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Published On: Fri, Jan 26th, 2018

Susan Collins recounts the use of the African Talking Stick in the Senate, Lamar Alexander ‘tossed it’

Sen. Susan Collins used her Tuesday morning appearance on CNN to show off her “talking stick” which ignited conversation and some debate across the Internet.

screenshot/ CNN

“I can show it to you,” the Maine Republican said as she displayed a colorful stick used to give individual senators a chance to speak during bipartisan discussions on passing a funding bill to end the government shutdown.

Whoever was holding the stick was the only person allowed to talk.

“As you can see, it’s beautifully beaded and it was given to me by my friend, Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota,” Collins told “New Day” anchor Chris Cuomo.
“It is originally from Africa and it is used to help control the debate in a meeting, particularly when you have a large number of loquacious people.”

“Is it true, Senator, that someone threw the stick during the meeting?” Cuomo asked.

“I think a more accurate word would be that there was — usually, I would pick up the stick and take it from person to person, but sometimes it was tossed,” Collins responded. “And in this case, the toss went slightly amiss.”

Politico reported that the senator in question was Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who was tossing the stick to Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).

Alexander “forcefully delivered” the stick across the room, but it missed Warner and caused damage to a shelf in Collins’ office. A glass elephant sitting on a shelf owned by Collins became the casualty, with the stick chipping it a little bit.
“There were no injuries, there were a couple close calls but everything worked out fine,” another Republican senator said about the talking stick and the elephant incident.
Collins suggested using a small rubber ball, and Alexander also brought his own basketball “because it’d be safer than a stick,” an aide said.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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