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Baucus returns home to Montana after decades of service - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Baucus returns home to Montana after decades of service

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BOZEMAN - Former Montana Senator and U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus paid a visit to Montana State University Thursday evening.

The former senator and ambassador reflected on his time spent in years of public service and what it means for him to return to Montana in a 90-minute discussion at the Student Union Center’s Burton K. Wheeler Center.

Elected to the Senate in 1978 where he remained until 2014, and appointed U.S. Ambassador to China by President Obama in 2013, Max Baucus's political career has spanned almost 40 years.

The longest-serving Senator in Montana served as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and played a major role in passing the health care reform bill during the Obama administration.

"Public service has kind of been my calling," Baucus said.

He grew up on a ranch in Helena, and now he's finally come back to his roots, to enjoy retirement.

"It feels so good to finally be rooted in one spot, not in Washington D.C. or Beijing, but here in home, so we want you to know how happy we are to be here in Montana," said Baucus.

Baucus sat in front of a crowd of more than 100 people in the Burton K. Wheeler Center, answering questions on politics, presidents and public service.

"I love it, I have no regrets," he said.

I think the most noble human endeavor is service. Service to church, synagogue, community, friends, family, service. And for public service, it's just those who are serving others, I think are more rewarded," said Baucus.

Baucus even shared some memories of the seven different presidents he served over the course of 40 years, including one of President Ronald Reagan.

"I started out by saying something pretty lame like, ‘Well Mr. President, as you know Montana borders Canada,' you know, for NAFTA, and he said, 'Oh, Montana! My favorite film was Cattle Queen of Montana!" Baucus said.

Baucus is now retired and living near Bozeman.

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