During his almost fifty years in the Congress, Senator Kennedy has been a dominant leader in so many areas of our national life health and health care, education, civil rights, and on and on.
Twenty years ago, in the summer of 1989, as a mid-level member of President George H. W. Bush's White House staff, I was tapped to be the Administration's negotiator with the Congress for what came to be known as the Americans with Disabilities Act.
My chief counterpart in those negotiations was a person on Senator Kennedy's staff and across that summer I had many, many long meetings up on Capitol Hill. Some of those sessions included our bosses and there I was privileged to meet and get to know Senator Kennedy a bit.
I grew to admire him a great deal for his earnest commitment and tireless energy and focus. He was, and we were, ultimately successful, and the ADA is now the law of the land.
Of all the activities I have been involved with, across a number of government jobs, I am proudest of my work on the ADA.
Today I recall proudly and fondly my time twenty years ago and how I intersected briefly and in a small way with Senator Edward Kennedy.
He will be greatly missed.