Rich Galen

The Rabbi was at the front of the Temple speaking to people and, at some point he began (I think this right) an impromptu Yiskor service which is the memorial service for those Jews in the community who have lost a loved one.

My mom - who was not particularly political - had told us en route to the Synagogue: "We're going to pray for our President."

Years later, when I was the communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee we had a fund raiser on the ranch of former Governor (as a Democrat) and former Treasury Secretary (as a Republican under Richard Nixon) John Connelly.

It came to pass that the Chairman of the NRCC, Rep. Guy Vander Jagt (R-Mi) needed to get to the airport and I was elected to drive him. Governor Connelly said he would come along and, as the higher ranking person, sat in the passenger seat next to me.

I drove the quarter mile from the ranch house to the Farm to Market Road leading to the airport and hit the gas.

Governor Connelly was talking with Rep. Vander Jagt, stopped in mid-sentence and said to me, "Speed on up, son. If you want me to drive pull over."

I said that I was doing about 70.

He said, "You can drive as fast as this thing will go. You ain't gonna get no speeding ticket while ah'm in this car."

Years after that, I was appointed by the Mayor of Dallas, Steve Bartlett, to bid for the Special Olympics to be held in that city. Bartlett, as a conservative, Republican, Member of Congress from Dallas was a big supporter of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Special Olympics Committee was impressed with our commitment to making the Games a success and to being able to raise the funds necessary to accomplish that goal.

The Special Olympics were conceived by, and under the control of, the Kennedy family.

Things were going apace until Senator Ted Kennedy found out about it. He instructed the Special Olympics committee to cease, immediately, negotiating with Dallas and the Games went elsewhere.

I was at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport when the Executive Director of the Special Olympics called to tell me he had to pull the plug.

I remember exactly where I was.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at