WaPo Can't Contain Kennedy Love [Kevin D. Williamson]
A reader sends this in from a Washington Post reporter — congressional reporter, mind you — Paul Kane:
It's September 1995, I'm brand new to DC working at this white-collar sweatshop known as States News Service. I'm racing to the Dirksen Senate Office Building to cover my first ever congressional hearing, this one before what was then known as the Labor committee, exploring a GOP proposal to slash billions of dollars from the federal student loan program. I'm late, it's hot, sweaty and I'm standing at the elevator when I realize, right next to me, is Edward M. Kennedy, the ranking Democrat on the committee. Ah, I think, I'm not late, they won't start until Teddy gets there. We get into the elevator — Kennedy was so late, he didn't bother waiting for the senators-only elevator — and I realize that the back flap on Kennedy's jacket is up. Hunched over from a debilitating back injury he suffered in a mid-1960s plane crash, Kennedy wasn't able to reach his arms around his neck to pat down the jacket. So he sat there in the elevator flapping away on his jacket, not able to get the damn thing down.
Should I help, I thought. Am I allowed to touch a Kennedy? I grew up in a household with busts of both Jack and Bobby. I can't touch a Kennedy. They're royalty.
So I let Kennedy walk out of the elevator looking silly, too afraid to help him. By the time Kennedy walks into the hearing his jacket is set — clearly an aide helped set the flap right — and he immediately tears into Republicans for trying to destroy the student loan program. It was awesome. It was vintage. It was my first moment ever with Ted Kennedy.
08/27 12:17 PMShare