Mr. Hollings had the distinction of being the longest-serving junior U.S. senator in history on Capitol Hill, where he was outranked for much of his tenure by Strom Thurmond, a wily political survivor who transitioned during his lengthy career from an anti-integration Democrat to a Republican.
The two South Carolinians took drastically different approaches to their jobs in the Senate, said Hastings Wyman Jr., founding editor of the Southern Political Report. "Thurmond, who wanted to push the South into the Republican column, painted with a broad brush and wasn't terribly interested in lawmaking," he said. "Hollings was a much more pragmatic legislator who cared about details and programs."
Winning term after term, Mr. Hollings became chairman of the Budget Committee, chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and a senior member of the powerful Appropriations Committee.
He used his clout and legislative prowess to build personal alliances, defend South Carolina's diminishing textile industry and bring new industries to the state. He insisted that his opposition to free-trade pacts was not protectionism for the South's textile industry but rather an effort to prevent jobs from going overseas.
As his profile rose, his abrasive remarks drew increasingly intense criticism in the national media.
Mr. Hollings's off-the-cuff remarks, while polarizing, appealed to many voters who saw him as a fearless spokesman in an era of stifling political correctness.
David Rudd, a Washington lobbyist and former chief of staff to Mr. Hollings, once told the State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., "People in this country are so starved for anything resembling emotional honesty from their elected officials, they will reward them even if they don't agree with them."
Hollings was an old time-y Southern racist who didn't become a Republican like Strom Thurmond and who occasionally did the right thing.
Him talking Beavis and -------- to Janet Reno was funny but not funny -- one of many sign-posts from the past that led to bigger incompetent doofuses like George W. Bush, ultimately leading to the lying incompetent traitorous Orange Douchebag from Queens that we have today.
Screw emotional honesty from politicians. Wanting to drink a beer with a presidential candidate? Get the ---- out of here with that lame --------.