Fields Remembers His Encounter With Teddy

teddy kennedy

Guest Columnist

Back in the 1970’s I worked on Capital  Hill and later became a lobbyist  for liberal groups.  It was in that career I regularly saw Ted Kennedy and occasionally met with him.

The first thing I noticed about the guy was his head was so large that he bordered on being a macrocephalic.
It was in meeting at his office, along with his Chief of Staff, that I learned he also had a wicked sense of humor beyond anything that you might imagine. 
Keep in mind, the meeting was about 15 years after JFK was assassinated and ten years after RFK met the same fate.
Teddy was clearly multitasking. However, at one moment the Senator was briefly startled when the Senate floor buzzer went off.
Without batting an eye the Chief  of Staff piped up: “Don’t worry, you won’t hear the one that gets you.
It could have been the most awkward moment of my life; except Teddy started laughing. 
It was clear that these guys had joked about this before.
I never saw Kennedy again without remembering that encounter.

3 Responses to “Fields Remembers His Encounter With Teddy”

  1. Fields Again says:

    Two ultra liberals — Fields and Kennedy — sitting around discussing how to take freedoms from the rest of us.

  2. Kennedy Influence says:

    The political views of all three, JFK, RFK and Ted were decidedly liberal. Forget for the moment whether you are a liberal leaning or conservative leaning person. The fact that for so many years we had figures as imposing as the Kennedy’s in the Senate and elsewhere espousing liberal views was essential to our nation. They kept us thinking, no different than the ultra conservative thinkers do, and in a nation that is almost always looking to establish policy in the center of the political spectrum, having those contrasts forces us to think.

    Sometimes Kennedy won the day because his measures were adopted. Other times he won the day by being on the losing side of an argument. But always he was true to his convictions and was unafraid to speak them. This needs to be respected. I would say the same of conservatives in the Senate and elsewhere, they too force us to think and consider options.

    This said the important thing, and I think the admirable thing about the nation is how it tends most of the time to gravitate toward the middle on issues of significant importance. We tend to be fiscal conservatives in the sense of not wanting high taxes or imprudent spending of tax funds. But we also tend to be socially liberal in terms of allowing people their rights and their ability to live out their lives as they basically see fit, barring some illegality or undue insult to society.

    I can think of many conservative thinkers that have played their role well, and may write about them some other time. But right now, whether we agreed with him or not, it’s important given the passing of Ted Kennedy that we give him his due. He was an imperfect man, that much is clear. But he stood his ground when it came to his beliefs and also stood the test of time. Only two other people in the nation’s history served in the Senate longer than him. That’s pretty incredible and he is deserving of praise for his life’s work.

    I saw something in the newspapers that I thought was very appropriate. Something like, we loved JFK, we admired RFK, but we were served by EMK. Of the three there’s no question that Teddy did the most, even though his older brothers will likely always be put above him in the scope of history.

    Who will rise to become the next lion of the Senate? Who will become the next leader of the liberal movement? That remains to be seen but it’s important that somebody step up and do it because without that our politics is incomplete. Boring also.

  3. The Prince of Darkness says:

    We are so excited to have Teddy with us now. We would have had him sooner but we only recently finished our Kennedy Wing. Mary Jo, bless her heart,sent down a housewarming gift, a smoking jacket made out of asbestos. What a thoughtful girl.