From today's CQ/Roll Call Political Briefing:

"Warren Rudman, whose name remains synonymous with the difficulties of congressional deficit reduction efforts fully two decades after he left the Senate, died overnight at age 82.

Rudman was a quintessential New England Republican moderate of the old school, combining an intense interest in budget restraint with socially liberal views during his two terms as a senator from New Hampshire. He decided not to run again in 1992, complaining with his characteristic hectoring feistiness that Congress was way too willing to abrogate its responsibility to rein in the deficit — which was then about one-fifth the size it is today. In 1985, he had engineered the enactment of the law that drove budget restraint for a time, but had started to slip in its effectiveness before he left; known as Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, it introduced the concept that across-the-board spending cuts should be the blunt-instrument punishment Washington must have to live with whenever the president and Congress don't meet more proactive budgetary deadlines — the very sort of “sequester” that Obama and Congress agreed to last year, and that's now spurring much of the drive to find a way around the fiscal cliff.

Rudman also set high standards for personal rectitude as chairman of Senate Ethics and — as a member of the joint Iran-Contra committee — was viewed as a nonpartisan critic of the Reagan administration’s actions to supply the Nicaraguan rebels with arms in circumvention of the law. His other most important and lasting contribution was helping engineer the appointment of David Souter as the most recent — and probably last, for many years — moderate GOP justice on the Supreme Court (the two knew one another from Rudman’s six-year stint as New Hamsphire attorney general). After leaving the Senate, he worked with former Sen. Paul Tsongas to form the Concord Coalition, which remains an influential advocacy group on deficit reduction. He was offered the job of Treasury Secretary in Clinton’s first term and asked by Ross Perot to be his 1996 running mate. He helped run Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign and John McCain’s first run, in 2000. At his death he was a partner in a consulting firm he had founded with Madeleine Albright and Sandy Berger."

He was a friend of my parents, after they retired to New Hampshire in 1979, and the kind of Senator who we (sadly) see very little of these days. I doubt he will be much regretted by the members of CU, but he was a real gentleman. :)