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Robert Byrd, the Senate's finest fiddler

June 28, 2010 |  4:15 pm

The late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd left a complicated legacy of personality and policy, from his early involvement with (and later renunciation of) the Ku Klux Klan to his mastery of Senate procedural arcana to his opposition to the Iraq war. But one corner of his legacy that isn't in dispute is his skill behind a fiddle. Byrd was an accomplished bluegrass and mountain-music violinist, frequently performing for colleagues and at the Grand Ole Opry. In 1978, while Senate majority leader, he even cut an album of standards, "Mountain Fiddler."

With Byrd's death, does this leave bassist Mike Huckabee atop America's best politician-musicians list? Or maybe the unlikely indie rock promoter, New York's Sen.  Chuck Schumer?

-- August Brown

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