WASHINGTON ― Retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and the ideologically opposite Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) have become known as an “odd couple” for their work together on Capitol Hill.
But in an emotional send-off address for Boxer on the Senate floor Wednesday, they went beyond that, offering an example that America could sorely use these days ― that of two people who are vehemently opposed to each other’s beliefs, yet still work together.
And more importantly, love each other.
“There are no two people in this body who are further apart from each other than Barbara Boxer and Jim Inhofe, and yet we have something beautiful,” Inhofe told Boxer after she wrapped up her traditional farewell address.
Inhofe, who infamously brought a snowball to the Senate floor in an attempt to disprove climate change, is the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Boxer, who has a perfect score from the League of Conservation Voters, is the top Democrat on the committee.
Yet they’ve managed to pass major legislation together for 12 years.
“I disagree with you ― with Senator Boxer ― on a lot of the regulations, and I’ve told her many times that she has every right to be wrong,” Inhofe said, switching between the formal and informal address because Senate rules say they’re not supposed to address one another directly.
“But you know, on the things that are really important, we did manage to get things together,” Inhofe added. “You know, there’s an awful lot of hate around here, around this place, and it’s so unnecessary.”
“You can disagree with someone, and love ‘em anyway,” he said, before pointedly dispensing with the formal address again. “Confession’s good for the soul, Barbara, but I want you to know, I’m truly going to miss you around here.”
Watch the exchange between the two above.