Sen. Mark Kirk spoke for the final time on the Senate floor Thursday, praising Illinoisans’ ingenuity and extolling the Chicago Cubs recent World Series championship.
During Kirk’s short address, the senator thanked the people of Illinois, namely residents of the state's 10th Congressional district, whom Kirk served for ten years in the House of Representatives. Additionally, Kirk gave a resounding shout-out to the world champion Cubs.
“I can safely say without contradiction here in the Senate that the Chicago Cubs are now the World Series champions,” Kirk said. “And as I’ve said so many times, any professional baseball team can have a bad century."
“We have finally killed the curse of the goat and all the curses that befell our baseball team,” he added.
Following a contentious campaign, Kirk was knocked off by Rep. Tammy Duckworth in the November election. She will shift to the Senate in January.
Kirk lauded the state's innovative history Thursday, noting that the cell phone, vacuum cleaner and zipper were all invented by Illinoisans. Kirk also pointed out that the state produces the majority of the country's pumpkins.
“I want to give a message to the people of Illinois,” Kirk said. “For the people of Illinois I would say, take heart, Illinois, that you come from one of the most industrious states in the union, the fifth largest industrialized state.”
The outgoing Republican also reminisced about his time as a staffer on the House International Relations Committee. Kirk claimed his work helped bring a war crimes indictment against Simo Drljaca, a notorious Bosnian Serb who was killed in 1997. Kirk referred to Drljaca as a "monster" during the speech.
"I would say the United States in now the greatest force for human dignity that we have ever seen, and to make sure that those values are continued has been the heart of my service here in the Senate and the Congress," Kirk said.
During the speech, the senator also thanked a variety of people, including his old boss, former Illinois Rep. John Porter, and his longtime companion, Dodie McCracken.
Kirk was honored on the Senate floor Tuesday by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who lauded his fellow Republican’s recovery from a “debilitating” 2012 stroke.