Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cancer News

As far as we have come in the struggle to find a cure for cancer as well as improve treatment options, news of a cancer diagnosis still hits hard. So it is with news of Senator Ted Kennedy's brain cancer. The youngest Kennedy brother never had the political flash of his siblings John and Bobby but he became a master legislator in the Senate and a massive progressive political presence in his own right. The prognosis sounds grim. Prayers for him and his family.

Speaking of cancer news, I also noted this morning in the paper the passing of Hamilton Jordan, who died yesterday 22 years after his first diagnosis with cancer. Jordan was Chief of Staff for President Jimmy Carter and the primary strategist behind Carter's 1976 election victory.

I met Jordan at the White House in the spring of 1977 as part of a delegation of Pennsylvania college volunteer coordinators. He made an immediate positive impact on us as we were all there dressed in our Sunday best, ready to meet the President, when into the room walked Hamilton Jordan sporting bell-bottomed jeans, a tee-shirt, and sneakers. We cheered. The President was dressed more "presidential" when he arrived. That very same casual dress and demeanor led an aunt of mine who had just left the White House after working for Nixon and Ford to declare the end of civilization as we know it. She was absolutely repulsed by Jordan and his folksy ways, and none to happy that her nephew was a Carter supporter.

In any case, prayers for the family of Hamilton Jordan as well.

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