Sen. Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, a highly decorated World War II combat veteran who used his status as one of the most powerful Democrats in Washington and the second-longest-serving senator in history to send billions of dollars to his home islands, died Monday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. He was 88.
His main claim to fame, IMHO, was this during the Watergate hearings:
Watched by millions of viewers on network television over the course of three months, the sessions introduced Sen. Inouye to the public as an undaunted questioner of top White House aides, including H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman (right).
Ehrlichman’s sworn testimony prompted a rare moment of unguarded emotion from Sen. Inouye. “What a liar!” he whispered into a microphone he thought was off.
The next week, Ehrlichman’s attorney referred to Sen. Inouye as “that little Jap,” prompting a wave of thousands of telegrams and letters in support of the senator.