Oregonians remember statesman Mark Hatfield

Sep 26, 2011

Oregonians packed the Capitol's House Chamber Saturday to honor the late Senator Mark Hatfield. He died last month. Hatfield was eulogized as a leader with an unparalleled legacy.

Mark Hatfield Jr. spoke of his father’s limitless generosity toward his constituents, his staff, and his family.

"He was able to be so much to so many in so many right ways," Hatfield's son said.

Friends noted Hatfield's sixty-year career in Oregon and national politics left indelible marks in the state's laws and fortunes.

But Gerry Frank, a long-time Hatfield friend and ally, asked the audience to recall that Hatfield once came very close to becoming Richard Nixon's running mate. Had that happened, Hatfield would have been Vice President when Nixon resigned in 1974.

"Can we think for a minute what that would have meant for Oregon and the U.S.? If Mark Hatfield had had the privilege of serving as President of the United States?" Frank asked.

Copyright 2011 Oregon Public Broadcasting