Happy Birthday Dad!

One thing that I am missing while on the road for these conventions is the 75th birthday of my father, who has taught me about politics and laid the groundwork for me to act like I know what I’m talking about when it comes to Congress and the political world.

Both my mother and father arrived in Washington, D.C. in sort of unconventional ways.  My dad decided he didn’t want to string phone lines for Ma Bell in south Florida, so he hitchiked his way to DC in the late 1950’s to join a friend of his who got a job with the State Department.

My mom was discovered during a 4H “Fashions of Wool” pageant in Wyoming, as the Congressman offered her a job that she at first rejected, and then six months later accepted in order to get to the big city. Mom and Dad met on Capitol Hill and the rest is history.

The photo on the left is my father meeting President Lyndon Johnson at the White House during the 1960s. At this point, my dad was working for one of a series of House members from Illinois. Those Illinois ties would help him for years.

On the right, my father is shaking hands with the first President Bush – this is probably when he was Vice President in the early 1980s. Next to Mr. Bush is Rep. Bob Michel of Illinois, who for years was the Republican leader in the House.

My dad was lucky enough to be around Washington, D.C. for a number of years, and that allowed him to hobnob with many of the lawmakers who would become Speaker of the House as well.

On the left is a picture of him with Speaker John McCormack of Massachusetts, who was the Speaker from 1962 to 1971.

The next photo is my father with Speaker Carl Albert of Oklahoma, who served from 1971 to 1977 as Speaker (Albert is the second person from the left, my dad is second from the right.)

After Albert retired, Rep. Tip O’Neill of Massachusetts became Speaker of the House. Here is a photo of my father and his longtime Capitol Hill friend John Mahoney having a laugh with the Speaker, who is on the right of the photo.

Thanks for all the help, Dad. You taught me the ropes and made it possible for me to know more about politics than just the people that I have covered in the Congress myself.

You helped me learn more about the inside workings of Congress at a young age than most people will ever know.

I do miss the days when you would show up at my broadcast booth in the House with a sheaf of documents and hand off something juicy!

Happy Birthday Dad!