When Jim McClure died this week, Idaho truly lost a great statesman. His voice will be missed.
McClure served for many years as a Republican senator representing the state of Idaho in Congress. His voice, combined with that of the late Democratic Sen. Frank Church, who served with him at the same time, gave Idaho one of the strongest senatorial delegations in the nation.
The two men were highly respected by their colleagues and they were able to shape domestic and foreign policy with considerable effect.
Neither, however, ever forgot that no matter how elevated in the hierarchy of the nation's power brokers they rose, that they represented the people of Idaho, first and foremost.
McClure was a true "compassionate conservative." He understood and cared about the effects his votes had on each and every citizen. He weighed issues carefully, sought moderation in policies and strived to find compromises that worked, while rejecting political dogma in favor of careful analysis.
His type of politician has become a vanishingly rare breed in the halls of Congress, but his service to this nation stands as a role model for what politicians should be.
He was honest, conscientious and true. When he retired from the Senate, we lost a valuable voice. With his death, we have lost a valuable man. He will be missed.