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Posted on Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 5:28 p.m.

John Dingell to talk about becoming longest-serving Congressman in history on 'Colbert Report'

By Ryan J. Stanton

U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, is getting a lot of press this week as he's poised to set a new record as the longest-serving member in the history of the U.S. Congress.

He was interviewed by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" over the weekend, and tonight he'll appear on "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central.


U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, at an event in Ann Arbor last year.

Ryan J. Stanton |

The 86-year-old congressman, whose district includes Ann Arbor, is expected to talk about his 57-plus years in office with political satirist Stephen Colbert at 11:30 p.m.

On Friday, Dingell, now serving his 30th term in the House, will eclipse the late Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, having served 57 years and 177 days.

He first took office on Dec. 13, 1955, at the age of 29 after winning a special election to replace his late father, John Dingell Sr., as the representative for Michigan's 15th Congressional District.

In his Sunday interview with Stephanopoulos, Dingell cited "lack of collegiality" and "refusal to compromise" as the biggest change he's seen in Congress over the decades.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 5:46 a.m.

In 1968 a friend of mine was serving his second tour in SE Asia when his father had a heart attack which left his mom and two small siblings with no support. We lived in Dearborn and I went to the Dearborn Veterans Affairs Bureau to see if they could help get my friend back to his family. They contacted Mr. Dingell who had my friend flown home, assigned to Selfridge AFB, then, because he was in the last couple of months of his enlistment, got him a discharge from the Air Force. This was done in less than two weeks. Then Mr. Dingell helped get my friend a job with the City of Dearborn traffic signal unit. When we went to thank him for what he had done, He said that that was the least he could do to help my friend who had served his country so valiantly. Needless to say I have never forgotten what Mr Dingell did for my friend and ever since he became my Representative, have voted for him. Thanks also for the bridge money, all our streets are far better off with the money.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 5:11 a.m.

We are a country that rebelled against career politicians. And now we are celebrating them? Dingell represents one of the most impoverished parts of the US. A part of the country that has changed a couple of times due to re-districting and yet has been in constant decline since his father took office and passed the office down to his son. And yet, the family still gets reelected. Should we really celebrate a career politician who has actually seen the livelihood of his constituents continue to decay while he prospers?


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 11:29 a.m.

King George III was a politician. Who knew?

Jack Gladney

Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 1:49 a.m.

There should be an Amendment stating that corpses cannot seek or hold any federal office, no matter how life-like they seem. And as for Dingell, he's been in Washington far too long.


Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 11:53 p.m.

We should be appalled and kick this guy out of office, not celebrating one man's entrenchment in political office for so long. Career politicians are the problem, and this is not a good thing.

Michigan Man

Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 11:10 p.m.

Wish this guy would just go away - have been tired of his weak game for decades. Maybe the host will ask him why gas prices in Washtenaw County are 2nd highest in the State of Michigan. This guy Dingell is just clueless.


Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 11:07 p.m.

nothing personal against the senator... but it is these lifelong career politicians that are part of the problem in DC... it is supposed to be a few years service to your country not a lifetime career and a taxpayer funded ticket to the 1%.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 11:27 a.m.

Ha Ha!

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 1:01 a.m.

He's a member of the House, not the Senate.


Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

Exhibit 1 for why 12 year term limits are necesssry.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 5:05 a.m.

Admiral Moose, you also should know that if you are strong enough in the dominant party, you can win for a couple decades without actually showing any actual tangible results for your constituents. And this is coming from a person who votes Democrat and votes against Dingell every election.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 1:02 a.m.

Admiral loose. If you have ever worked deeply on any politcal campaign you realize who manipulative, deceptive, and how big money can bias an election to a weaker incumbent. The populace is simply ignorant of the facts. Trust me on this.


Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 11:13 p.m.

Term limits are only necessary when you can't beat your opponent at the ballot box.

Colorado Sun

Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

His most memoable debate is when he took on Ann Arbor native Chase Ingersoll, who is a leader in the Washtenaw County GOP. He showed poise and grace under fire as Mr. Ingersoll tried to humiliate him. That debate was reported in the New York Times but the full details were only reported in"The Hill" a U.S. Capitol political news periodical.

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 10:53 p.m.

Chase Ingersoll is a native of Texas I believe. And I covered the debate you're referencing:


Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 10:27 p.m.

If you're out there Stephen, ask him why Michigan is #2 on the gas price scale and whether he advocates raising taxes on fuel to artificially limit fuel consumption.

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 10:04 p.m.

Some fun facts … One of the stories I linked to above notes that Dingell has served with 22 percent of all members who have ever served in the U.S. House — 2,419 of 10,989 lawmakers — casting more than 25,000 votes through 11 presidential administrations while attending 50 State of the Union addresses. The story also notes when Dingell first took office, Dwight Eisenhower was serving his first term as president and had not yet signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, John F. Kennedy was still a U.S. senator and had not yet published his Pulitzer Prize-winning book "Profiles in Courage," and Barack Obama would not be born in Hawaii for almost six more years. More fun facts (including the cost of gasoline when Dingell first took office) can be found here: Someone pointed out earlier today that with Sen. Frank Lautenberg's death, Dingell and Ralph Hall are the last World War II veterans in Congress. Since the House is not in session on Friday, lawmakers will regroup June 13 for a bicameral, bipartisan celebration of Dingell in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.

Colorado Sun

Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 10:52 p.m.

His father began serving in Congress in 1933. One of Congressman Dingell's first aides was John Conyers, who is now the second most senior member of the U.S. House. His wife Debbie is a former General Motors executive. John Dingell owned large blocks of GM shares that eventually became almost worthless. He backed the Vietnam War until 1971. Forty years ago, he was considered likely the fourth or fifth most powerful member of the U.S. House - but today his influence in Congress is negligible. California's Henry Waxman following the 2008 Congressional election wrested away from Dingell the chairmanship of the House Energy and Transportation Committee via vote of the Congressional Democratic Caucus - Dingell was unable to gather sufficient support with his fellow Congressmen to fend off Waxman's audacious challenge. Formerly lived in Trenton - the hometown of George H.W. Bush immediately following WWII. Is well-connected with Ann Arbor politicians - he even endorsed Leigh Greden in his ill-fated re-election campaign in 2009 against Steve Kunselman.

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 10:11 p.m.

Dingell just released this statement on Lautenberg's passing: "In his time with us, Senator Frank Lautenberg proved to be an exceptional member of the United States Senate and someone who I've long considered a great friend. In his work on behalf of the people of New Jersey, and his time spent in the Army in defense of our nation—a brother of mine in arms during World War II—Senator Lautenberg did his job and did it well. His contributions to this great country will be forever recognized, and he will be deeply missed. Deborah and I have his family and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers."


Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 10:02 p.m.

Thank you John for all of your wonderful service on behalf of those of us who can't buy elected officials like others can.


Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

lefty....I didn't thumbs down you


Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 10:15 p.m.

lefty.....Seeing that the NRA buys everyone who supports them I'm curious of what a liberal thinks of his A+ NRA rating ? I look forward to all the thumbs down that are coming cause I just stated a fact


Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

Probably get zapped, but I see it as one comedian talking to another..time for John to retire.