Wednesday, August 26, 2009 Michael_Jackson_Talk_RadioMichael_Jackson_Talk_Radio

Michael_Jackson_Talk_Radiocapitalo this day I truly don't know whether he was serious or putting me on. Anyway, Rudy Maxa working for the Washington Post at the time, put the item on the front page (those, I suppose, were simpler times). I was to do my first radio interview with a very young Senator Ted Kenned .He was in his forties and he'd held the office since he was thirty years old. Wanting to do a good job I had done my research and his staff had put one of his assistants to the task of researching me and my work and politics. Remember this was long before PCs and the likes of Wikapedia. kennedyIt was before cell 'phones. He was in Washington, I was in the studio in Los Angeles and the reception was nowhere nearly as clear as it is nowadays.

Here's what happened. About fifteen minutes into our scheduled half hour the Senator said "At this time I should like to talk about you Michael. I would like to thank you and your whole family for their great contribution to American music." I stammered something inane, concluding with, "Thank you Senator Kennedy. Now let's see, you were the one who had the charisma bypass?" I haven't the foggiest idea why I said that, but, as I mentioned reception was not that clear in those days and he continued the conversation, the first of several with my audience over the decades. And how wrong I was in my assessment; he was the one who really grew and developed a tremendous personality. The one who grew in stature with each passing year. His brother, John F. Kennedy, who became president was nowhere nearly as effective or attentive when he was in the United States senate. Sen. Robert Kennedy gave very little attention to his senate seat and appeared not to care. He was a far better Attorney General. Sen. Edward Kennedy was the achiever who was respected by Republicans and Democrats alike; he wasn't called, affectionately, the Lion of the senate without good reason. He worked across the aisle effectively time and again. He has made a difference in this world.

Fact: In nearly a half century the liberal lion, Sen. Kennedy, served alongside 10 presidents. His areas of major influence in civil rights, education, immigration, health care and much more.

A most impressive legislative record. He will soon be buried at Arlington National Cemetery where he will rest in peace alongside his assassinated brothers.

More tomorrow

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