The Quiet Man
By Dennis Sun
One of Wyoming’s best friends, Retired U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, passed away earlier this week due to a bike accident. It was a tragic loss for his family, friends and the state of Wyoming.
We will remember him for his accomplishments as a mayor, state legislator and a U.S. senator for 23 years. He had great assistance for these accomplishments – his gracious wife Diana was always with him every step of the way.
What we will really remember Sen. Enzi for is the way he accomplished everything. His way of negotiating was not the way Washington, D.C. works today. We hear tributes from the last couple of days describing him as soft spoken and quiet – that he was – but, his enthusiasm and knowledge of the issues he worked on was above board and infectious.
When Sen. Enzi retired, he was chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Being an accountant and a small business owner, he knew how to manage money. Debt and deficit were not the results he worked for.
Sen. Enzi was noted for his “80-20 rule,” which focused on the 80 percent the two political parties can agree on rather than focusing on the 20 percent they can’t agree on. The senator thought trying to change the 20 percent was just wasting time and energy, and he was right.
I always enjoyed visits to his Washington, D.C. office. He would explain the issues so they were easy to understand and explain how to come up with a solution. Sen. Enzi understood Wyoming and its issues – from energy to agriculture, rural to urban. He cared for Wyoming and its people.
I was grateful that Sen. Enzi, Diana and their staff always made time to attend the Wyoming Agriculture Hall of Fame Picnic at the Wyoming State Fair. It meant a lot to us at the Roundup and the other sponsors to see both him and Diana at the event. What a great time this was to visit and catch up.
It was with great pleasure that we saw Sen. Enzi inducted into the Wyoming Ag Hall of Fame in 2007. Wyoming agriculture nominated him and he was awarded for all of his work to ensure the state’s agriculture and our family’s way of life had a future. We were thankful then, and we are thankful now to have had him representing us in the U.S. Senate.
We’re sure Sen. Enzi did not approve of the current administration’s deficit spending on a number of issues, as this just wasn’t his way. We all recognize at some point, someone has to pay back what we borrowed. The senator said years back if everyone gave a dime back to the government, it would be free of debt in a year or so. That would be obsolete today, wouldn’t it?
Somehow this country needs to get back to the money management philosophy of Sen. Enzi. Money needs to have a value and if given out for free, it turns out to have no value to people. Some people will just stop earning a living as they realize more money will be given to them.
The Good Lord took a good one from Wyoming this past week, but He must have been looking for someone who cares about people. Well, He got one, along with a good money manager. He just needs to give him time to go fly fishing.
Our thoughts and prayers go to Diana and family.