Talk about first impressions. Speaking to a gathering held in his honor this month by the addiction and mental health communities, retiring Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy recalled his first meeting with outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
When Patrick was 10 years old, he related, his father, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, called Pelosi and explained that Patrick and some of his friends were going to be in San Francisco, and could they stay with her?
Of course was the answer, so the younger Kennedy and 35 of his friends descended upon the Pelosi home—and went wild. They had water fights in Pelosi’s tony abode, amid expensive paintings and other finery. “I never thought she’d smile at me again,” Kennedy told the crowd as the speaker, standing a few feet away, beamed and laughed. In fairness to Kennedy—who’s calling for an equivalent of the Apollo moon program in the field of brain research--hosting three dozen out of control 10 year olds was probably not bad training for running the House of Representatives.