During an event in Kentucky, Vice President Biden paid tribute to Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, who passed away early Monday morning.
(Read Biden's remarks after the jump)
Remarks of Vice President Joe Biden as released by the White House
"As we used to say in my years in the Senate, if you’ll excuse a point of personal privilege here for a moment, a very close friend of mine, one of my mentors - a guy who was there when I was a 29-year-old kid being sworn into the United States Senate shortly thereafter; a guy who stood in the rain, in a pouring rain, freezing rain outside a church as I buried my daughter and my wife before I got sworn in, Robert C. Byrd. He passed away today. He was the - we lost the dean of the United States Senate, but also the state of West Virginia lost its most fierce advocate and, as I said, I lost a dear friend.
“Throughout his 51 years, the longest tenure of any member in Congress in the history of the United States, Robert C. Byrd was a tough, compassionate, and outspoken leader and dedicated above all else to making life better for the people of the mountain state - his state, the state of West Virginia. He never lost sight of home. He may have spent half a century in Washington. But there’s a guy - if anybody wondered - he never, never, never, never took his eye of his beloved mountain state. And we shall not - to paraphrase the poet - we shall not see his like again. And the Senate is a lesser place for his going."