Kevin Collins: Today is Monday, May 24th, 2010. This is Kevin Collins. Andtoday's interview is Romano Mazzoli, former Congressman for twelve terms from 1970 to 1994 for the Third Congressional District of Kentucky. Good morning, Congressman.
Ron Mazzoli: Good morning, Kevin. Good to be with you again.
KC: Good to see you.
RLM: Our third session, very nice.
KC: Yes, indeed. I thought today, we might talk about folks that you knew inyour 24 years in Congress, beginning with the people that you hired for your various staffs in Washington, D.C. and your district office here in Louisville, and then move on to your reminiscences about presidents, vice presidents, congressmen, senators, international figures you may have met in your work.
RLM: It's a wonderfully interesting topic. I'll have to bridle myself today,1:00because I could go on for hours and hours for each of these people was very important to me in some fashion or form, and to Helen as well, because once again, all these people that I'll mention today, save the members of Congress, what-have-you, but certainly all the staff people were close friends of Helen's and mine, and -- as well as co-workers.
But to start out with -- And I think it'd be interesting to begin with theadministrative assistants. And just for the listener, the term in Congress that's used is administrative assistant. But we would perhaps use the term as office manager, staff director. He or she -- because we had both male and female administrative assistants -- he or she actually runs the office. Now I do 2:00ultimately have the say. I make the final decision. But that person is there day-to-day, every day, even when I was out of town. And they're the ones that make sure the workflow is caught up, the mail gets processed, that the calls get returned. And so they're really hands-on managers of the office.
The first one of those is Bob Baughman, B-A-U-G-H-M-A-N. Currently, Bob lives inArizona in Oro Valley, which is fairly near Tucson. But was a Louisvillian, an Eagle Scout, a very active member of the Scout movement. And when I was elected to the State Senate in 1968 and took part in the '68 session and the 1970 session, Bob was with the Legislative Research Commission, which is that arm of state government which helps members frame the issues, helps members with research, helps members to draft bills that may want to accomplish such ends as they wish to accomplish legislatively.
And Bob impressed me, as he worked with what we call the LRC, the LegislativeResearch Commission. And I found him to be a very -- a man of depth, a trained lawyer. So he understood all the legal jargon, I guess we call it, the legal 3:00terminology. And he understood the legislative process at Frankfort, which isn't all that much different than Washington. There are a lot of transferable parts. I mean, you introduce a bill in one house, and it's introduced maybe in the other house. And one house passes it. The other house passes it. That doesn't make it law. They've got to go through a reconciliation procedure. And even that doesn't make it law. Has to be approved by both bodies again. And then it has to be sent to the governor, who, as we have it in Washington, the right of veto. And the vetoes can be sustained or they can be overridden.
So anyway, Bob had intimate knowledge of the whole process. So when it came topass that I was elected to Congress, one of the first people that I contacted was Bob Baughman about his maybe coming to Washington. Well, he was pretty well ensconced at Frankfort. But I think Bob had a real interest in what was going on. He followed the campaign. I don't remember his being active in it, but he couldn't because he was part of state government. But in any event, he obviously observed it and perhaps felt that I had something to commend me, based on his observation of my work in the State Senate, where I did receive commendations 4:00from the press and from my peers there.
So Bob then accompanied me as my very first staff assistant, my very first staffdirector, my first administrative assistant, to Washington. It was he who primarily, with one exception, hired the staff. And I may have mentioned in an early tape -- and I'll talk about her in a moment -- Olive Daddario who became my personal assistant. To say she was secretary is to diminish her role. To say that she was my close friend and confidante and protector and advisor is to be a little more accurate.
But save Olive's hiring, which came through Peter Rodino, the member ofCongress, everybody else Bob hired. And I can't remember each one in our first staff, but it was a very small staff. We had maybe three or four people. And I'll mention him in just a moment, who's passed away unfortunately, Cecil Noel, by reason of his activity on my congressional campaign, along with Charlie Mattingly. But it was Cecil who became my staff director, administrative 5:00assistant in the Louisville office to start out with. So it was primarily Cecil who had the responsibilities that Bob had in D.C. to run the place, and for the both of them to coordinate because -- I've said in an earlier tape that I always felt the Louisville office was the premier office. It was that office that people came to. It was the visible office in the Federal Building, which, as I mentioned before, is, one unexpected, but a happy fact that it now carries my name. But it was Cecil who then did that sort of thing.
But Bob Baughman served me from 1971. And you reminded me of these dates. Iwould not have remembered, Kevin. But Bob was with me as administrative assistant from my first day, January the third of 1971 to 1976 when he left to stay in Washington to work with another member for awhile, a member from Hawaii, Cecil Heftel. And then Bob stayed on in Washington for two or three different 6:00posts with various NGOs and various trade association groups that had offices in Washington, remained a very close friend.
KC: Let me ask you very quickly, Congressman, the administrative assistants thatyou had tend to stay for something between four and six years. Is that a common stretch? Do people get burned out doing this kind of work? Or do they just move 7:00on in their careers or --
RLM: Each and every one of these -- and I'll mention them all -- moved becausethey had an offer that they couldn't refuse. You know, going back to The Godfather: "I'll make you an offer that you can't refuse." So no one left because of burnout. They left because they either wanted to go back home, they wanted to do something differently, they had had an offer. In fact, Dan Hall went back to Louisville, came back where we are today, University of Louisville, to become assistant to the president, then Don Swain. No, nobody burned out. It's very common, frankly common to have somebody stay with a member the entire career. It's more common than to have a lot of flip-flop, because these people are so key and they become so knowledgeable. They become your alter ego. They become your voice, your face --
KC: Is there [both speaking at the same time]--
RLM: -- when you're not there, and even when you're there. So turnover is notalways to be sought.
KC: Is there much of an adjustment when you go from one particular assistant toanother particular assistant?
RLM: Yeah, there is. I mean, you know, each one of these has a personality. Iknew Bob longer, since I knew him at Frankfort. And he was a Louisvillian. Happens that only one other was from Louisville, and that was Dan Hall.
Yeah, they have different personalities. You have different comfort zones,8:00comfort level zones being with them. Some were more organized and clinical. And some were more personal and personable. But all of them did a fine job. I mean, I would not have stayed in office for 24 years were not these people devoted, loyal, and smart, talented, accomplished, so, and each in his or her own way.
But Bob was with me for those early years. And his mother -- Of course I knewhis mother and dad and his brother, John. And so we became close friends over those years, and earlier. And my basement today -- Some day you'll see it as -- I guess you'd call it, like, a representation of the seal of the United States. But it's done in needlepoint. Bob's mother was very talented that way. So I have that as a memento of our years. And I see it every morning, every day, two or three times a day. And so I think of Bob. Bob, as I mentioned, after he retired, moved first to a fascinating and beautiful place in Arizona, Sedona, which is the red hill country, red rock country. And then he moved to Oro Valley, which 9:00is near the Tucson area.
After Bob came, Mike Nevens, N-E-V-E-N-S -- Mike was with me from 1977 to 1980,an amazing person, a remarkably brilliant man. Came to me via University of Notre Dame. There's a huge Notre Dame club in Washington. And I was able to plug into that my very first year. And so I stayed active in Notre Dame Club affairs and I've met a lot of people and they've met me. We go to different ballgames. And so there's a lot of socializing, but a lot of networking, a lot of professional networking. And it came to pass that at one of those meetings, Mike Nevens was there. He's a 1971 graduate of Notre Dame, so much younger than me. He indicated an interest. And one thing led to the other, and he came to my staff. An outstanding guy. I mean, he went -- After he left me in 1980, he went 10:00with McKinsey & Company which is worldwide management consulting group, which only hires the absolute cream of the crop. I mean, the very top, top, top people from the various pursuits and professions are taken by McKinsey. And Mike was not only taken by McKinsey, but became a managing partner in Palo Alto, which, as you imagine because of Silicon Valley, was a hugely important function, which yielded for him, I'm sure, hugely important earthly comforts, but which he deserved entirely, a delightful man. He and his wife, Yvonne, have been our friends. We visited them in California, as we visited Bob and his partner, both in Sedona and in Oro Valley. So we stay close as much as we can when we're a continent apart.
But Mike was important in many ways, Kevin, because Mike was the first one tomove us into the computer era. For one thing, Bob didn't probably do it because we didn't have stuff like that. But Mike came in, in that era, but he also had 11:00that predisposition to be looking around for more and effective and efficient and more scientific and more computer-driven ways to do business. And everything from handling the mail to processing the cases, to keeping the paperwork to accessing the stuff when it's done, processing all the material that came through the desk. So he was extremely important in that way. And he also was, as you would probably imagine, he was a very organized clinical engineering approach -- matter of fact, if I'm not mistaken, at Notre Dame, I think he actually majored in engineering. And most of the folks who came with me are political science people or humanities. But I think Mike was one that had that background. 12:00
KC: He wasn't a lawyer. Do I remember that correctly? [Both speaking at the same time.]
RLM: No, he was not a lawyer. Bob was a lawyer. Dan was a lawyer. But neitherSarah nor Jane are lawyers. So those -- Two of them were, Bob and Dan Hall. Mike didn't need to be, because he, like another one whom I think we'll actually address personally, Harris Miller, another really brilliant man who ran my immigration committee along with Skip Endres. But they didn't need to be lawyers, because they were that smart. I mean, they knew more than the lawyers, literally. And they were just so quick to pick things up that they didn't know. So Mike didn't need to be a lawyer. He could hold off any bevy of lawyers, as far as I'm concerned.
But what he did was to move our office to a new era. Mike was, as you wouldimagine, an engineering guy, not exactly the person who was enveloping and warm 13:00and at high comfort level. I mean, he was a man had a job to do each morning, and he wanted to do it by the end of the day. And he would tell me -- He would admonish me. He was not prone to be intimidated at all. He'd tell me what I should and shouldn't do. And I would try to listen to him and try to organize my thinking and try to be more efficient and effective.
The one thing he told me years ago, and I never took his advice -- and I stillhaven't taken it -- And I always -- Any time I pick up a newspaper at night at home, I think, "Mike, I let you down. I betrayed you." Because Mike said, "Never take a newspaper at home at night. Get your reading done, all of it, your professional reading, your personal reading done at night. When you go home at night, do other things. Read a book. Read" -- you know. And I just continue, after all these years, still link myself to current events, and very little of the thought process that goes into why this current event is taking place, you know, the historical reference point. And that's where Mike was. He was amazing. He knew everything. And all of my administrative assistants had been much 14:00smarter than I am. People say, "Well, how did you hire them?" "Well," I said, "for one thing, it was the good fortune of God that these people came into my pathway. But they were always smarter than I am." So I felt comfortable that way.
Mike stayed with me until 1980, when the offer came from McKinsey and he wentwest. And he stayed in the West. He's from Illinois, from Springfield, Illinois originally. And he went out there and has been very content. They first lived south of L.A. and in a place, Marina Del Ray, or one of those places. Then they moved to Silicon Valley. I think it's Los Gatos Hills or Los Altos Hills, one of those wonderful places. Again, Helen and I visited them out there.
After Mike, came Dan Hall. Dan was with me from 1981 to 1985 as administrativeassistant. Dan had been with me as a staff assistant, legislative director of the House Committee on the District of Columbia. And he came up with Jimmy 15:00Carter in 1976, actually, when Jimmy Carter had been elected. And we have a wonderful picture. I'm having a copy of it made as we sit here, which is May the 24th of 2010. At Murphy's, I'm having a copy made of a picture I stumbled upon of Jimmy Carter having a meeting in the Cabinet Room with Charlie Diggs and Ron Dellums and Don Fraser and the people who run the House District of Columbia Committee. And he made sure that we knew that he wanted home rule for the District of Columbia, because it had been, you know, disparagingly called America's last plantation, which is to say, it was run by the Hill, not run by the elected mayor -- Well, he's not elected. He's an appointed mayor, Walter Washington. Think the first elected mayor was Marion Barry.
But it was run from the Hill, run from the House D.C. Committee. Actually theappropriations committee in the House had a committee on the District of Columbia, which Bill Natcher chaired for many, many years before he went to 16:00Health and Human Services, and eventually became chairman of the full committee.
So it was under quite a few strictures, and Jimmy Carter wanted that done andover with. So Dan reflects on this all the time, and he will when you interview him. I think if you remember the luncheon we had, afterwards we talked about it, at the luncheon we had over at the University Club, where he said, here he was, a young kid, a whippersnapper, just barely landed in Washington. All of a sudden, we go tooling down to the White House in my little old Rambler car, and there he winds up in the Cabinet room sitting there with the President of The United States. Pretty heavy thought. Well, pretty heavy thought for me for that 17:00matter. I mean, even though I'd been in Congress for a few years, it's still pretty heavy when you get to the White House.
But Dan was my administrative assistant and brought a different set of talentsto the office. He was a lawyer and so he, like Bob Baughman, could very easily parse a sentence when these bills came through, knew, once again, how to get that sort of thing done. But Dan was more of a personal kind of person. He's easier to get to know. If you remember that luncheon, he's a warm and genuine guy. The staff loved him and I loved him. I still love him, he and Sheila and their now three grown children. They were little babies, Tia and Danny O. and Christopher were little tiny babies when we first met Dan and Sheila Hall. 18:00
Dan, as you'll know, has a great background. He was a ranking golden glove boxerhere in Louisville. He went to Dartmouth for his undergraduate. Went to Harvard Law School. As an African American, that's not an easy thing to do. And I was very pleased when, after his session of a couple years or so on the District of Columbia committee, Dan went back home. I hired him from a law firm who had really recommended him. But after the D.C. episode, he went back home for a year or two. And then I was pleased that he could come back as my administrative assistant. And I believe that Dan was the first African American administrative assistant in the House. You can check with him, because he probably knows that. But did wonderful work for me, wonderful work. I would have kept him forever.
I think Dan might have been inclined to stay forever with me except another oneof those offers that you can't refuse came through from Don Swain, then the president of the University of Louisville, asking Dan to become his -- basically his assistant, his assistant vice president to do a lot of things, outreach, do all the work at Frankfort that the university needs, you know, in effect their government affairs director. And Dan did a superb job, and of course continues 19:00to be on the staff going through Don Swain, John Shumaker, and now Jim Ramsey. He's been there the whole time. So that means he's done a superb job for those guys, as he did for me in making sure that the office ran well when I was gone.
And once again, I emphasize for all these people, I could leave, as I had to dooften to go back home, leave the office, I go over to the Hill for votes, without ever one backward glance that something would not be done correctly. I was always absolutely comfortable leaving that office, to whether it was Bob or Mike or Dan or Sarah or Jane or any of the other people who were there.
But Dan then went back home to work with the University of Louisville where hehappily still is. Then came Sarah Luna. And Sarah, I think, was the first -- And I think Jane may have done the same thing. But Sarah was the first one who came in basically to open the mail. Just a young woman, fresh out of college, basically got the job because she was probably walking the hallways like so many 20:00young people do. She was from Tennessee, so she was not a Kentuckian, didn't come with any citations from friends of mine at home. Who knows? Maybe she was hired against somebody who came from home. I don't know. I try to be an equal opportunity hirer. But I wanted to get good talent.
So Sarah worked her way, Kevin, from the bottom to the very top, from theopening the mail and answering the telephones to going all the way back through the legislative side into the administrative assistant position. And she acquitted herself well, each and every one of those stops. She and Philip and Bradley, their son, became very close friends of ours and remain close friends. Sarah, after she did wonderful work for us for those three years -- And remember, you've got to keep in mind that Dan was there during those immigration years. And it was Sarah who was there when it came to fulfillment, to 21:00conclusion. So they really were under a lot of pressure, as was Bob because of the Vietnam War.
Dan and Sarah went through that. Now they were not on the immigration committee.That was Harris and Bonnie and Skip and Lynn Jacquez, whom you will see and meet when you go to Washington. But they had -- Because at home, there were a lot of ripple effects at home, antagonisms toward me because I got into the issue, antagonisms because of the fact the bill had certain provisions in it. But they handled that with adroitness and real skill.
But Sarah was obviously looked at with much fondness and affection and respectby other Hill groups. So she left and she went eventually -- I'm not sure where 22:00Phil was from, Philip was from, whether he might have been from the West. But my understanding is, Sarah may have stayed in town for awhile. But I think she basically went west and worked with the American [Travelers?] Association and with one of the thoroughbred industry trade groups. Coming from Tennessee, where they have Tennessee walking horses, I think maybe that may have been part of it.
But anyway, she is, and she's out there now, still in -- She's now in Arizona.She was in Colorado for some years. She's now in Arizona, actually where Bob Baughman, not -- I don't think she's in Tucson. I think she's in Phoenix. But 23:00once again, very talented, very organized person, very helpful, because that was the first woman that we had. And I think some of our young staff members, the female members of our staff, found in Jane -- found in Sarah a mother figure. And that was not all she was. She was the leader. She was the person who made the decisions. But she was one like Greta Stovall where younger staff members, men and women, but women perhaps because they felt more comfortable, could maybe talk with her. So Sarah became a revered member of our staff and very, very helpful to me.
After Sarah left in '89 I guess it was, you mentioned to me, then around '89,Jane Kirby, who also came to me via the Notre Dame connection -- Jane is a Notre Dame graduate of a pretty late vintage. Mike was class of '71. I can't remember Jane's class. But she came with me in '89, she can't have been many years out of school, maybe one or two years, so. It was probably the late '80s, younger than our children, because Michael got out of Notre Dame in '83 and Andrea and her 24:00now husband got out in '85. So Jane probably was '86, '87, '88. But you'll meet her. And it'll probably be somewhere in the -- She could probably be Googled for that part of it. Currently she lives in Alexandria, where she always lived. She married -- After she was with our staff, she married Mark Chopko. And they have children. Mark is an attorney and he represented the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops for a number of years, and represented them, interestingly enough, through all this crisis period of abuse. So he was a very important member of the team that handled this whole upheaval of priestly abuse of young people.
But Jane was another one who -- Now, she was not like -- is not like Sarah. Janeis more like Mike Nevens, more organized, more clipped, more prone to move along and move ahead and not do a lot of amenities and maybe not -- Very, very 25:00pleasant, don't get me wrong, but she was more prone not to just sit back and chitter chat, but to get things done and move them along.
So, you know, the staff probably reacted differently to her than to Sarah. Iwouldn't consider Jane to have been at that time, particularly she was much younger, but -- I don't think she was, by personality, the one that you could, you know, get as close to as, say, Sarah. But did a wonderful job and saw me through to the end. And she supervised what you're doing right now. Jane was the one who supervised all the closing down of both offices. She supervised packing away of papers, getting in touch with the Archives up there and getting in touch -- You know, Bill Morison was the one who quickly checked in with me about wishing the papers to be here at U of L.
But Jane was the one who did all the lifting. Kathie may have some recollectionsof working with her. It may have been that Jane came to Louisville. I do not know. But she was the one who had that unhappy responsibility, happy 26:00responsibility -- depends on how you look at it -- of shutting down our office and, you know, giving the key away to the House superintendent and walking down the hall to a new life.
And she's had a new life. She did work with organizations as well. I'm not asfamiliar with what she's done as I was with Sarah. But she continues -- She's also very active with the Notre Dame Club. She was in the Notre Dame marching band. And so every year on St. Patrick's Day, the members of the Notre Dame marching band who live in the D.C. area, D.C., Maryland, Virginia -- and some fly in, actually -- and they march in Old Town, Alexandria, as part of the St. Patrick's Day parade. So Jane still tootles, you know, just like they say in those Irish songs, tootles a toot and -- I'm not sure what -- I think she played the piccolo. I think it was maybe something like that, one of the wind instruments. She might have been a percussionist, but she still is active in 27:00that. And we got together not terribly long ago for some pizza over in Alexandria with some of the remaining staff, so.
The ones who have left us, who I think are deserving of note here, Cecil Noel,I've mentioned him. Charlie has, I'm sure, talked about him. Charlie Mattingly has, I'm sure, talked about him. But Cecil was very important to our campaign. 28:00He was an advertisement, ad agency kind of person, public relations guy. And he had all of that personality that you would associate with a person who does advertising and who does public relations, just a warm and genuine and wonderful and thoughtful guy with patience that never ended. We always used to kid that Cecil would sit with clients -- well, really constituents -- as he sat with his own clients, I guess. But he would sit with constituents for almost hours. We'd say, "Cec," you know, "move. We have things to do." Well, he was just so devoted to people.
Fact is, in his obituary -- I spoke at his funeral Mass. He became a convert toCatholicism while we were friends and coworkers, not because of any proselytizing I did, but because of friend that we visit periodically who lives 29:00in Paris, Kentucky. But Cecil was just a genuine, wonderful fellow. And because he was with us through all the campaign, I knew him. I knew him very well. And so the minute that we had won, I offered him, right on the spot as I did Charlie, some way to be with us, as I did the same thing with John Kilroy.
And Cecil became the staff director in our Louisville office. So he was thefirst of those, and did a great job. He was not like Bob and the lawyer types. He was not a lawyer. And he wasn't really devoted to anything into the policy side. Because I mentioned before, Louisville was not a policy office. Louisville was a personal office. Louisville was a case worker, problem-solving kind of office. And it was like a hand in a glove. Cecil fit that perfectly.
And he did his job of running the office very well as well. And he was such anice guy but nobody could help but just love the guy. And he also became my personal friend. And he and I -- and later when Charlie came along to that position, Cecil and I always went out together. I never went -- And I can say this. In Washington, as well as Louisville -- Well, I can't say that for Washington entirely. But in Louisville, I never went to anything during the work week or the work night where there was anything official that did not have Cecil with me or Charlie or John Kilroy or somebody with me. And I did that consciously, both because they're my friends, and it was always comforting, it 30:00gave me a pepper-up as I'm going into some debate or going into some kind of a meeting that I wasn't relishing. But also because it gave me an opportunity to have someone drive the car while I can prepare my notes and get prepared for whatever lay ahead. And there was also a little bit of something in me that said, "Always have a witness, always have a witness." And these were loyal wonderful people. They would never have lied for me. They would never have not told the truth about a situation. But I was always wary about going into somebody's house or going into some place without having someone with me who could verify this is exactly what happened. So I always went with someone.
Cecil then became my absolutely close friend. He was like my brother. We werecontemporaries in age. Unlike me, Cecil was a very natty dresser. He was very careful about his attire. He used to sell shoes, so his shoes were always polished -- as mine were, because of my army experience. I think I mentioned about my friend Wade Damron who taught us a lot of things in the army, including how to shine your shoes and keep them shined. So Cecil always was a perfect front man for me. He went anywhere on my behalf, and people had to say well, you know, Ron Mazzoli picks a good -- Cecil was a very nice-looking man. Very well-dressed. But mostly Cecil was my dear friend, and he opened my office, and that's always tough.
Also John Kilroy. We've talked about John before and his campaign. He came withme when we first met in the Right to Life movement, Citizens for Decent Literature. We both were active in that. And so he became one of the first people to help in the State Senate race and then the mayor's race and then the congressional race, and was in a staff picture which we have. That's also going to come to the Archives. A staff picture of John and Cecil and Charlie -- John Kilroy, Cecil Noel and Charlie Mattingly and Brenda Sweatt. She wasn't Sweatt at the time, her maiden name was different. And Diane Murrah. All in that first office. I think it's 551A in the Federal Building.
So anyway, John was there at the -- as we say, there at creation. He was -- talkabout the Big Bang theory when the universe was created, John was there at Big Bang when I was created politically I guess you'd say, and was with me the whole time. John had several functions. He was a wonderful caseworker. But not to solve the cases. John acquired the cases. John was like a magnet, and iron filings followed John's magnet. So wherever John was, people glommed onto him with this kind of a problem, that kind of a problem. And because he was Irish, he always wrote his papers with green ink. And you've probably seen some examples of his writing in green ink. He'd go to all the Democratic club meetings, and he would take notes and he would say so-and-so is having a birthday, send them a cake. So-and-so has got a wife that's ill, send her a card. So John was a caseworker, but he was not the case solver. He was the acquirer, the gatherer of these cases, which then people like Brenda and Diane and Charlie solved, and later many other people. Lee and Brother Ken McCarthy. But he was a very important part of that. He was our eyes and ears in the community, a lovely man, well-married, and they had five children. And each one of the kids -- I see them periodically, saw them all at John's funeral, which was a year ago -- they all said that they'd hardly gotten out of diapers and he had them walking neighborhoods, knocking on doors and stuffing envelopes. We had the Kilroy army. And there was nothing quite like it. So John was a great guy. Great friend. A wonderful devoted man of faith, and a good example to all people around us.
Vickie Gagliardi. Vickie was with me probably longer in some respects. But sheand John were pretty well tied, because Vickie was in that first law office I joined. And she was a secretary to Jerry Lloyd and then Jerry affiliated with Fred Goldberg. But Vickie was there. And when I came to the law firm from the L&N, part of the deal was I got the part-time use of a secretary, and it happened to be Vickie. There were other secretaries in the office. And I got to know her and her husband Joe. And we've talked about Joe -- with Joe last week. He's now in his mid 90s. He's blind. He lost his eyesight to glaucoma. He lost it at a time when they didn't have the techniques they have today. And I'm sure he would still be sighted if he'd lived in a different era. But a wonderful man. Lives on his own without sight. He still lives in his own home on [Lexun?]. And right next door a young couple have been very helpful to him. And Helen and I went out to have a cookout with them the other night. So we stay close to the family. Vickie and -- in fact Helen says Vickie was probably her closest friend outside her sister and outside family, so.
The one beautiful thing, Kevin. If you see the -- when you talk -- you say, "Didthis guy hire anybody but friends, I mean, did all these people become his close friends, how can that be?" Well, these people all became my friends. They became Helen's friends. They became Mike and Andrea's friends. And that was the beautiful part of my life. That was the blessing that God gave me, was that these people were not only talented and energetic and hardworking and very loyal, very ethical, but they were friendly. They were good people. We got to love them. And so that's been my life. That's been the good part. Just like this. If I can get across the river today, the young fellow who's running for treasurer of Indiana is also a guy we met casually but has become a very close friend. And so that is the wonderful thing about my life. I have met and had a lot of very close friends.
Vickie was with us. And I can't remember when she left. She retired. Sheeventually passed away. But it was her decision to retire. We would have kept her forever. But Cecil died during service. John Kilroy didn't. He died more recently. But Vickie left to retire and do some things. Her kids were still at home. They're gone now but -- they're out of the city now.
And the other one I'd wish to talk about for a minute is Olive Daddario,D-A-D-D-A-R-I-O. And I mentioned briefly the other day, but when it came to pass that I won with the landslide margin of 211 votes, I started getting calls from Washington. One from Congressman Peter Rodino, who was the, you might say, chair of the Italian caucus, which is just that loose affiliation of members of Congress who are Italian American, whose heritage is Italian. And he as I mentioned before said he didn't realize there were that many Italians here. And I said well, I wasn't elected because I'm Italian as much as despite the fact that I am. And we got on to other topics. And then he eventually told me that -- and when I was trying to staff my office, while Bob was doing the bulk of it, Peter told me, he said, "There's a person I want you to work with if you possibly can." And it turned out to be Olive Daddario, whose brother Emilio, Mim Daddario, was a member of the House from Connecticut for a long time, and had run that year, in 1970, for governor of Connecticut. He was beaten by Tom Meskill, who served as governor, and then became a federal judge.
Olive had been working with her brother. Now that's forbidden nowadays under thenepotism rules. But because she started working with Mim before the nepotism rule was invoked, she was grandfathered in. So she could stay working with him until he left. Well, she then was looking for something. And Peter Rodino joined the two of us together. And was that manna from heaven for me and for Helen! Olive became our close friend again. She was so watchful about me and my health. I think the reason I quit smoking, among many things, is because Olive was on Bob Baughman and me to quit smoking. It was just a vile habit, and it wasn't good for you. She was into health food. She always brought fresh fruit to the office. And she would make sure I had fresh fruit. Toward the end of the day, in order to build up my reservoir of energy, she would bring little wedges of cheese in with Triscuits. And I still eat Triscuits almost every day because of Olive. And she also turned me on to V8 juice. She wouldn't let me drink Coca-Cola. She made sure I had V8 juice in the refrigerator. So she was like my mother.
Olive was a young woman. Older than I was at that time. I was 38, so I guessOlive was probably in her 40s at the time. But a tall elegant beautiful woman who just cared about all of us. Cared about Bob, cared about me. When the kids would come in the office, Mike and Andrea, they would come up only on visits. They were still little at the time. And she would make over them so. Olive was just one of my heroes in the office. And she knew everything about the Hill. Having been with Mim, she knew every office. She knew every functionary in every office. She knew exactly what had to be done ABCDEF, successfully doing the case. And so we just were sort of in awe of this woman who was so wonderful and kind and gentle and sweet and also so knowledgeable and so professional. It was a peculiar and unusual combination. But Olive was special.
She died. It was really very sad, because she was -- I guess you'd say -- not --what's that -- Christian Science. I think there's a term. I believe it's still that. But in effect they don't -- they sometimes don't believe in doctoring. They don't believe in certain kinds of medications and things like that. They believe in a sort of holistic approach. Which I tend to agree with myself. But apparently Olive got ill, and she insisted that she didn't want to go to doctors. And she tried to do this. And she eventually left us to live sort of in seclusion. It was really quite sad. A very gregarious and very personable woman, sort of pulled away, and eventually died. But her brother Mim, I've seen him in a fairly recent vintage. Not immediately. But fairly recent.
KC: How long was she with you, Olive Daddario?
RLM: Not many years. I would think probably she may have been with me like thosefive years that Bob Baughman was there, but probably not much longer. Helen would probably remember better than I would. And maybe the public record. Because she went off the payroll. So there's probably some repository of public pay records that you can access, these public record -- public money. But my judgment for -- but those were so important years, because these little cards I carry, they're all a tribute to Olive. Every day I would have a card on my desk. Only typed up, not done like this. Every day there'd be a card like this on my desk which suggested what I had to do, places I had to be, people I had to call. Always. And these little cards, three-by-five cards, have been with me since 1971. So as I say, Olive has had a big influence on me.
Well, let's move a little bit, Kevin, because you looked at -- and I won'toverwhelm you with data. These staff people are very important. I will talk a little bit about Wendell Ford. We've already talked about how important Wendell Ford, who was a state senator when I met him, became lieutenant governor, and the presiding officer in the State Senate when I was elected, then became governor, and then became US senator. Wendell could have served -- become president as far as I'm concerned. He served in Congress very well, became assistant majority leader to Bob Byrd I think it was, who was the majority leader at the time. So Wendell was everything. He's also our good friend. We just yesterday got a handwritten card from Wendell from his perch in Owensboro. He had been in Louisville at a fundraising dinner and had mentioned to the audience the wonderful relationship and friendship he had with Helen and me, and then told a couple quick stories, one of which was that he didn't really so much care about me, as he cared about Helen. And so when he would call us to have anything done he would call and say, "Ron, hand the phone to Helen." And sometimes it would be when we were in bed. Wendell had these peculiar habits, probably still does, of calling like Carl Perkins would at 4:00, 5:00 in the morning. These guys were constantly on the move. So anyway he would call periodically and just ask me to hand the phone across the bed to Helen. So they'd have their conversations about this thing had to be done politically, and this is -- so anyway, he reflected on that, about how important Helen was to him in his own political efforts. Of course his most important political weapon is Jean, his beloved bride of these 50 plus years.
And the other thing was we both found ourselves at the Mose Green DemocraticClub, which was then up in Crescent Hill. And it was protocol and expected that any Democratic candidates looking for votes from the Mose Green Democratic Club would buy some cakes for the cake wheel. Well, I didn't have any money, and Wendell only had a little bit, but we pooled what we had and were able to buy one cake for the cake wheel. So he reflected on that, sort of like the sword of --
RLM: Well, no. The way we got started, the simple start that Ron Mazzoli andWendell Ford had, from the time when neither one of us had a couple bucks in our pocket to the point that we were in Washington and that sort of thing. So Wendell brings up our humble beginnings in a way with that. And of course he was helpful as I mentioned before about the UK tickets, when the reporter found me on the floor of the senate that night, and everybody else was down at Lexington watching the University of Kentucky ballgame, and asked the question about why wasn't I there. And I said well, I didn't want to get too close to any supplicant for money. And so that became a big front page story, and all problems and this and that. Well, Wendell helped to dampen the vibrations from that.
But he and Jean and Helen and I became great friends. And we continued thatfriendship in Washington. He was a mentor, just like I mentioned before, without going into further detail, about Frank Burke. What an estimable person Frank was. And what an outstandingly swift-in-the-head political person he was. And how he saved me from making a fool of myself election night 1970 by just jumping out there to say I've won. And also he taught me a lot as we campaigned against one another in that mayoral primary. But again a very important public figure who taught me a lot. Louie Nunn, a Republican, became Republican governor, was also important to me in a backhanded way. Because in those days Louie ran separate and apart from Wendell Ford. They were both elected. Wendell was elected lieutenant governor, Louie governor. Today they run as a team, so you either elect a team or you don't elect team. KC: Louie Nunn was Republican. And of course Wendell Ford is a Democrat. RLM: Louie Nunn was Republican. Wendell Ford was a Democrat. So Louie Nunn was elected Republican governor, first one since Laffoon. Ruby Laffoon was the last Republican governor, back in the '30s. But Louie was elected. And that meant that Wendell became the head of the Democratic Party, so that in a backhanded way Louie did me a favor by beating Henry Ward, because if Henry had been elected it would have been the same old same old same old. Same Democrats, same people, guys like me would probably not have had much of a chance. But with Louie gone, Wendell, young and aggressive and active, and with his friend J. R. Miller who ran one of the electric co-ops in western Kentucky, they just took over the party, and they moved it forward. Got rid of the dead wood and built a headquarters and all that type of stuff.
And Louie allowed that to -- I mean caused that to happen. So I was very fond ofLouie because of the backhanded way he helped me. I wouldn't have gone to Washington if Wendell and J.R. hadn't moved the party along. Just a fortuitous thing that I was elected when I was. If I had been elected to the State Senate -- and I probably couldn't have been -- four, five years earlier, it wouldn't have been anything. I would have been part of a machine, and that's about it. Eight, ten years later, I probably couldn't have been elected because of money problems and this and that and everything else. So I came along at the right time, and Louie made it easier.
He also, he and his wife Beula -- who broke up along the way, but -- he and hiswife Beula were fond -- they were both nice -- they came from Glasgow I think. And they were both given to good dress and good manners and elegant activities. And so they were fond of having balls. Formal balls at the mansion. And the first formal ball that Helen and I ever attended was a ball that was hosted by Louie Nunn and Mrs. Nunn, the governor and the first lady. So that was a pretty cool thing, when you have these young kids from Louisville who had hardly ever been in a tuxedo, all of a sudden you're waltzing around the beautiful mansion in Frankfort.
So I think of Louie. And actually Helen and I hosted Louie to a University ofLouisville football game over at Papa John's Stadium a few years back honoring Louie for having been the governor that brought University of Louisville into the state system. You may not know this, Kevin, but for a long time University of Louisville was a municipal school. It was not part of the state higher education system. It was separate and apart. And it needed to get into the state system in order to get proper funding, in order to have the stature and status that goes with being part of a network of state universities, the cooperation that goes with it. And so Louie was the one that brought U of L into the system. And they honored him, and it was Helen's and my happy pleasure to be his host and hostess that afternoon in one of the skyboxes over at Papa John's.
Now Louie himself has passed away. And two people I've mentioned along the way.John Sherman Cooper, who has been mentioned quite often recently because of the flap over Rand Paul, the new senate nominee, the Republican senate nominee, has said about the Civil Rights Act of '64. It happened that John Sherman Cooper worked very closely, and when Mitch McConnell, the current US senator, was the assistant to Cooper, worked very closely on getting the Ts crossed and the Is dotted to get that civil rights bill passed. And so his name has come into the print quite a bit. But John Sherman Cooper was another one of these remarkable people.
Elegant guy. Along with his own wife, Lorraine, who was just -- they lived --they had a salon actually. And if you remember, they were very close friends with the Kennedys. John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy. In Georgetown as you know from Washington, that's where the beautiful mansions and all of the political and social salons are. And so they had one of those. And John Sherman Cooper had been ambassador to East Germany, ambassador to India. He was everything. And a confidant of all the presidents and a US senator.
Well, John Sherman Cooper was at heart a Kentuckian. And he would show up evenwhen he was senator, and even after he left the position. He'd show up at these breakfasts of the Farm Bureau Federation or the electric co-ops or the hog farmers. Wherever it was, John Sherman Cooper was at heart a Kentuckian, that's where he was. I'll never forget two things that happened. One was when I was elected, it's fairly commonplace to have a reception. And so we had our reception in the -- I was in the Longworth Building. My first office was 1017 Longworth, right in the basement. But because of Peter Rodino, who was chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I was able to get a room -- a beautiful ornate room, a Judiciary Committee hearing room, as the site for my reception after being sworn in as a member of the US Congress.
And of course my family was up there, including Helen's mother Mrs. Dillon, whohad Parkinson's, very very difficult situation with Parkinson's over the years. Also at a time where there were very few medications. And so she was very much affected by the disease. But she was there. She was a brave woman. A real soldier. I learned a lot from Mrs. Dillon. We're members of a Parkinson's support group, even right now, in honor of her. But she was at this reception, sitting in a wheelchair. And so we had a lot of our friends coming through. People that we expected to be there. All of a sudden the door opens, and in walks this tall -- he had beautiful white hair. Just a good-looking man. John Sherman Cooper, a Republican. And here's a Democrat. And what had this Democrat done to be there? Had beaten a Republican congressman, had beaten one of John Sherman Cooper's allies and friends, Congressman Bill Cowger. And here's John Sherman Cooper walking in the door to be part of our reception. I've never ever forgotten that. And even beyond that, that sense of unity, that sense that Kentucky is what counts, not so much who wins and who doesn't but Kentucky counts, was also the fact he made almost a beeline over to Mrs. Dillon. And he was a towering figure, tall man. But anyway he bent over and was talking to Mrs. Dillon, who as you know, because you're quite aware of Parkinson's and its effect, had a hard time communicating. But he just stood there, was patient, and talking, everything else. And I could never ever forget John Sherman Cooper.
Well, there were times later, because he would come to all of these breakfasts,all these Kentucky arrangements and get-togethers. He'd always ask me about my mother. His understanding that day was that Mrs. Dillon was my mother. My mother was not there. So he mistook that part. But he always remembered Mrs. Dillon. Always, all the years of his life thereafter, wherever, he always asked about my mother, how's she doing, and I thought that was such a touching wonderful thing.
Well, John Sherman Cooper, for all of his elegance, was also known to be alittle bit sort of eccentric, and a little bit like the absent-minded professor. Wasn't quite sure where he was and what to do. Well, once Helen and I were flying back to Washington on I guess probably Allegheny or Eastern, back in the days when they had airlines. And John Sherman Cooper was on the plane. Well, so anyway, stood up, we got -- pulled into National Airport, before it was Reagan National. Pulled into National. And I made this sort of casual -- I said, "Senator, would you happen to need a ride back to your house." Fully expecting him not to say yes.
He said well, certainly, thank you very much. And then I'm saying how in theworld are we going to do it. Because we had this Rambler. This little tiny car that was our automobile up there. And it had four doors, but it was just a tiny car. And so anyway we get out of the airport. And lo and behold, I thought still John maybe said that, but he'd get a cab. No cab. He was going to -- so we get there. He's this tall guy. And he had to practically fold himself into the backseat of our car. Which was not a beautiful-looking car to begin with. And then so we take off. I know how to get to Georgetown but only that. So I said, "Senator, can you give me some idea where to go?" He said, "Well." He said, "Why don't you turn there." And so I turned there. And then I drive. And I said, "Senator, what." He said, "Well, why don't you turn over here." And then I turned over here. So the long and short of it. He didn't know where he was. And I didn't know where I was. And we were just -- say, "Well, why don't you take this. Turn right. Go ahead and turn right." So it took us one day short of forever before I somehow stumbled on the street in which he lived and he recognized his house. It's like one time I lost my car in the airport out there at Standiford Field, and a friend of mine just drove me around for a while until I saw the car. And so we just drove John Sherman Cooper around till we found his house. It's one of these elegant places like I said. A salon. But anyway he went up to the front door and we saw him in. So anyway those are my recollections of a great guy. [Recording pauses at 56:32]
KC: Announcement that we had a break. Yes. We've had a break of a couple ofminutes now. And we're continuing our conversation with the Congressman on local figures.
RLM: Thank you very much. And as I mentioned about John Sherman Cooper, aRepublican, coming in and making over Helen's mother, I just thought that was just so touching and so genuine of him. And also just a sign of genuine good manners.
Well, another sign of genuine good manners was Marlow Cook. Marlow was a USsenator at the time. Had been, as your research probably points out, the county judge executive working with Bill Cowger. Cowger was the mayor. Cook was the county judge executive. And Bill Cranfill was the sheriff. The three Cs. They were young guys and they took over the town, beat the Democratic machine. And Cook and Bill Cowger worked together. They were blood brothers practically, and they were political allies.
So here is Marlow Cook, a US senator, having seen his good friend William O.Cowger beaten by an upstart by the name of Ron Mazzoli. Now I had known Marlow's wife's side of the family, they're a very prominent side of the family in the Catholic circles of Louisville. I had known Marlow only briefly because he was a county judge executive. I'd probably met him. But Helen and I were amazed. After my election we got this call from Marlow Cook's office. Would Congressman and Mrs. Mazzoli be interested in joining Senator and Mrs. Cook at their home in Arlington for a dinner?
Well, obviously wonderful, it's kind of nice, and certainly we would. SoArlington, as you may know or may not know, is very confusing. A lot of turning and twisting roads. Anyway, somehow or another Ron Mazzoli found his way with that same Rambler that Senator Cooper had to corkscrew himself into. We found our way to Marlow's house. We fully expected to find a bunch of cars, thinking this get-together for a lot of -- we walked into that house, Kevin. And the exact guest list was Ron and Helen Mazzoli. That was the guest list. So what Marlow and Nancy were doing was welcoming Ron and Helen to Washington, welcoming us to Congress, welcoming us to a city we'd never lived in, never even been in for the most part, welcoming us to the realities of the public life, how you handle it, how you maneuver yourself. They had children, younger children at the time. As in our case, they're all grown now. But in that time they were young. They had younger children. How do you accommodate family demands with political demands? And this was just the four of us talking over dinner. And then later over coffee. And amazingly, I had beaten his good friend. Now if you talk about a man, he could have been vindictive and said, "This guy Mazzoli, I'll never do anything to help him, I'll never -- I have to be in a room with him because the delegation meets, but that's going to be the end of it, there's nothing, there's going to be no [60:00] warmth or fealty among us, between us, that's how it's going to be, he beat my buddy." But it wasn't that way at all. And so I learned a lot from that. I learned a lot from Cooper. Because he could have been with all the able-bodied people in that room. And he did a good job at my reception. But he particularly tarried with Helen's mother, which I thought was so affecting and so touching. And Marlow and Nancy could have had -- if they decided to have something to welcome us, it could have been lunch in the Senate Dining Room. Perfunctory, there you are, there you go. In their home.
KC: And visible.
RLM: And visible. And visible. That's right. In their home. And I learned manythings from Marlow from that. One is good manners you have to have at all levels, even when you're bitterly disappointed, as he might have been. He and Cowger may not have been absolute bosom buddies, but obviously it had to be a hurt to him politically if nothing else that a Republican lost. But good manners prevail. Good breeding prevails.
A good understanding of the responsibility of persons toward their commonwealthprevailed here. And I learned that. And I learned also a lesson which sounds a little ridiculous, but it's very true. He said, "Ron," he said, "let me give you one last piece of advice." He says, "Stay away from paperclips." And I'm -- I thought he said read this book, read the Washington Post carefully, start reading the New York Times, stay away from this guy, he's nothing but bad news. But he said, "Stay away from paperclips." What he meant -- and it's been true, it happened to me last night. He said paperclips have the unfortunate tendency of picking up paper that they're not meant to pick up. Which is to say if you're trying to get a bunch of papers together, all of a sudden the paperclip picks up the back papers, and you can't find the papers you're looking for.
So to this day I am called Mr. Stapler. I have a stapler at every place I am.And to the extent I can -- and I have a staple remover. Because I'm stapling everything, which means to add something to the pile, unlike taking a paperclip off and putting the paperclip back on, I got to unstaple the stuff. Or you have this rim of steel there that isn't very easy on the fingertips. So anyway Marlow Cook probably taught me one of my -- along with the more important element of being friends and of good manners and of having the decency that he had, the civility that he had -- and Nancy as well. They now live in Sarasota, Florida and have for many years. But he's still active, and still wrote a piece, I think in the 2008 elections he supported Obama. And he wrote a wonderful piece for the Courier-Journal. You might be able to look it up in the morgue. Talking about the advantages. In effect going against his own president, going against George W. Bush. So Marlow was that way. Marlow called them as he saw them. And received quite a bit of notoriety, because he was the chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, which is a sort of obscure committee. In the House it's a very important committee. In the Senate it's sort of like a ceremonial committee. And so Marlow was always on the dais when the presidents were sworn in, and he's always in these many pictures. I guess it would have been Richard Nixon, that was in '72 I guess. And Richard Nixon in '68 possibly. So he was on there quite a bit. But anyway the lesson, the primary lesson was that lesson in civility, but the other lesson was stay away from paperclips, use the stapler. So anyway just like even today -- people can't see this, but you can see the card which is in effect a memento to Olive Daddario. The paper, the staplers that I have everywhere I live, all the desks, all the drawers have staplers, a tribute to Marlow Cook.
KC: [Laughing.] A great story. Well, we've been at this for just a little bitover an hour, and I know that you have a busy day still in front of you. We'll make an attempt to pick it up later in the afternoon if that's possible. We've looked at your staff members, and we've looked at local political figures of note. And in the afternoon if we can meet, we'll take a look at national figures of note, and international personalities that you've met in the course of your congressional service. And any other things that your remarkable memory will allow us to access.
RLM: I think you're going to be visiting with a remarkable memory tomorrow withCharlie Mattingly. And I think you'll see remarkable memories when you visit my other people, including Dan Hall. For me, I forget things quicker than I can remember them. But it is interesting when you put names on paper, the little vignettes that somehow come back to even a tortured brain like mine. But it's always a pleasure, Kevin, and we will pick this thread up later today I hope.
KC: Certainly enjoyed this session. Thank you, Congressman.
RLM: Thank you very much.
END OF PART ONE
KC: Today is Monday, May 24th, 2010. This is Kevin Collins. And today'sinterview, a continuation of this morning's interview, is with Romano Mazzoli, the former congressman for 12 terms from 1970 to 1994, for the Third Congressional District of Kentucky. This is being recorded at the University of Louisville Archives as part of the Romano Mazzoli Oral History Project. Good afternoon, Congressman.
RLM: Good afternoon, my friend Kevin. And if my voice seems to have changedbetween the morning session and this afternoon, I just came back from a foray across the Ohio River to Clarksville, Indiana where I made what you might call a campaign appearance for a young friend of mine. And we probably will speak about him too. Peter Buttigieg, who was a student at Harvard when we were up there, and whose career we followed when he was completing his Rhodes scholarship over at Oxford. And so anyway he's running for the position of state treasurer of Indiana. So he was appearing across the river, so I thought I'd try to hop in the car. I almost didn't make it. I got lost over there. That maze of interstate highways and state roads. And I pulled off in a little shopping center, and happily the people at a credit union were wonderfully -- gave me proper instructions, so I got there quite on time.
KC: Where is Senator Sherman Cooper when you need him for directions?
RLM: Isn't that the truth? Exactly. Having talked about John Sherman take a lefthere, take a right. That's about what I did. And I wound up probably -- I'd never have gotten back. But in any event. Yeah, we talked earlier about memorable people in the sort of state and local vein or within the context of Kentucky's delegation to Congress.
And possibly to shift gears it might be interesting to talk about some of the --what I would call national or international figures whom I've had the opportunity to meet. And particularly those whom I've had an opportunity to work with. And starting with the president, if we might just sort of categorize presidents first, and then possibly the Speakers of the House. And I served with six presidents in my career from 1971 to 1995, but actually only four Speakers. So the tendency of Speakers to stay in office as you know goes beyond the presidents.
Now some of the shifting in the presidents were because of President Nixon'sresignation and President Ford's accession to office. And he was a new president, and nobody really knew him, and so he wound up losing to Jimmy Carter in that election. So but anyway there's six presidents. President Nixon was the first one. And a very controversial man in lots of ways. But the two things that -- three things actually -- that really struck me about Richard Nixon was the fact that at all stages of his life he really was profoundly in love with his wife. And I thought that that expression of love and affection between the Nixons was pretty important. Particularly in a town like Washington where a lot of times marriages get riven and relationships are broken because of the allure of politics and because of the helter-skelter. But I thought that was pretty impressive that he stayed with his wife. And the other thing was probably the first night, maybe the second night, we were in Washington, after my election and swearing in, President Nixon had all of the new members of Congress down to the White House for a reception, a black-tie type reception. Once again, he was -- very much as I mentioned about Governor Nunn and his wife -- the Nixons were prone to use very elegant affairs. Very well-crafted affairs or dress-up affairs I guess we want to call them that. And I'll never forget that Helen and I were there in the White House. That was I think our very first time in the White House. We had looked at it probably as tourists. We possibly had been in it as tourists. But never to be in it as a part of the place. And so here we were in this beautiful ceremonial room. I think it was the East Room. And President Nixon, they had set up a line, a receiving line. And always you have these protocol officers, military people who are standing next to the first couple, and telling them who's coming along. Because we've in the meantime told them who we are, and what -- this sort of thing. So when it came our turn, we told the marine guard that it's Congressman and Mrs. Romano Mazzoli from Louisville, Kentucky. He told that to the Nixons. And immediately President Nixon, knowing that I had beaten a Republican, one that he had worked with I guess at some point, he said, "Oh yes." He said, "I know of you. I know of you. You won the seat there that had been held by Congressman Cowger." And I said, "Yes." And so anyway, right from the get-go, that was pretty fascinating to see a president actually knew me, or at least knew what I had done. Maybe didn't know me in a personal way, but he knew me in a political way as having won that office.
And then later after he passed away, I was one of many members who tookadvantage of the opportunity to fly to Loma Linda [i.e., Yorba Linda] to take part in his funeral. And if I'm not mistaken, every living president at that time was there, and that would be President Ford, President Carter, President Clinton, presidents -- let me see. Anyway, all the living presidents. And I can't call every single one of them. But President Reagan I guess was still alive at that time. And George Bush, George Herbert Walker. And we were there out there in Loma Linda. And I thought that was very important, because here you had all of the people coming together. People who in lifetime objected to what Richard Nixon stood for, and they fought with what he stood for. And so in the last analysis he was there as a person everybody paid respect to. And I thought that was a perfect ending.
He of course became quite a person of knowledge about foreign affairs, to whommost of the sitting presidents paid court at some point. Which is sort of contradictory to what you'd expect, in that he had left Washington in disgrace. He had left Washington more or less before the posse rode in, having resigned to avoid certain charges. But he was such a powerful intellect and such a knowledgeable person that all the presidents, those who like Bill Clinton criticized him heavily, and those who didn't criticize him, like President Ford, all took counsel with him.
President Jerry Ford was a member of the House. When I got there he was theminority leader of the US House of Representatives and a person that like every other member you know by first name. So he was known as Jerry. He wasn't Mr. Ford, and he wasn't Minority Leader Ford. He was Jerry. So you got used to seeing him and working with him. He was quite an athlete when he was at University of Michigan. Played a lot of football. And he continued to play sports. And I remember at one point in the years that he was there, which were not many, before he went to the White House, but he had his leg in a big cast. He'd broken a bone or had sprained something. So it was kind of like that athletic after-effect. The better the athlete, sometimes the quicker the bones and sinews and joints fail to work.
But a very pleasant man. And he and his wife of course were very close. AndBetty Ford was the one who really kicked off the national discussion about breast cancer and about alcoholism. And very difficult in those days to talk about either one of them publicly. They just were sort of verboten. But Betty did, and Gerald Ford followed her. And while he lost the election, I think now most people think that he did the country a favor, though he suffered for it. But he did the country a favor by pardoning Richard Nixon and getting that whole thing done. That dark chapter as he called that, he closed it. And I think everybody agrees that in retrospect that was probably well done. But otherwise a good person who because he was a former member of the House used to come back to the gymnasium, as I'll mention in a minute about George Bush. George Herbert Walker Bush would come back to the gymnasium and work out with the guys and play paddleball with them. And so it was kind of interesting. You felt very close to Ford because of that relationship.
Very much contradictory to Ford was Jimmy Carter. Now Jimmy Carter was as youknow a nuclear engineer. Went to Naval Academy. Was all the product of that discipline, in those days when really the Naval Academy was like a monastery, as the Air Force and Military Academy. And studying nuclear physics and calculus and all the things you have to study to become a nuclear engineer made Carter very, very organized. To the point of being almost obsessed by organization. And it was found that he used to actually control the schedule of the White House tennis courts. I mean a president of the United States worrying about war and peace. And he was out there trying to schedule who was going to be on the tennis court. But that was his grasp of the minutiae. But it was also the minutiae which really I think eventually made him a one-term president.
Now it could be that attention to detail and that doggedness that he showed tocontrol everything, to have his finger in everything in the White House, may have allowed him to become, as many people say, the best former president that we've ever had. With Habitat for Humanity, and of course the Carter Center, and he jets around the world, even in his mid-80s, and monitors elections. And sometimes says he sticks his nose into business he shouldn't stick it into. He's not the friend of all the presidents, because he's marauding around doing his own foreign policy. And not necessarily with their permission or with their approval. But he does what he wants to do. And he doesn't really care. Prolific writer, but also interestingly enough, despite this sort of humility of carrying his own suitcases through that election and sleeping in houses and sacking out on studio couches, carrying his own luggage, he really, I don't think is -- I don't think he's either a simple person, I think he's a very complex person, nor do I think he's a humble person. I think he's a pretty arrogant person. But sometimes, arrogance is what you need to get a job done when your name is Jimmy Carter and you come from the peanut state of Georgia and you want to be president. I mean, that's a pretty arrogant thought, pretty arrogant, and he was able to pull it off because of all these other traits and characteristics that he has, of doggedness and perseverance and tenacity. But, it also made him a very difficult person to work with. I remember early, Tip O'Neill was saying he was very disparaging of Carter because Carter wanted to control everything about the inauguration, all the tickets, and just like he controlled the White House tennis courts and things like that. He had an aide with him. He came into the White House with him. Jody Richards was one. Jody -- I can't recall his name, a writer who stayed on in Washington, and Hamilton Jordan but in the South, J-O-R-D-A-N is pronounced "Jerden," just like the coach at Auburn, the fabled football coach at Auburn, Shug Jordan. Well anyway, Hamilton Jordan was in the White House and he was one of these people who was controlling what was going on with tickets. The story goes -- how true it is, I don't know, but the story goes that Tip O'Neill had somebody in his office call the Carter White House and wanted some more tickets for the inauguration. "Sorry, Mr. Speaker, you only have so many tickets, and that's what you are going to stick with." So they stiffed Tip O'Neill, the speaker, they stiffed him. So from that point on, this guy Hamilton Jordan, was known by Tip as Hannibal Jerkin. And the whole idea that Hamilton becomes Hannibal and Jordan becomes Jerkin. So, that was the way Tip got back at that. It took him a long time to really straighten out. Carter, for a long time, I think, probably through his presidency, he was one of these very, very self-controlled guys. He was determined. Sometimes, I think there was a lot of ego that was thrown into that. He didn't make very much headway with the Hill because of his own personal approach to things and the approach of the people around him. But, again, to give the man credit, he's written extensively. He's helped to bring some degree of peace, or at least democratic process, to elections around the world, and he has promoted Habitat for Humanity steadily, steadily, steadily over the years, and I think has made some things better for people in America, even as he is a former president.
Came Ronald Reagan, and came the antithesis of Jimmy Carter. It sort of remindsme of the courses I took at Harvard about the history of the place and all the many presidents it's had. Peter Gomes, Dr. Gomes, who teaches at -- he was also the professor of religious studies at Harvard, and he's the minister in Memorial Church, so he has two or three different titles and functions, but his course on the history of Harvard says that when the Corporation -- which is what they called the president and fellows of Harvard College, which is the group that runs Harvard University -- when the Corporation gets together to pick a successor to the president, they look at that president, the failures, the successes, the strengths, the minuses, and pick somebody to fill in those gaps. And so I think here somehow, the people may have picked, in Reagan, somebody to fill the gaps left by Jimmy Carter, a man with very little, if any, personality; a man with very little, if any, personal feeling about other people; a very clinical kind of guy; very cold, very much prone to determining things based on the scientific side, not so much the personal human side; and here you get a guy like Reagan who comes riding in from the West, a great voice, great persona, friendly guy, Irish guy, tells jokes, fun person to be with, has views that some Democrats thought were aberrant, and befitting of Caligula more than a current president, but here was a guy that nobody could help but like. So, I don't know whether the people of America consciously chose somebody different than Jimmy Carter or whether it was just one of those moments in time where things shifted and the tectonic plate shifted and they gave you President Reagan. But, what a delight to work with. The first time and the only time I ever went to Camp David was when President Reagan invited some of us to come up to hear more about one of his programs. He was also extraordinarily devoted to the idea of immigration reform, and we would not have gotten the bill except that President Reagan really poured himself into it. And, he was a guy that would have us down to the White House as well. He and his wife, of course, were very much into the elegant side of entertaining, with the clinking glasses and things of that nature and it was -- Reagan, I think it was twice when President Reagan was president that Helen and I went to state dinners at the White House, which were like a trip in some magic carpet. It's like Arabian Nights with all this gilded brocade and crystal and silver and things like that. Pretty amazing experience to go to a White House state dinner. I think it was twice when President Reagan was there, once when Brian Mulroney, the Prime Minister of Canada, was in town, and once when the president of Italy -- it might have been Andreotti or somebody from Italy was in town. So, we went to the state dinners. But President Reagan, I have a picture of him on my wall at home on November 6, 1986, signing into law the immigration reform bill, the Simpson-Mazzoli bill, and because of those contacts and the contacts -- because his vice president was George Herbert Walker Bush, and so I had an opportunity to get to know that man before he became, himself, president, so that was also an interesting opportunity. And, some of the staff people around President Reagan were talented people that I enjoyed working with.
Came what we call Bush 41, Bush #1, Herbert Walker Bush became president in '86and once again, I had known him and so we had worked together on the immigration bill, so we worked together on a few things. But mostly what I remember about George Bush is that he was quite an athlete. When he was at Yale, he was the first baseman and captain of their baseball team and he really was a first-class athlete. It was his custom, as a former member of the House -- he was in the House before I got there -- before he went to head up the CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency, and before he became ambassador to the United Nations and then eventually vice president and then president. But he was a member of the House of Representatives in that era, and just as in the case of President Ford, as a former member, you are accorded privileges of the gymnasium. Well with Ford, it wasn't as prominent or as noticeable, but when President Bush, because he had security over the years and proved -- and was unfortunately improved because conditions in the world became more tense and dangerous, so more and more as the presidents moved around, they had larger and larger entourages of security. So when President Bush would come to the House gym, which was pretty often, all of us knew it because you went to this door, which isn't marked particularly, but it's a door that takes you to the House gymnasium, which incidentally is now called the Wellness Center, it's a euphemism for gymnasium because gymnasium sounds too, too much of a perk and wellness center sounds like your hard work to keep yourself well. Anyway, when you are there and you saw these guys, these tall good-looking, very stern-looking, unemotional-looking men standing at the door going into the gym, and always, they had, they're talking into their wrist, you know, talking into those microphones, stuff sticking out of their ear, you knew darn well that George Bush was afoot. So, they wouldn't impede you, they'd wave you in, but when you got in there, you'd see George Bush out there just doing his exercises, and he had no special place cordoned off to dress or undress, he was doing it with everybody else and so-- It was pretty unusual, to say the least, where you might be taking a shower almost next -- the showers do have cubicles, they weren't gang showers, but it is pretty different to change clothes and get into your gym outfit when you've got a President of the United States a few yards away or a few feet away. But, he was a good guy. Everybody liked him. He may not go down in history as one of the great presidents, and probably won't, but well-appreciated by members of the House and considered to be a helpful fellow.
KC: Let me ask you. At the time that President Bush #1, before he was president,headed up the CIA, was that -- did that coincide with your service on the Select Committee on Intelligence?
RLM: Not really. That was before -- that was even before I was in Congress, whenhe was CIA director. And, the CIA director when I was there on the Committee was Bill Casey, William Casey. We called him "Mumbles" because he intentionally mumbled everything so that you could halfway never understand what the guy was saying and we thought that was a defense mechanism. Here's a guy that -- without deviating too much, but this is a fellow went to the best schools and founded a book-publishing company, became a multimillionaire and head of the SEC, all of these wonderful positions in Washington, and then, heading up the CIA. And then it was he who would just sort of mumbled everything so you honestly almost couldn't understand what he was telling you at these intelligence committee meetings and we always thought it was done on purpose. Almost like some of the South Carolinians, guys like Strom Thurmond and Mendel Rivers and those folks. There is a kind of language in South Carolina, along the coastline, called Gullah, I think it is G-U-L-L-A-H, which is a sort of mish-mash of African American dialects and English dialects and southern drawl dialect, but it all kind of concocts into what's called Gullah. And these South Carolinians would, on purpose, I think, or maybe it was not on purpose, but they would use that sing-songy, mushy way of speaking like they had stuff in their mouth all the time, to say things on the floor and you could never say pretty much what they went on. There's another one from Mississippi who did the same thing, Bill Colmer. Anyway, George Bush was the head of the CIA at one phase in his life, but that was before I really got to Congress.
Then came Bill Clinton, President Clinton, of course, beat George Herbert WalkerBush 41. And actually, as we now find out, it set up the battle when George W. Bush, the former president, once removed, beat Bill Clinton. I mean, not beat Bill Clinton, but beat his hand-picked nominee, Al Gore, as sort of like a retribution, because George W. Bush saw that Clinton had beat his dad, and he sort of decided he was going to right the books at some point, and apparently did. Well, Bill Clinton, miles has been written about him, and miles more will be written about him. An amazing guy, an amazingly intelligent man. An amazingly adroit politician. An amazingly energetic guy. He never seemed to stop. Even now, in his, what, mid-60s, possibly, or early 60s, with heart problems and everything else, he still keeps like an energizer bunny. He keeps on moving along. But, I seriously disagreed with Bill Clinton many times. I think his running around with the intern was a scandal. I think that he demeaned the office and demeaned himself and his family. Not a role model that I think a president ought to be for young people or old people or any people. And as in the case of people like George Wallace, who after they more or less reformed themselves, did a lot of good for the country, but the only thing you ever heard when George Wallace died was "George Wallace, former governor of Alabama, the man who stood in the schoolhouse door, passed away, XYZ." For Bill Clinton, it's going to be something -- the same thing the 41st or 42nd president of the United States, but he'll be the only president who was impeached and he was a president who had an affair with a White House intern. That's not the way I think that history should have been written. So, given all of that flaw, Clinton probably, pound for pound, and inch for inch, is probably the most effective politician I've ever seen in action. The man has a gift for words; he has a gift for remembering people and names and places; and for seizing on the moment in ways that not many politicians can seize. So like I say,
KC: Let me ask you quickly, then, as you survey the presidents that were inoffice in the time you were in Congress, and I know that the problems shift and the time and the circumstances shift. In your estimation, who do you think was the most effective of the presidents?
RLM: Well, from the standpoint of getting things done, I would probably have tosay President Reagan, because he took on the budget. Remember, he was the first one to come in and start talking about cutting government back and making changes and getting us on a sounder footing. And he was able to put that across, I mean, it may or may not have been absolutely successful, but that was a major venture that he took. And then the other one is immigration, which I worked on very closely, which is very controversial and hard to produce. President Nixon started the war against cancer, which is still going on. He flawed himself because of Watergate. President Ford did not have a long time in office and is probably not notable for presidential achievements, maybe beyond his being the bridge between the Nixon years and then later the Carter years. He sort of bridged that gap and gave the country a breath of fresh air and some sunshine, instead of dark light. President Carter, I really don't -- I mean, he got trapped in the Rose Garden. He made this pledge, he was going to be in the White House until the hostages were released in Tehran and they were not released, and he just stayed captive -- some say that's why he lost the race to Ronald Reagan, in part, because he limited his ability to get out and about because he was gonna, so-- He was a very head-strong, contrary kind of guy, and I don't know that he really got much done, but again, you may be able to check the record. Reagan got a lot done. Some people say he didn't do a lot right, but he got a lot done. Bush was, once again, sort of a bridge factor -- George Herbert Walker #1 -- was sort of a bridge factor. At this point, I honestly, I cannot, Kevin, think of a major initiative. Obviously, they get budgets passed and things like that. Bill Clinton did get his budget passed and then later, he had welfare reform and he had some bills like that that got things done. He -- was it President Clinton, in his first term, I think had that wonderful meeting of Yitzhak Rabin and Anwar Sadat, I think in the White House. We were all down there for that. I think under Bush 1 was when the first Gulf War ended and we had the big march then, all of the troops coming back marched down Pennsylvania Avenue and Norman Schwarzkopf who became a folk hero during that period of time. So, there were highlights. And Clinton obviously went on to do a lot of things. But, my part was really the immigration. At this point --
KC: Just as a note for the record, Norman Schwarzkopf was the general in chargeof the war.
RLM: The first Gulf War, yes. Actually, it's interesting. There are sixpresidents but only four Speakers. We talked about that momentarily. And the first of the speakers was Carl Albert, who was the Whip, or majority leader to the out-going Speaker John McCormack, from your home state of Massachusetts, and John McCormack was one of those legendary speaker-type figures. Carl Albert was his associate. When the Speaker retired, then Congressman Albert became Speaker Albert. And John McCormack, I believe, he left voluntarily. He certainly was not beaten, I think he just retired and left. So Carl Albert became speaker, and I'll never forget the fact that we had like a caucus because it's the caucus that selects -- the Democratic caucus selects its nominee to be Speaker, and then the entire House votes on the position. But, it's caucus that has the numbers, and so which one we select is the one that becomes Speaker. And when we had our caucus, which was one of the first caucuses I had ever sat in on, and it happened that we -- I'm not sure who was the tally clerk at the time, it might have been Fishbait Miller, it could have been Dan Rostenkowski on the bench -- announced the vote that the caucus had selected Carl Albert to be our nominee for Speaker. Then I looked, and there was Carl Albert. He was a very diminutive man, not a very big man at all. Brilliant, a Rhodes scholar in his own right. I think he came from Bugtussle, Oklahoma, which has been renamed Flower Mound. [Laughs.] Bugtussle was just a little bit much for even those folks, so I think it's now called Flower Mound, Oklahoma. But anyway, Carl Albert was small in stature, but he was broad, and big, and powerful in intellect, and in knowledge of American history, and in his oratorical skills. I think, as a matter of fact, his Rhodes was probably won as much because of his oratory, his ability to speak -- as the earlier Speakers, like Daniel Clay, I mean Henry Clay, and who's the one from your home state?
KC: Tip O'Neill, or --
RLM: No, I was thinking of way, way back in the early part of our country, wherespeakers spoke at length, and it'll come.
RLM: Yes, exactly. So he spoke in that way, that sort of orotund, those verywell-chosen phrases. But -- excuse me -- but a very good man, and a very good speaker, and I enjoyed working with him. Then came Tip O'Neill, who was, out of all the Speakers, my very favorite, because everybody loved Tip O'Neill. He was colorful. He was the real deal. He was Cambridge, and he never was anything but Cambridge, despite all of his lofty positions, and third in line from the presidency, and all that. He was still one of those legendary pub crawlers, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and he played around with Whitey Bulger and all of that gaggle of people when they would have their St. Patrick's Day dinners and affairs. Well Tip was assistant to Carl Albert, and then he became -- I should really back up a little bit, because the one who would've been Speaker was killed, and that was Hale Boggs, Lindy Boggs' husband. And Hale was the majority leader, and the way the House kind of operates, at least in those days, the majority leader would when Albert had decided to call it a day, would've succeeded to that office. But Hale Boggs went up to Alaska to campaign for Nick Begich, whose son is now serving in the Senate, but to campaign for Nick Begich, who was in my class, that was that first year, 1970, for re-election, and the plane was lost somewhere in Alaska, and they never have found the plane, never found the bodies. So Hale was no longer -- and of course Hale Boggs, as you know, is the father of the lady who's on National Public Radio, and on television --
KC: I can see her face, but can't think of her name, but she's also on -- RLM:It must be the afternoon, exactly right. So anyway, Hale would've been president had he lived, but O'Neill did become president -- I mean he would've become Speaker.
RLM: And then O'Neill did become Speaker, and he had a lot of interesting waysabout him. Of course, he was Irish, and he was fun, and he knew a good Irish joke, and he enjoyed a good Irish whiskey, drink, you know. And so the story goes that he and Ronald Reagan settled a lot of their problems over bourbon and branch water, if you will, or Irish whiskey, and Irish jokes. But he was, he was interesting. He roomed with Eddie Boland. Eddie Boland was from Springfield, Massachusetts.
KC: Massachusetts. [Speaking simultaneously.]
RLM: Thank you. And the first Chairman of our Intelligence Committee, and awonderful man. Well he and Tip roomed together for all those years, and they always went back to Boston at the end of the week. They never did really move their families, and Millie, Tip O'Neill's wife, never did move to Washington, until after he was elected Speaker, and then she didn't really spend all that much time in Washington, either. But, until that time, those two guys roomed together in some place, I can't even know where it was, maybe some little apartment on Capitol Hill. And the story goes that the only thing that you found in the refrigerator were cigars. Both of them were cigar smokers back in the days when that was the thing to do, and everybody did it, and you did it in public, not just furtively in private, but they did it in public. So in a way, that was Tip O'Neill. He was one of those gregarious guys that practiced politics from the people's standpoint, and of course, you know as I do, Kevin, one of the great political axioms of all time, is all politics is local, and that was attributed to Tip. Whether he actually invented it or not, I do not know, but the phrase fit him perfectly, because for him, politics wasn't presidents, politics was not White House, politics wasn't these traveling diplomats in striped pants, and cut away morning coats. It wasn't lifting your little finger when you had high tea at four o'clock, and had your crumpets, and so forth. Politics for him were people, the little people, the working class people, the moms, the dads, the parking lot attendants, the barbers, the pub keepers, the small business people, and those were the ones he frequented constantly in Cambridge, all of his years, all of his years. So, I learned a lot, all of us learned a lot from Tip O'Neill, both how you bridge gaps politically, which is to be a person of good humor, and to be a person whose word was his bond, never giving up his own beliefs about politics, his own doxology about good and bad, of politics, but at the same time, being able to let somebody else be part of the solution, of the equation, when you're finally finished. Where sometimes now, people want to be the whole thing, they don't want to give anybody else credit. But Tip did that, and I enjoyed working with--
There were two people who came to campaign for me in that first era, one wasHale Boggs came to Louisville, before I was elected, and then the other one who came to Louisville, was Tip O'Neill, to appear for me on Main Street, at one of those remodeled buildings on West Main Street. And I think that Tip came -- Tip came after I was elected, Hale came before I was elected. Hale came during my campaign. And, so those two people will have a particularly heavy place in my heart, because they were there when this whole thing started.
My next Speaker was Jim Wright, who had worked with Tip O'Neill, and Tip decidedto retire, and I guess go back home, whatever it was. I know his son Tom had a pretty good sized lobbying firm in Washington, and so forth, but my recollection is Tip decided just to step aside. And Jim Wright, who was his lieutenant, ran and was elected, but by one vote. There was a fellow by the name of Phil Burton who, I think it was Phil, who campaigned, and I think Jim Wright won by one single vote. Once again, that's a caucus position, so the Democrats would elect that -- that did not have to be approved by the House. That was strictly a Democratic Party position.
KC: Mr. Wright was from Texas?
RLM: He was from Texas, from El Paso -- from Fort Worth, Texas, and I think heis still alive, and still teaching political science, and I think it's at Texas Christian, if I'm not mistaken, but his hometown was Fort Worth. And a very talented speaker, one of the best speakers I've ever heard in the House. Another man who studied deeply the art of politics, and he was able to speak to that with very few peers. To say the least, had almost no superiors. He, however, had his problems, in a sense. He was pretty autocratic in his ways. Unlike Tip, he didn't have the personality that Tip had. He pretty much wanted things done in the Democratic way. He was one, you know, from the prairie. He was one of those prairie populists, along with Wright Patman, and I mentioned earlier, Henry Gonzalez, and some of those people who really felt that the Democratic Party was it. Its policies were the only real policies. Everything else stood aside. And it made it pretty hard for him to work. And then he had these problems with Newt Gingrich, because Jim had written some books, and something about the royalties on those books was somewhat in question. I've forgotten all the details, because he was too good a guy to have to be brought down because of things that now days would be probably not really even notable. But he was, and Gingrich began what amounted to his own campaign to become a leader in the Republican Party, and a leader in the House of Representatives. He began by just basically, a steady crescendo of criticism of Jim Wright, and eventually, I guess Wright felt that his career was being impeded and interrupted too much, so he resigned if memory serves me correctly, and then Tom Foley succeeded to his office as Speaker.
And Tom was the last Speaker during my era, but it was interesting. Tom, andHeather his wife, were people very pleasant to be with. Tom was a big, tall, shambling fellow who had a lot of Irish personality. He comes from Spokane, Washington, and he was an audiophile. In his offices, he had the most elaborate kinds of audio equipment you can imagine, quite knowledgeable about that stuff. And he had the same name as one of the commanding generals out at Fort Knox, Thomas Foley. So one day, I had the pleasure of introducing Major General Thomas Foley, to House Speaker Tom Foley, and they had a pretty good time trying to figure out if those guys were related. I once traveled with Tom. We took a trip to Europe, and a very pleasant person to be traveling with.
It was a successful Speaker, as a Speaker, but once again that's when Gingrichwas in the ascendancy, and if you remember, it was in 1994 -- I had said I was not going to run in that election of '94. The last one I ran in was '92. I remember being in my district office in Louisville here, the morning after the elections, of 1994, which saw the Republicans take over the House, and Gingrich, in a few weeks, to become Speaker of the House. And Tom Foley lost. Tom Foley got beaten in that race in 1994. And I remember talking to Tom on the phone, because he was a good man, and a friend. And I mean, to see a Speaker lose an election. It really -- it would've been tough. I told Tom -- I said, "You know Tom, in a way, this is very painful, but in a way, it might be the best thing that can happen. We lost control of the House. You would have to come back as a member of the minority. You would not come back as Speaker. You'd have to sit out there with the rest of us. Somebody else would be in the chair that you've been in for years, and years, and it would be" -- to me it would be almost more painful than just gritting your teeth, and accepting the fact that, who knows, voters of the state of Washington made a terrible error, or somehow, someway, maybe because of being Speaker, I was not able to get back home as much. Whatever the justification for the people not electing him. But it'd be almost easier to try to handle that, than to come back as in the minority.
Only a few people made that transition smoothly. One was Harold Volkmer, ofMissouri, and I ran into Harold the other day, he was in town for a meeting of the NRA, about a year ago. His wife passed away, and his new wife and he are active in the NRA. Anyway, Harold made the move to minority smoothly, and he was railing away at this and that, and just as comfortable as when he was in the majority.
And the other one was Barney Frank, who's been my friend for quite a long time,and he made the smooth transition. Of course now, as you know, he's become a powerhouse as Chairman of the Financial Services Committee of the House, co-author with Chris Dodd, this bill, which has been just, at least passed by the Senate, and needs reconciliation, but it's basically going to reform Wall Street, and how the financial industry operates. So, Barney is an interesting guy, I'll never forget. My habit was to -- well, I don't have them here, but to carry large manila envelopes around. And one day, I'll find the one that he gave me, but large manila envelopes around, big enough that you can slip the New York Times, and the papers into, and hold your correspondence to be signed, and things like that, papers that you want to look at. And, once we had, like what amounts to sort of like a ceremony in the judiciary room, Barney had one of his staff take one of those envelopes. They were generic envelopes, every member had them, and with one of those yellow marking pens, marked some filigree and curlicue stuff around the perimeter of this envelope, and have all kinds of do-dads in it, and ivy, and twining, and things, and make it really an elegant-looking thing. Then Barney presented that to me, because he said those rag-tag envelopes you've been carrying -- they started getting soiled after awhile, and then eventually, you do throw them away -- but this is what you should be carrying. So he presented it to me. But Barney is a very interesting fellow, and he made that transition, but I don't know that Tom Foley would've made it. So I see Tom. I may see him next month in June, because all the former members get together once a year to just see one another, and Tom typically comes, though he's had health problems. He's also became ambassador to Japan after he lost, so he had a way that it was put on by presidents, that's different from these councils, and boards. So he's had a productive post-Congress experience.
Some of the other national figures, quickly: of course, Al Gore became vicepresident, and just only barely lost becoming president in that Baker versus Gore fight, or whatever they call that contest between Bush and Gore, decided by those dangling chads, or whatever they call them. Well, Al Gore was in the House, as was Dan Quayle, who was George Herbert Walker Bush's vice president. Dick Cheney was there too, who became George W. Bush's vice president. Cheney of course worked in the White House after he left the House of Representatives. Walter Mondale was in the Senate, and he became vice president. Bush himself was in the House. George Herbert Walker. And Spiro Agnew, whom I never met, but he was the Governor of Maryland when I got there to Congress, and then became the vice president with Richard Nixon, after -- let me see Spiro Agnew eventually had to leave the office of vice president. I think that's when Nelson Rockefeller came in to be with Nixon, because I think Agnew had to resign for his own problems, so you really had both -- President Nixon eventually retiring, and Spiro Agnew retiring.
KC: He was convicted, wasn't he, of accepting bribes as the governor, forconstruction jobs, or something in Maryland.
RLM: It was something that goes back to his days as governor of Maryland. Andthen Joe Biden, who's now the vice president, was in the Senate, and we worked together quite a bit over the years. Joe Biden, they've toned him down quite a bit now. He's managed to control, what I think the term is called "logorrhea" which is an excess of words. It's just, words come tumbling out, words keep tumbling out, they never stop tumbling out. Joe Biden was nothing, if not loquacious, and he has bridled that quite a bit now. I think that they've told Joe that he can't -- every now and then he gets his foot in his mouth, but I guess that's the appealing part of Joe Biden. He's an engaging, Irish guy, that you can't help but love just because he's who he is. Very well tailored, as you can tell, he's always very well dressed, and the cufflinks, and all the things that go with it now, but pleasant fellow.
One of the people that I revered, but didn't have a chance to really work with,because he was killed, was Robert Kennedy. I did have a chance to work with Ted Kennedy, one of the memorable senators who just recently passed away, and I served with Joe Kennedy. And I served with Joe, who was Robert's son, as well as the Kennedy from Rhode Island, whose first -- Patrick Kennedy, who's Ted's son. So Joe was Robert's son, and Patrick is Ted's son. But Ted Kennedy was an Olympian when it comes to the legislative process. There'll be few people in the history of this America that will rival the description of the work that Ted Kennedy did, in immigration, for that matter. He was very active in our immigration bill. He actually was chairman of the committee, prior to Al Simpson, and it was Ronald Reagan's election that put the Democrats in the minority in the Senate, and elevated Al to chair that committee, vice Ted. And it actually was probably just as well in a way, because Senator Kennedy was pretty well tied into the views on immigration because of the State of Massachusetts, and because of his supporters, that would not have given him a lot of leeway, as to where to go with that bill, and what to be done.
Of ones I have met, but never worked with, because they were just people that Imet, amazing -- Pope John Paul II. We were at a conference in Rome, and the then-ambassador to the Vatican, John Gilligan, former governor of Ohio, whose daughter is Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, I think, is John Gilligan's daughter. She's also related to the Sebelius family. Keith Sebelius was in Congress when I first got there, from Kansas. And we were in Rome, so Jack Gilligan arranged an audience with John Paul II, and we have pictures of that, which I'll show you someday. Very amazing experience to say the least. Even if you're not Catholic, to meet that man, of that position, is pretty remarkable, and he was, as has always been characterized, very much a strong man, strong handshake, very virile, and very much given to sports that were like skiing, you know, very arduous-type sports.
We met, when we made, the one trip we made to the Middle East, back in 1975, metPresident Anwar Sadat of Egypt, and Shimon Peres, of Israel. And just today you saw an article in the Wall Street Journal, just today, which is May 24, 2010, saw an article in there about Shimon Peres, and about -- he's still active and trying to figure out whether there's going to be a two-state solution to the Palestinian problem, and who gives first, and where does Iran fit into it. And the premise of the article today was, he said that if enough nations in the world, and particularly the United States can curb Iran's seeming enthusiasm to make nuclear power into a weapon of war, rather than peaceful production of electricity, that if we can get Iran to organize itself, then probably the Middle East could be easier settled between Palestine and Israel. So it's kind of interesting. I'm not sure I follow the line of thought, but that was just today. So he remains, and that was in '75, and today is 2010, the figures just keep, he just keep staying -- we met the Dalai Lama once down at the monastery, in Gethsemane just south of Louisville. Of course, he remains a world figure for peace, and continues to be celebrated in many quarters, including of course Tibet, where he's from, but also, scorned and objected to by people like the Chinese, who feel like Tibet belongs to China, not as a separate country. Once I was walking down with the young man I was just across the street with, just a moment ago, across the --
KC: Across the river,..
RLM: -- river, thank you. Across the street. Just across the river, PeterButtigieg. We were walking from Harvard Square, with a good friend of his, Ryan [Ripple], walking across Harvard Square, down I think Sparks Street, Helen was with us, and Ryan Ripple's mother Barbara, who's unfortunately since passed away, but that would be what, five of us were walking down I think Sparks Street, or one of those streets, that angle out of Harvard Square. We were going to Porter Square, to take the train up to Concord, and see some of the sites of American History, the American Revolution. We were walking along. I'm sure that Archbishop Tutu did not want to be recognized. I mean you could almost tell, but I just couldn't help myself. It was probably very abrupt and ill-mannered of me to do it, but I motioned to the kids, you know these young people, Peter and Ryan, I said, "Look." Anyway, turns out to be Bishop Tutu. So I said, "Bishop Tutu." So he was very nice. We didn't tarry, and we didn't keep him, detain him, but he was a pretty important -- he remains an important figure. He's always talked about that, truth and reconciliation commissions that he put together. Along with the president of that country, the one who was in jail for so very long. So these are pretty important people, and left a --
KC: Okay. Well, Congressman, we've covered significant amounts of folks today,and probably are finishing off with the international figures. The schedule calls for us to get together again tomorrow, and to consider the final thoughts on various folks that you knew and worked with. For today, are there any other additions, or thoughts that you want to add to today's tape?
RLM: I'm not so sure additions, but corrections, or amplifications, because justa moment ago I faltered when I was talking about Hale Boggs, about Hale Boggs' daughter, and it turns out that Hale Boggs' daughter is a lady who's on television, and does so very much work. And her name is Cokie Roberts, and thank you again for a little bit of a hint, and my memory right at this moment was a little faulty, but Cokie Roberts is the daughter of Hale Boggs, who came to speak with me, and then also was the one who died in his effort to support Nick Begich, my congressional colleague.
And then the other, as we were walking down Harvard Square, we talked aboutmeeting Archbishop Tutu, who was such a hero in the South African situation, and I mentioned the other one. He wasn't with Bishop Tutu at that time, but his colleague is Nelson Mandela, who spent many years, 20 years maybe in jail, who to his everlasting credit -- and to Archbishop Tutu's -- everlasting credit, did not become vindictive or bitter. Did not seek retribution. But all he did was to try to solve the problem, and trying to get the people of South Africa to live with one another, the black and the white, the Boer, and the natives, and it was pretty amazing stuff. I mean, when you think about it, it's so easy to take offense, and never ever forgive people, and these men to their everlasting credit, not only forgave the people who oppressed them, but worked with some of those selfsame people, to try to solve the problems of their nation. But those are the two, Cokie, who's always on television, is really a delightful woman, and -- maybe at a later time, I'll talk about her mom, because Lindy Boggs, who succeeded Hale in Congress, and as you probably know became eventually an ambassador to Vatican, the same as Jack Gilligan was -- and I had one memorable instance of where she entertained us, in Rome, and showed her mettle as a woman, as an ambassador, as a former member of Congress. Interesting lady. But it's been wonderful Kevin.
KC: Thank you very much Congressman, and we'll see you at the next taping.
RLM: Have a great day. Appreciate it.
KC: Thank you.