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Menendez Unexpectedly Sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to Akaka

Akaka, seen her getting a kiss from Rep. Loretta Sanchez, is feeling the love. The former senator celebrated his 90th birthday on Thursday. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Akaka, seen her getting a kiss from Rep. Loretta Sanchez, is feeling the love. The former senator celebrated his 90th birthday on Thursday. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Daniel K. Akaka got an unexpected birthday song on Thursday.  

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., had been trying to reach the Hawaii Democrat to wish him a happy 90th birthday. When Akaka returned the call, he was riding the Dirksen subway toward the Capitol along with New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez.  

So, Barrasso handed off his cellphone to Menendez to wish birthday greetings to his former colleague when HOH saw something unexpected happen — Menendez broke into song.  

The Foreign Relations chairman could be heard singing “Happy Birthday” to the person on the other end of the phone. Barrasso later told us it was Akaka. The pair served together as leaders of the Senate’s Indian Affairs Committee, an important panel in both Hawaii and Wyoming.  

Barrasso also told HOH he didn’t know that Menendez would break out in song when he handed off the phone.  


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