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Strom Thurmond's birthday cake is getting a little crowded. The oldest and most senior member of Congress turned 88 on Wednesday.

Thurmond has spent nearly half his life -- 43 years -- in politics. He will be sworn in for his eighth term in January -- more than any other person in U.S. history. He has served under 10 presidents, beginning with Franklin Roosevelt.

But Thurmond says he's as enthusiastic as any freshman.

"Of course I'm excited. This is the most deliberative body in the world," he said. "I feel like the youngest senator in this chamber."

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