Some of the most exciting, edgy and unpredictable political moments I’ve ever had have been while I was in the company of Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater. He had a reputation for always telling the truth, as he knew it, and let the chips fall where they may.
It wasn’t that he didn’t care about collateral damage, he just always felt that no one should be afraid of the unvarnished truth. I once asked this life-long Republican what he thought of Richard Nixon.
His answer: “The biggest liar we’ve ever had in office.”
I then asked about Lyndon Johnson.
Barry shouted, “Number 2!”
And when I asked Goldwater who he admired among our political leaders, tears welled up in his eyes as he told me how much he had loved and admired Jack Kennedy. He said that day, at one time, he and President Kennedy had put together what would have been a historic plan to campaign together leading up to the election in 1964: Flying together to various locations, appearing together on the same stage to discuss the issues live in front of the American public.
And now they’re both gone and seemingly, so are the days of mutual respect among politicians.
I’m Pat McMahon.