ‘Real World’ with a slovenly cast of Democratic power brokers. While Washington may have more than its share of crash pads for policy-debating workaholics, few, if any, have sheltered a quorum as powerful as this one. About a quarter-mile southeast of the Capitol, the inelegantly decorated two-bedroom house has become an unlikely center of influence in Washington’s changing power grid.
2) He has introduced President Obama at three Democratic National Conventions. From the Chicago Tribune:
On Thursday night, Durbin played the introductory role once again before Obama's acceptance speech in seeking election to a second term in the White House.
3) Durbin is a frequent visitor of the Senate gym, where television channel changing and legislative courting take place. From Roll Call:
[Sen. John Barrasso] and Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., who typically arrives minutes later, control the television. The news program they watch is the result of a compromise — MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ is hosted by a conservative, but the channel is left-leaning.
4) Who needs notes? Durbin typically debates on the Senate floor with his colleagues without a stitch of written points. From Time:
“I can’t do it any other way,” says Durbin of his off-the-cuff style. ”That’s me. ”
And while the debates don’t often change the votes of other members, Durbin’s tough questioning of his colleagues and his willingness to defend his own proposals clarify and distill complicated issues for the C-SPAN-viewing public.
5) Durbin cheers on the Chicago Cubs – the ball team that hasn’t won a World Series in 104 years. From Chicago Sun-Times:
What do Ronald Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Jim Belushi, Joe Mantegna, Rahm Emanuel and Dick Cheney have in common? All are members of the Emil Verban Society. The society is a select club of high-profile Cub fans, currently headed by Senator Dick Durbin. The society is named for Emil Verban, who played three mediocre seasons with the Cubs in the 1940s.
6) The senator grew up in St. Louis. Durbin has spoken openly about the need to make his old neighborhood safer. From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Durbin, the high-ranking Senate Democrat who grew up in East St. Louis, said on Wednesday things in the city, mostly violence, is “dramatically worse” than in the old days
But Durbin, 67, says the city is at a dire crossroads today. A fact buttressed by U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton, who says East St. Louis is statistically “the most dangerous community in the United States.”
“It isn’t about nostalgia,” Durbin says. “It’s about the safety of that town.”
7) Next year, Dick Durbin will campaign for another term as U.S. senator from Illinois. From NBC Chicago:
The senator's re-election bid alleviates some national concerns for his party after four democratic senators announced retirement plans.
Durbin, 68, is the U.S. Senate's second most-powerful Democrat, a position he's held since 2007. A successful re-election bid would put him in Washington through 2020.
First published August 3 2013, 7:46 AM