Senator Famed for Watergate Question Dies at 88
Howard Baker also served as chief of staff for Ronald Reagan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 26, 2014 1:36 PM CDT
This March 21, 2012, file photo shows former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker in Washington, who has died.   (Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – Former Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr., a moderate Republican known as the politician who inquired what President Richard Nixon knew during the 1973 Senate Watergate hearings, died in his home yesterday at age 88, according to a statement released by his law firm today. The scion of a political family, Baker served 18 years in the Senate, winning widespread respect from Republicans and Democrats alike and rising to the post of majority leader. He also served as chief of staff for Ronald Reagan, and as US ambassador to Japan from 2001 to 2005,

Baker ran for President once, in 1980. His name was floated over the years for such prestigious positions as Supreme Court justice, vice presidential candidate, and CIA director, but he turned each of those gigs down. He'll be perhaps best remembered for his famous question about Watergate: "What did the president know and when did he know it?" He uttered the line while serving as the top Republican on the Senate committee investigating the scandal. "Senator Baker truly earned his nickname: the Great Conciliator," Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor today, announcing Baker's death to the chamber. "I know he will be remembered with fondness by members of both political parties."

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Showing 3 of 25 comments
BermudaTriangle
Jun 27, 2014 5:35 AM CDT
"I know he will be remembered with fondness by members of both political parties." That will probably be one of the last times such a statement can be made honestly. The bunch that are in there now do not deserve any respect or fondness.
tpvero
Jun 27, 2014 4:17 AM CDT
This is before Republicans decided to all play the game dirty as possible and people in congress actually had some class and an education. This is before all Republicans turned into the dumb scum of the earth. Rest in peace Howard.
Mark Dreher
Jun 26, 2014 7:45 PM CDT
Off to Heaven. Republicans Go to Heaven. At "the highest rate" Second only to "Mormons". FYI.