John Ensign Gives Farewell Speech—to Empty Room

Senator apologizes to (absent) family and colleagues
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2011 6:57 AM CDT
John Ensign Gives Farewell Speech—to Empty Room
John Ensign speaks during a mark up hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Capitol Hill in this October 1, 2009 file photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – John Ensign took the Senate floor one last time yesterday and delivered a contrite farewell speech—to a whole lot of empty chairs. Not one of Ensign's senate colleagues showed up to hear the address; Democrat Chris Coons sat in the presiding officer's chair, but opened a folder and started writing about other matters as soon as Ensign started talking, according to the AP. None of his family or friends were there, either, save five staffers lining a bench. One was seen wiping away a tear.

"I was blind to how arrogant and self-centered that I had become. I did not recognize that I thought mostly of myself," a contrite Ensign told the room. He advised his absent colleagues to surround themselves "with people who will be honest with you about how you really are," lest they suffer the same fate. Ensign is expected to resign from office today, according to Politico, since tomorrow he'd have to testify before the Senate Ethics Committee over his affair with Cynthia Hampton. (Read more John Ensign stories.)

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