It was a sad day for some of us last week when the ablest Majority Leader to have held that office in the Republican House of Representatives spent his last day in Congress. I have known Tom DeLay for 22 years. One day my good friend Houston builder Bob Perry called me and said there was someone he wanted me to meet. This fellow Tom DeLay, Perry said, was a businessman, not a lawyer, and stood for the right things in the legislature. So in a week or so I visited with DeLay who by then was running for Congress. He seemed nice enough but at that point I did not perceive his remarkable talent and abilities. For the next several years we stayed in touch, with Tom usually asking for a reading of how some issue was going to go in Congress and I usually asking him to sponsor some legislation.
Then one day, after Tom had been in Congress for six or seven years, he called me and said he was going to quit the Congress. He had not been able to accomplish anything much and he saw no future in staying. I was shocked. Of course I had not been expecting such a call. I talked with him for some time. I urged him to become active with the conservative action team, a division of the Republican Study Committee. He did and he told me some months later that he now felt better.