Former U.S. President Bill Clinton visited the Maryland Senate on Thursday night to surprise and honor his old friend Thomas V. Mike Miller, Maryland’s Senate president, who is diagnosed with cancer.
At an annual dinner for current and former state senators, called the Maryland Senate’s Past Dinner, Clinton was a surprise speaker.
The former president gave a speech on politics in which he alluded to fellow Democrat Miller’s cancer diagnosis and said it’s a reminder to focus on the important things in life, not just partisan battles.
“It sort of sobers you up when someone you love is facing a challenge,” Clinton said. “He deserves what you’ve given him in Maryland: lifetime tenure at the university of more perfect union.”
Miller, a powerful and long-tenured figure in state government who has served as Senate president since 1987, announced in January that he is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer but vowed to continue working throughout the General Assembly session.
His cancer has metastasized, or spread beyond the prostate, and is in an “advanced” stage. Miller has started chemotherapy at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and will receive treatment about every three weeks, including Tuesday morning.
“I can’t think of any public servant I know anywhere who has done it as well or as long as this man we honor tonight,” Clinton said, before those gathered gave Miller a standing ovation. “Mike Miller, we love you. Every one of us.”