The quiet senator with a calculator watch: Wyoming’s Mike Enzi retires after 23 years in Washington

For a few months in the spring of 1996, Mike Enzi thought his career in politics was over.


Then a 10-year veteran of the Wyoming Legislature, Enzi was in recovery from open heart surgery the previous October at Deaconess Hospital in Billings, Montana, where he was treated for a damaged heart valve.


It had been a long run for Enzi, the tireless shoe salesman and former Gillette mayor. He arrived in the town before coal trains and oil rigs became a way of life in the Powder River Basin.