I knew him slightly. I briefed him several times in the eighties. I would go over to his office in the forenoon. He was usually so hung over that it was difficult to know how much he actually heard or comprehended. He would occasionally ask questions, good questions. I liked the man. I liked his humanity. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said "what's the good of being Irish if you don't know that the world is going to break your heart?" I always felt that the world had broken Ted Kennedy's heart and that he drank to dull the pain. He was not a puritan. I liked that too. You could sense that he cared about ordinary people. He did not much like men like me, but I understood that. I never reminded him in the course of those briefing meetings that he had met me once before, in Vietnam under terribly difficult conditions. This had been during a trip he made out there to see the war for himself.
I remember him getting off an Air America Huey in the midst of something terrible, the aftermath of a VC attack on a Montagnard re-settlement village. He wept after he looked around. I began to think I might like him.
I did not agree with him about a lot of things politically, but he "was a man for all that," a man with a warm heart.
He belongs to the ages along with a president for whom he must have had a special feeling. pl