Did Brooke's message get through? For a moment. Politicians and pundits briefly exhibited a sense of bipartisan nostalgia, but the senator's advice was quickly eclipsed by musings on the wonder of the nation's first black president honoring the first black senator.
- Awkward At The Washington Post, Ann Gerhart says Brooke's chastising about partisanship made Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell a little uncomfortable. Brooke, she said, "displayed a flash of the fortitude he used when cajoling fellow lawmakers. Using the license accorded to a man who has lived for 90 years, Brooke turned, fixed his eyes on McConnell and directly addressed the Senate Republican leader. 'We've got to get together,' Brooke lectured, with a smile. McConnell fidgeted. The crowd burst into applause, and McConnell joined in."
- Refreshing MSNBC Countdown guest host Lawrence O'Donnell welcomed the break in partisan bickering. "Today, in an all-too-rare bipartisan moment in the Capitol, [Brooke] was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the full approval of the leadership of both parties."
- Historic At The Swamp, Mark Silva notes that "President Barack Obama, who has spoken often of 'the arc of history,' today honored one of the men who paved a path for the president's own historic election." First Read's Athena Jones takes away the same message. "The first black president -- a man who made history himself last November -- lauded Brooke as a man who spent his life breaking barriers and bridging divides across the country."
- An Unrealistic Call For Bipartisanship NPR's Frank James says "Brooke sounded a little like Rodney King when he urged lawmakers to put their differences behind them."