"Without intending it as a commentary on his successor, I have to confess I think the Senate will be a much poorer place without Russ Feingold in it," McCain said. "I know that in my next term I will experience fewer occasions of inspiration because of the departure of Russ Feingold, a man whose courage and dedication to the principles that guided his Senate service often inspired me."In a long, and at times emotional, speech, McCain said Feingold's friendship and wisdom would be "irreplaceable."
"In his time in the Senate, Russ Feingold, every day and in every way, had the courage of his convictions," McCain said. "And though I am quite a few years older than Russ, and have served in this body longer than he has, I confess I have always felt he was my superior in that cardinal virtue."